WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES – Review by Diane Carson

Directors Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky (also Tarr’s spouse, production designer, and editor) took as their inspiration the László Krasznahorkai 1989 novel The Melancholy of Resistance and created a masterpiece, Werckmeister Harmonies. Characteristic of Tarr, the camera relies on extended takes, a total of only thirty-nine shots in this two hour twenty-five minute film, the opening shot alone over ten minutes.

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DAMNATION – Review by Diane Carson

A palpable sense of dread defines every scene, beginning with the opening shot of industrial coal buckets transported via an elevated cable mechanism moving diagonally across the frame as grinding, grating sound drones on. Surely, nothing good will happen here. Yet, so beautiful are the tableaus, so powerful the performances that the despondent individuals in their dismal story keep Damnation from feeling as unappealing as the title implies.

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SATANTANGO – Review by Diane Carson

With minimal action, at seven and a third hours, Hungarian director Béla Tarr‘s Sátántangó presents an astonishing, microscopic look at the raw human condition. In a most telling and an appropriate description, Irimiás, a central figure, says, “Think of me as a tragic researcher investigating why everything is as terrible as it is.”

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