Bela Tarr's mediation on interpersonal relationships (and perhaps, the end of the world). In a small town a man is obsessed with a singer in a night club. She's married but doesn't completely deflect his advances. Dark brooding tale filled with long takes seems to be taking place in another world or another time (perhaps it's an after life). It's a hypnotic trip (if this clicks with you about the nature of obsession and how we view ourselves (if not it's a pretentious and tedious exercise).
I've read that director Bela Tarr insists that the film (as he insists about all his films) is a portrait of life as it is but I would be hard pressed to say that this is any sort of reality except perhaps a reality of the internal. The film's stark and beautiful black and white photography creates a world that seems forever in a mist or rain. It is a place like our own and yet different. People speak in ways that don't seem wholly normal. Verse is quoted and is the bible. No one speaks that way. Musicians play music but how they play doesn't quite match up with the music we hear. The mine carts that we see over head seem to be moving the damned to and from this place and not ore (indeed we never see either end of the line). Tarr says there is nothing allegorical or metaphoric implied or intended but I would argue that the film doesn't function as a straight narrative. Too much is off kilter, too much fails to connect for this to be real life. I'm not saying that the story of obsession, of a man doing what he feels he must to obtain the object of his desire doesn't work if it's taken as straight tale, it does, but at the same time the film becomes a battle with tedium. There becomes no reason for the film to run two hours, for the odd passages of dialog or the long takes. Frankly if the film is taken as the director intends it to be, then the film is a crashing bore and a failure on anything but a basic level. The film only works on some other level that isn't straight reporting, certainly the much used term 'apocalyptic' that I've read and heard connected to the film is inappropriate. Having been a creator of various things I know that sometimes the works we create change or become not what we intend. I understand that the creator of say a film is the one to ask what he intended but at the same time that doesn't mean what he intends is what is there on the screen. I think Tarr thinks he made one thing however I think he ended up with something else instead. I think as a film that is open to our own interpretation, being real world or not, the film is a masterpiece and a trip ripe with possibilities. I think as a straight tale of souls locked in a straight battle of possession it's a crashing bore filled with WTF moments. As something else of souls elsewhere or even inside of themselves it's a trip. See the film, take it for what it is, or what ever you take it to be and be carried away.
Crime / Drama / Romance
Crime / Drama / Romance
Karrer plods his way through life in quiet desperation. His environment is drab and rainy and muddy. Eaten up with solitude, his hopelessness would be incurable but for the existence of the Titanik Bar and its beautiful, haunting singer. But the lady is married and Karrer is determined to keep her husband away... —Guy Bellinger
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
December 27, 2021 at 11:38 AM