Month: November 2014

A londoni férfi (The Man From London)

Right from the start, this film is disorientating. Although the action seems to be taking place in France, the scenes around the quayside, railway line and signal box look more like somewhere in the depths of eastern Europe, and the café/hotel also seems more Hungarian than French. Most of the action takes place at night, and the film has a decidedly cold, damp, dark and wintry atmosphere which perfectly matches the characters. (more…)

Kárhozat (Damnation)

This was one of a set of three Béla Tarr DVDs we bought on holiday last year, none of which we’d yet got around to watching. I first saw this film in the cinema in 1990, and wrote the following comments on it:

Een meesterwerk! Schitterend depro film van twee uur waarin bijna niets gebeurt, waar de hoofdpersoon eindeloos rondloopt in de stromende regen door een vervallen en verlaten industriestad, waar alles treurig en depressief is, zelfs de muziek waarop de stombezopene mensen ‘vrolijk’ dansen op een feest. Deed mij soms aan Stranger than paradise denken, maar ook soms aan Eraserhead.

Or, to translate for any non-Dutch speakers out there:

A masterpiece! Brilliant depressing two-hour film in which almost nothing happens, where the protagonist endlessly walks around in the pouring rain in a dilapidated and abandoned industrial city, where everything is miserable and depressed, even the music to which the dead drunk guests ‘cheerfully’ dance at a party. Reminded me sometimes of Stranger than paradise, but also sometimes of Eraserhead.

(I wasn’t quite so prolific in those days 🙂 ). So, I had high hopes for this film, and I wasn’t disappointed. Not being able to remember much about Stranger than paradise I’m not sure about the reference to that film, but for the rest I can still agree with every word of what I wrote 24 years ago. (more…)