Wednesday, March 02, 2011


Damnation. HU 1987. PC: Hungarian Film Institute / Hungarian Television / Mokép. P: József Marx. D: Béla Tarr. SC: László Krasznahorkai, Béla Tarr. DP: Gábor Medvigy - b&w. AD+cost: Gyula Pauer. Makeup: Edit Basilides. M: Mihály Vig. ED: Ágnes Hranitzky. S: Tamás Márkus. Consultant: András Bálint Kovács. Cast: Miklos B. Szekely (Karrer), Vali Kerekes (torch singer at the Titanik), Gyula Pauer (Willarsky the bartender), Győrgy Cserhalmi (Sebastyen, the singer's husband). 116 min. Dvd with a fine transfer and English subtitles viewed in Helsinki, 2 March 2011.

Revisited Béla Tarr's breakthrough feature film where his unique vision is already fully developed. Stark black and white cinematography, a compelling charge in the frames, a feeling of subterranean forces about to erupt, a profound melancholy tinged with black humour. This is the one-sided love-affair of Karrer to the singer of the Titanik bar. They are all tangled with a smuggling scheme which goes awry. There is an affinity with David Lynch in the uncanny mood of many sequences, and Tarr's obsession with water and rain is Tarkovskyan. But in his own already assured way Béla Tarr has a unique and compelling vision to portray. I saw Kárhozat for the first time in Budapest soon after its release but I have to confess I felt then that I had seen Stalker already.

No comments: