SÁTÁNTANGÓ
1994, Arbelos Films, 450 min, Hungary/Germany/Switzerland, Dir: Béla Tarr

Based on the book by László Krasznahorkai, this seminal work of “slow cinema” follows members of a small, defunct agricultural collective living in a post-apocalyptic landscape after the fall of communism who, on the heels of a large financial windfall, set out to leave their village. As a few of the villagers secretly conspire to take off with all of the earnings for themselves, a mysterious character, long thought dead, returns to the village, altering the course of everyone’s lives forever. Shot in stunning black-and-white by Gábor Medvigy and filled with exquisitely composed and lyrical long takes, SÁTÁNTANGÓ unfolds in 12 distinct movements, alternating forward and backward in time, echoing the structure of a tango dance. Tarr’s vision, aided by longtime partner and collaborator Ágnes Hranitzky, is enthralling and his portrayal of a rural Hungary beset by boozy dance parties, treachery and near-perpetual rainfall is both transfixing and uncompromising. Named one of the 40 greatest films ever made in the 2012 Sight & Sound/British Film Institute’s Critics Poll.


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