MEPHISTO
1981, Kino Lorber, 144 min, West Germany/Hungary/Austria, Dir: István Szabó

An Academy Award winner for Best Foreign-Language Film, MEPHISTO concerns a passionate but struggling actor (Klaus Maria Brandauer) who remains in Germany during the Nazi regime and reaps the rewards of this Faustian pact by finally achieving the stardom he has long craved. “This film is a work of art. The film transmits its messages so forcefully that no one can remain unaffected.” - Ingmar Bergman.


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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