Satantango ★★★★★

Directed by Béla Tarr and adapted from Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai’s novel, Sátántangó isn't interested in presenting its story in a conventional sense. It brandishes a runtime of over seven hours and is fascinated with peaceful moments and crammed with extended silences, which undoubtedly require a few moments to adapt to its unhurried tempo. Still, the sheer artistry on display ensures that it's impossible to not appreciate the attention to detail and outstanding performances within the work. Sound design is another aspect which has been carefully considered and effectively used to cultivate a depth of atmosphere that is incredibly alluring.

Set in a small rural farming neighbourhood in post-communist Hungary and seemingly dealing with themes which include the lack of empathy for others being a poisonous impetus for corrosion of community, and ultimately the individual, although it ultimately appears much more interested in establishing a revelatory manifestation of screen time. It's an incredibly layered film and a difficult one to not project upon during moments of being consumed in its windswept landscapes that are beautifully captured by the magnificent cinematography of Gábor Medvigy. It dexterously cultivates an experience which anticipates and requires the patient viewer to probe for the story behind its aesthetic beauty, and it's a thoroughly jaw-droppingly extraordinary experience.

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Paul Elliott liked this review