Satantango ★★★★★


One of the most monumental films I have ever seen and frankly there’s another titan films stands on. Right up there with Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as one of the most meditative, cold, nihilistic, and slowest films I have ever seen. Of course, this is my introduction to Béla Tarr’s work and what an absolute monolith. A seven hour behemoth which’s average shot length numbers at around two and a half minutes, this is certainly not a film for the average viewer. After viewing in one sitting I feel like I have achieved something as the droning omniscient camera and the paralyzing score blast through my body. 

The thematic prowess that lies deep beneath its surface is very difficult to crack but judging the from the greed that the characters embody and the Hungarian winter it’s safe to say that capitalism is not welcome. Since the film was made three years after the Soviet Union fell and two years after Yugoslavia broke up, I think the setting is a perfect place since the decades of conflict that stretched throughout the region is a perfect place for hell. The brilliant opening shot of the cows walking towards their slaughter perfectly parallels the hell hole of torture that shall arrive to the personages of the world. 

After one viewing of Sátántangó, I don’t believe I can meander the whole time as I haven’t had enough time after watching the film to properly digest it. The beautiful stoic cinematography and the crisp yet torturous sound design certainly delivers an experience like no other. This is one of the greatest artistic achievements of all time and I wholeheartedly agree with this being one of the greatest films to come from the last thirty years.

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