When Béla Tarr turned up for a one-day appearance at the New York Film Festival in October with his self-declared final film The Turin Horse, one fan could only come up with two words to describe him: rock star.
It’s hard to argue with that. Beginning February 3, Film Society of Lincoln Center will present a rare, complete retrospective of the Hungarian master's work, which Susan Sontag famously dubbed “some of the very few heroic violations of cinematic norms of our times.”
His most legendary feature, the seven-hour Satantango (1994), concerns the breakdown of a small farming collective with the arrival of a dubious prophet. Considered a touchstone of world cinema, it was Tarr’s international breakthrough despite years of festival acclaim, an epic that still inspires awe-hushed reviews and was only recently released on DVD. The film will screen Saturday and Sunday, February 4 and 5, with a 15-minute intermission and an hour break for dinner.
Tarr’s complete works span decades. His first feature, Family Nest (Feb. 3 & 6), was released when he was just 22. His style and preoccupations evolved over the years in films like Almanac of Fall (Feb. 7 & 8), which shifted from haunted realism to the soaring formal control that characterized his later career. More contemporary masterworks like Werckmeister Harmóniák (Feb. 3 & 8) and sold-out NYFF '11 smash The Turin Horse (in a first-run engagement) will round out the series.
Keep an eye out for tickets to this exceedingly rare event, which will be available soon. In the meantime, get excited by checking out the complete lineup and then watch video of Tarr from a free NYFF Forum in October:
Video & edit by Ahmed Khawaja. Photo by Olga Bas.