The Last Modernist: The Complete Works of Béla Tarr

The Man From London

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The Man From London
A Londoni férfi | Béla Tarr, 2007
Hungary/France/Germany | Format: 35mm | 135 minutes

For what would turn out to be his penultimate film, the Hungarian master brings his formidable stylistic arsenal — a combination of impossibly choreographed camera moves, astonishingly precise chiaroscuro lighting, and hypnotic wordless scenes—to bear on a Georges Simenon thriller about a railway switchman who retrieves a suitcase filled with stolen money. Tarr is a spellbinder, and the wharves and alleys of the unnamed port where he sets this drama of guilt and greed are broodingly apocalyptic. The Man From London is the latest example of an utterly distinctive vision, baleful and radiant, as voluptuous as it is bleak. Featuring Tilda Swinton as the railman’s unsettled wife.

“An uncanny re-creation of Simenon’s stifling atmosphere, oddly blacked-out characters, and dead-end narrative style . . . The camera is quintessential Tarr: hovering in anticipation of things that won’t happen, tracking like a private eye tailing a perp, and imbuing the black-and-white image with a caustic malaise no other director comes near to achieving.”
—Chris Chang, Film Comment

Image courtesy of OGNON PICTURES / THE KOBAL COLLECTION

Series: The Last Modernist: The Complete Works of Béla Tarr

Venue: Walter Reade Theater

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