Restored to mark its 25th anniversary, Béla Tarr’s breathtaking magnum opus is an examination of time and human decline set in a Hungarian village during the dying days of Communism.
Irimiás, a man thought to have died long ago, returns to a desolate Hungarian community just as its desperate inhabitants are planning to escape. He predicts better times ahead. But he’s a false prophet, and what unfolds is a nightmarish vision of a decaying social order.
Tarr’s 432-minute film is a masterpiece of contemporary cinema, regularly lauded but rarely screened. Based on the novel by László Krasznahorkai, it won the Caligari Film Award at the 1994 Berlinale and in 2012 was listed among Sight & Sound’s 50 greatest films of all time. Long takes and startling black and white photography create an austere universe of enigmatic, unforgettable images. This beautiful restoration from the original 35mm negative is an absolute must-see for cinephiles.
“Devastating, enthralling for every minute of its seven hours. I’d be glad to see it every year for the rest of my life.” – Susan Sontag