Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

KARHOZAT / DAMNATION (1987)

Béla Tarr, Hungary’s best known helmer, made his move to the arthouse market/fest circuit with this probing slo-mo depiction of an end-of-the-line town with its end-of-the-line inhabitants & endless end-of-the-line iron ore cable buckets. It even climaxes with a joyless end-of-the-line line dance. The oblique storyline follows a despondent alcoholic ‘ex’ of the town’s glamour girl, such as they have one, a chanteuse with moveable morals & a dye job. She’s remarried, but not unswayable; not with a third guy already in the picture. Meantime, the owner of the ‘Titanik’ Bar is offering an ill-defined smuggling job to our risk-adverse ‘ex’ which gets passed off to a pal, possibly the previously mentioned third guy. (Tarr doesn’t like too much clarity, holding back on narrative detail & purposefully mucking up what info we do get with battering rain & mud.) Technically, the Tarr style could be described as slow creep, imperceptibly tracking his camera sideways or back. Just once, near the end, we get a diagonal move and you think all hell is going to break loose. (Don’t get your hopes up.) Most of his set ups begin as museum-worthy monochrome compositions (and with so few separate shots, they’d better), then, as we slowly drift, small apertures open between buildings allowing us to see something otherwise hidden or, reversing the pattern, hiding something from us. There’s certainly method in the madness, even a fascination. But Tarr makes Antonioni, Tarkovsky & Jarmusch look like speed demons. Perhaps there’s more meat on the bones in one of his later pics.

No comments: