Satantango ★★★★½

Bela Tarr continues to impress me as one of the most talented filmmakers to ever live. Satantango is a mammoth of a film, and a seriously monumental achievement in cinema. I started watching this at around 10:30 this morning, and just finished it around 6:30 as I’m writing this review. I’m not gonna go totally in depth into this film because my brain is absolutely fried after this 7 and a half hour viewing, but I’ll give you some things I liked about it. Bela Tarr’s camerawork is probably the most notable thing about any of his films. He is slow and controlled, always knowing where the camera needs to be focused to pull the most emotion out of every scene. Satantango is not a fun film. It’s long, grueling, nihilistic and depressing. Every single moment is felt. I danced during the scene in the pub. I was shaking during the scene with the cat. You immerse yourself into the film until every inch of your blood is flowing with Tarr’s existential dread. While I think there was still something missing here that doesn’t help this film top Werckmeister Harmonies (Tarr’s next film), I can see why Satantango is considered his magnum opus, and why it’s one of a lot of people’s favorite films. I’m so glad I finally was able to watch this.

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