Satantango ★★★★★


A work so colossal it figuratively and literally bends time itself; the lives of our neighbours and our actions towards them contextualised and re-contextualised; Tärr portrays every tiniest thing (a spider’s web, a walk through the mud) as an act of cosmic significance (i’m going to get yelled at for making comparisons to Snyder but). It’s not that we’re forced to endure ten minutes of cows on a farm, but that through Tärr’s precise and masterful control, these images reframe what the viewer would see if they were on that field; this is Tärr taking what he learnt from his early days as a filmmaker working in a vérite style and wielding the camera as an act of god.

While Satantango is almost unbearably bleak, one doesn’t feel the worse for going through it; certainly it’s a transformative work absolutely unparalleled, one that could have only been made after the fall of the Soviet bloc and one that has faith in the collective, but not without a grimly materialist perspective. Maybe one day the world will no longer have the need to look on Satantango. Until then, the bell will forever chime.

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