inthenickoftime’s review published on Letterboxd:
There are a few things I didn’t like:
1: I was disappointed when Irimias literally called himself the spider. It seems like Tarr spelled it out for us, in a moment of contempt for his audience as well as his characters.
2: I thought the length and pacing of some of the scenes when the group arrived at the abandoned house were, and I don’t use this term lightly, self-indulgent.
3: The music that played at the house did not fit with the other music nor the tone of the scene— it was like a mediocre classic rock cover band’s album: “Music from Satantango” lol
Other than that, this is a beguiling masterpiece that is deserving of the praise and seven-plus hours of your undivided attention. I wasn’t expecting it to be so beautiful! Every shot is like its own work of art— even the most mundane occurrences are exalted by the cinematography.
I am unclear as to the meaning of everything, but none of it seems vacant and I whatever did slip through the cracks for me was uniquely profound.
I bought the new restoration for this, and I can’t stress enough how important it was for my experience. The higher the image quality, the more you’ll get out of it. I didn’t watch it in one sitting, but it was in the span of 24 hours, so I think that’s close enough.
I’ve only seen two of Tarr’s films and both are among my all-time favorites, but this one makes “Werckmeister Harmonies” seem optimistic. Goddamn is it ever so dark.
However the fact that this was made so well, and everything is paced so slowly, makes me think not that this film is very slow, but that most others are way too fast (make no mistake, though, this is pretty slow lol), and that is a revelation that I will cherish forever, similar to all the revelations the characters had in the film. It’s a religious experience.