Hungarian director Béla Tarr will be the subject of a complete retrospective at New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center, the organization said Thursday.
Under the banner “The Last Modernist: The Complete Works of Béla Tarr from February 3-8, 2012,” the six-day event will showcase ” a rare ‘complete’ retrospective of a living filmmaker,” spanning his early cinema verité portraits of proletariat life in Communist-era Hungary to the “hypnotic, career-defining masterworks that cemented Tarr’s international reputation.”
The retrospective will culminate with the U.S. theatrical debut of his latest, “The Turin Horse” on February 10th. The film had its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival earlier this fall. “Turin,” which is being released by Cinema Guild, will screen at FSLC’s Elinor Brunin Munroe Film Center for its initial NYC theatrical run.
Tarr, who attended the New York Film Festival for the first time in two decades this year, noted that “The Turin Horse” will be his last film.
“Few filmmakers have made as great an impact on world cinema in the past two decades as Béla Tarr,” commented Film Society Associate Program Director Scott Foundas in a statement. “And yet, despite the enormous praise given to him by critics and filmmakers as varied as Susan Sontag, Jim Karmusch and Gus Van Sant, his films has remained relatively difficult to see, especially on the big screen. After witnessing the incredibly enthusiastic reception Béla received at this year’s New York Film Festival, it felt like the time was right to re-introduce audiences to this singular and remarkable body of work.”
Films screening in the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Béla Tarr retrospective with descriptions provided by the organization:
“Almanac of Fall,” Béla Tarr, 1984, Hungary, 35mm; 119m
Four apartment-dwellers scheme against a rich elderly woman and each other, in a key work that bridges Tarr’s early social realism and later stylistic brio. (FEB 7, 8)
“Damnation” (Kárhozat) Béla Tarr, 1988, Hungary, 35mm; 116m
Tarr and Krasznahorkai’s first collaboration is a ravishing film noir about a man’s efforts to steal his estranged lover from the arms of her debt-addled husband. (FEB 3, 6)
“Family Nest” (Családi tüzfészek), Béla Tarr, 1979, Hungary, 35mm; 108m
Tarr’s striking debut (made when he was 22) offers a take-no-prisoners snapshot of a seven-member family sharing a tiny apartment during a housing crisis. FEB 3, 6
“Macbeth,” Béla Tarr, 1982, Hungary, 35mm; 72m
Shot in two takes, Tarr’s entrancing TV adaptation preserves all the ambient tension of Shakespeare’s play, reinventing the space with his newly mobile camera technique. (FEB 4, 8)
“The Man From London,” Béla Tarr, 2007, Hungary/France/Germany, 35mm; 135m
The Georges Simenon thriller about a railman and a suitcase of stolen cash becomes an enveloping, chiaroscuro world of melancholy and mystery. With Tilda Swinton. NYFF 2007. (FEB 7, 8)
“The Outsider” (Szabadgyalog), Béla Tarr, 1981, Hungary, 35mm; 122m
An aimless young musician drifts through a series of jobs—and women—before being called up for military service in Tarr’s gritty second feature. (FEB 6, 7)
“The Prefab People,” Béla Tarr, 1982, Hungary, 35mm; 102m
A young married couple in monolithic housing endures the trouble and strife of love’s disintegration, in a searing story that works backward from the climactic break-up. (FEB 3, 6)
“Satantango” (Sátántangó), Béla Tarr, 1994, Hungary/Germany/Switzerland, 35mm; 450m
A landmark of contemporary world cinema, Tarr’s international breakthrough came with this transfixing epic about the arrival of a (false) prophet in a small farming collective. Screened with one 15-minute intermission and one 60-minute dinner break. FEB 4, 5
“Werckmeister Harmonies,” Béla Tarr, 2000, Hungary, 35mm; 145m
Tarr’s apocalyptic masterpiece unfolds in a Hungarian town teetering at the edge of the abyss with the arrival of a giant stuffed whale. With Hanna Schygulla. (FEB 3, 8)
“The Turin Horse,” NYC theatrical opening February 10. (NYFF description follows):
After witnessing a carriage driver whipping his horse, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche ran to the scene, threw his arms around the horse and then collapsed; he would spend the next, final ten years of his life in almost total silence. Focusing not on Nietzsche but on the driver and his family, Béla Tarr (Satantango, NYFF 1994) and his longtime collaborator Ágnes Hranitzky, working from a screenplay by Tarr and novelist László Krasznhorkai, create a mesmerizing, provocative meditation on the unsettling connectedness of things, in which the resonance of actions and gestures continues long after their actual occurrence. Beautifully photographed (by Fred Kelemen) on the austere, unforgiving Hungarian plain lands, The Turin Horse challenges us to enter into a world just beyond the one we experience daily. Winner of the Silver Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. A Cinema Guild release.
[Fore more information, visit the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s website.]