Cosmical excrement, Bela Tarr

Béla Tarr is a director who divides the field. He makes slow, stark films about lives in which little happens, combining old-fashioned values and innovative methods. He records the basic elements of domestic life with incongruously sweeping, virtuoso cinematography and picks apart the rudiments of human role-play with elaborate subtlety, coordinating gritty detail and a sense of the universal in a way that some see as visionary and others find tedious. Jonathan Rosenbaum, the American film critic, has dubbed Tarr a ‘despiritualised Tarkovsky’. I find him a less lapsed and more conflicted creature: a hopeful cynic or scatological mystic, whose films are as aggressively earthbound as they are inspiring.

Source: Rose McLaren in The White Review.

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