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Rod Otaviano

Satantango / Bela Tarr

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I just found out "Satantango" from the Hungarian director Bela Tarr is finally coming to DVD (region 1). And it's not that 'bootleg' version you find on Ebay. It's a 3-disk edition that will be released by Facets on September 26th.

 

This is a great art-house film and has one of the most incredible tracking shot I've ever seen where the camera follows a heard of cows for about 10 minutes.

 

If you are into visually different movies, I highly recommend it. Also "Werckmeister Harmonies" from the same director. Just don't go watch it if you're sleepy or tired. It's a seven hour long movie.

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I love the shot where two men are walking (shot from behind), and the wind is blowing, and the newspapers fly around.. It lasts at least a few minutes. Niiice! ;)

 

Oh, and the very end as well, - that man closing the window.

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Werckmeister Harmonies was excellent; haven't seen Satantango. I got it from Netflix and watched a bit of it, but I just knew I wasn't going to be able to commit to 7 hours of Tarr. The DVD is pretty bad too: 1.66 aspect ratio (and I absolutely appreciate their retaining OAR), but it's not anamorphic, and if your 16:9 TV doesn't have a custom zoom function, you'll be in for a letter and pillarboxed viewing experience. Also, something about the Tarr DVDs make the films look like they were shot on video; maybe it has something to do with PAL to NTSC conversion, if the films were sourced from PAL masters

 

Also, Tarr's films have notoriously bad dubs, some of the worst I've heard. Worse than Fellini's oldest movie's from half a century ago. One gets used to it partway through the film, but it's disconcerting

 

I want to see Satantango eventually, but one definitely has to be in the mood for a film like that

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I watched "Damnation" earlier this week. The opening shot was extraordinary, as were many others. As a film, I felt the sum of the parts was greater than the whole.

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