Kárhozat (Damnation) | Béla Tarr
The occasional, labored sound of inertia and friction emitted by the motion of mining cable cars disrupts the unnerving silence of Karrer’s (Miklós Székely B.) austere and sparsely furnished apartment as lethargic conveyances endlessly traverse along an overcast, desolate landscape, veiled in fog. This opening sequence of Kárhozat permeates the very essence of the film. The first collaborative project between Hungarian novelist László Krashnahorkai and filmmaker Béla Tarr (along with Tarr’s editor and wife, Agnes Hranitzky), Damnation is a bleak and nihilistic portrait of isolation, emotional betrayal, and ennui. Using a near static camera, slow pans, languid character motion, pervasive inclement weather, bleak industrial landscape, and a melancholic soundtrack by composer Mihaly Vig, Tarr reflects the desolation and spiritual lethargy of the directionless and morally bankrupt protagonists. Beautifully filmed and with haunting performances, this film cemented Tarr’s status as one of cinema’s most intriguing and powerful directors.
Béla Tarr : László Krashnahorkai : Agnes Hranitzky