Satantango

April 28th, 1994







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more trailers Satantango

Plot
In a small dilapidated village in 1980s Hungary, life has come to a virtual standstill. The autumn rains have started...

Release Year: 1994

Rating: 8.5/10 (3,131 voted)

Director: Béla Tarr

Stars: Mihály Vig, Putyi Horváth, László feLugossy

Storyline
In a small dilapidated village in 1980s Hungary, life has come to a virtual standstill. The autumn rains have started. The villagers expect to receive a large cash payment that evening, and then plan to leave. Some want to abscond earlier with more than their fair share of the money. However they hear that the smooth talking Irimias, whom they thought had died, is coming back. They are apprehensive that he will take all their money in one of his grandiose schemes to keep the community going.

Writers: László Krasznahorkai, Mihály Vig

Cast:
Mihály Vig - Irimiás
Putyi Horváth - Petrina
László feLugossy - Schmidt
Éva Almássy Albert - Schmidtné
János Derzsi - Kráner
Irén Szajki - Kránerné
Alfréd Járai - Halics
Miklós Székely B. - Futaki
Erzsébet Gaál - Halicsné
Erika Bók - Estike
György Barkó - Iskolaigazgató
Peter Berling - Orvos
András Bodnár - Horgos Sanyi
Ilona Bojár - Horgosné
Péter Dobai - Százados

Release Date: 28 April 1994



Technical Specs

Runtime:



Did You Know?

Trivia:
The movie was shot between 1990 and 1994.

Quotes:
Captain: Not that human life was so highly valued. Keeping order appears to be the business of the authorities, but in fact it's the business of all. Order. Freedom, however, has nothing human. It's something divine, something... our lives are too short for us to know properly...



User Review

A masterpiece for this decade

Rating: 10/10

I was mesmerized by this 7-hour long 1994 Hungarian film called "Satantango." Filmed entirely in black and white, director Bela Tarr has created some of the most stunning images I've seen on film. The opening shot, about 10 minutes long, is an enormous tracking shot following a herd of cows wandering through an otherwise desolate village. Then there's this 10-minute take of a window at dawn. Everything but the window is dark, then ever so slowly morning light brings the objects in the room into view, a character finally enters, peers out the window, then goes back to bed. There's a 5-minute tracking shot of two characters hurrying down the street in a horrendous wind while a veritable tornado of garbage and litter whirls about them. There's a stark, almost surreal woods strewn with fog. No take is less than a minute long, and there are about a dozen around 10 minutes. The average edited shot in a Hollywood film is less than 10 seconds. It's almost mind-boggling the logistical and practical difficulties of sustaining such long takes. In a great many, Tarr utilizes extensive camera movement. The camera tracks and weaves and gives you a sense of space found in few other films -- maybe those of a Welles, Ophuls, or Kubrick. The dance in the middle of the film from which the film takes its title is shown in one 10-minute take. It cuts away to a little girl watching the dance for a few minutes, then cuts back to the dance for another 10-minute take. And nothing about this sequence is boring. The eight actors in the scene carry on heartily. Another inspired shot has the camera revolving around seven sleeping characters while a narrator describes the dreams of each.

The story concerns a group of poor villagers who gets conned by a smart talker who was once one of their own into giving up all their money to go live on a non-existent communal farm. The first 4-1/2 hours is made up of 5 "stories" from the perspective of different characters over the course of the same day. Some of the events in each story overlap, so you see them occur again and again, but each time from a different perspective since they occur in the context of a different character's life. It is not unlike what Tarantino does with a segment in "Jackie Brown," but whereas Tarantino's technique is tiresome because it is plot-related, Tarr's is a grand achievement in tone.

The first story shows us Futaki, who while having an affair with Mrs. Schmid, finds out that her husband is planning to make off with the money that eight villagers have come into through one of conman Irimias's schemes. Then they both discover Irimias, who was thought to be dead, has returned to their village. The second story follows Irimias and his trying to evade trouble with the law. The third shows us a doctor who observes the other villagers and who writes down everything he experiences in journals that he keeps. The fourth has a young girl taking out her miseries in life on a cat and contemplates suicide. The fifth shows all the pertinent villagers gather together at a bar and drinking and dancing until they are all in a drunken stupor.

Satantango is one of the grand achievements in cinema of this decade.









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