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The Man from London [DVD]


Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Istvan Lenart, Gyula Pauer, Tilda Swinton, Janos Derzsi, Erika Bok
  • Directors: Bela Tarr
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 6 April 2009
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001R65FIS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,405 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Four years in the making, the new film from the acclaimed Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr is an adaptation of a novel by thriller writer Georges Simenon. Maloin (Miroslav Krobot) leads a simple life as a railway signalman, barely registering the world around him. His life takes a sudden turn when he becomes a witness to a murder and he is forced to confront issues of morality, sin, punishment and the line between innocence and complicity. Exploring themes of desire, greed and man s indestructible longing for freedom, this hypnotic film bears the distinctive trademarks of Tarr s universe fluid and stunning monochrome photography, pared-down dialogue and performances (with a striking appearance by Tilda Swinton), and a hauntingly beautiful score by long-time Tarr collaborator Mihály Víg. Special Features: Interview with Béla Tarr, Theatrical trailer

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By I. Hagues on 19 May 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The fact that this film is long and slow is not a problem. That's the unique vision of Bela Tarr
and those already familiar with his style should rejoice that this film ever made it to completion.

Is it just me, or do the shadows cast over the troubled production, somehow continue on screen?

The only issue I have with this film is the use of overdubs. I see no reason for this and it distracts and detracts from the sound and viewing experience. In the films mentioned below, I almost think the sound is better than the beauty of the photography. I have seen a short clip of this film without the overdubs and it works so much better. I hope it wasn't to try and reach a wider audience and indeed hope any future release will provide an audio option to play with subtitles only. Also, I feel Mihaly Vig's score is overused to the point of intrusion.

If you're new to Bela Tarr, check out the 'Werckmeister Harmonies' and 'Satantango' first.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 26 April 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm a great fan of Bela Tarr's works and I rate "Satantango" as one of the most remarkable films that I have ever seen. His latest film "The Man from London" is recognisably Tarresque; it is shot in monochrome and features typically heavy set, morose middle aged men living isolated and monotonous lives in a wintery landscape although this time the backdrop is a French fishing village rather than some forgotten part of Hungarian Ruritania.The film is slow moving and has little dialogue.The plot is simple ; a railway signalman witnesses a murder following the recovery of a mysterious suitcase (which turns out to have been stuffed with money) that was tossed from a moored boat and an English police inspector is despatched to recover the money and solve the murder.The signalman fishes the suitcase out of the sea and hides the money , but the Man from London soon closes in on the murderer and the signalman. "The Man from London" is beautifully filmed and well paced , but I still would place the excellent "Werckmeister Harmonies" and "Damnation" ahead of it on the grounds of their excellent imagery and sheer other worldliness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. R. Dersley on 30 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD
...Satantango or Werckmeister Harmonies but still very good. I do understand those who have given it one star but unlike them I didn't find it a substitution of style for content. The Bela Tarr style is certainly there, right from the start as we see from the protagonist's night shift point of view first the ship, then the dock and fragmented uncertain action. Then the real time consequential actions of the night shift worker...and so it develops. The drawback to the film is the awful dubbing especially of the English speaking character, and since that dialogue is not subtitled it's very frustrating. I disagree with the reviewer who found the music not in keeping with the film - in fact it was this film that made me seek out the music of Mihaly Vig; as far as I can find it's only available as an mp3 download from Amazon and I'm playing it as I write.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MRAM on 15 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Great Art House director Bela Tarr's, The Man from London, tells the story of railway signalman Maloin (Miroslav Krobot), who hardly registers what is going on around him. Suddenly his life takes a turn, when he witnesses a murder and becomes mixed up with a English police inspector (István Lénárt), in matters that are completely foreign to him, forcing him to face morality and the thin line between innocence and complicity.

The film was beautifully shot in black and white by cinematographer Fred Kelemen (who recently did Tarr's new film The Turin Horse) and the acting of Miroslav Krobot and Tilda Swinton was excellent. With brilliant Mise-en-scène from Tarr, masterful long takes by Kelemen and atmospheric composition from his long time collaborator Mihaly Vig, this film could easily have been a masterpiece, like his previous films Satantango and Werckmeister Harmonies.

However, there are small problems, which there could have been without. The over the top Britishness of the inspector was very stereotypical, sounding and acting like something out of a 1940's Ealing Studios film. Another thing was that István Lénárt, must had been well over seventy, which makes this quite unrealistic. These details lessened the film, making it an outstanding to watch, but failing to reach it's full potential.

Compared to most films you see being made now days, this is an excellent film, besides it's shortcomings. Although it is not one of the best of Tarr's work, it is still worth purchasing, for it's breathtaking cinematography and the impeccable acting of Krobot and Swinton. If you are new to Bela Tarr, get Werckmeister Harmonies, which I believe to be his best released on DVD and one of the greatest films of the last decade.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By abkq on 28 Oct. 2014
Format: DVD
This is my favourite Bela Tarr film (critics don't like it much). I place "The Man from London" above his other films because there is a strong sense of urban alienation that is a quintessentially modern experience, one that is transformed and heightened in this masterwork. Rather than Hungary's endless plains or small towns in Tarr's other films, here we have the haunting presence of the viewing tower and the intriguing configuration of the Corsican port town of Bastia which become memorable characters in themselves.
The slowness of unfolding is what one would expect from a Bela Tarr film. But here it is precisely the parred down narrative that allows the viewer to engage and indulge in the visual images. Here, to quote Parsifal, "time turns into space".
Vihaly Vig's music is, once again, masterly and totally integral to the visual aesthetics of the film.
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