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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric
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...
Published on 26 April 2009 by L. Davidson

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No overdubs please
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...
Published on 19 May 2009 by I. Hagues


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No overdubs please, 19 May 2009
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This review is from: The Man from London [DVD] (DVD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, 26 April 2009
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man from London [DVD] (DVD)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as..., 30 Dec. 2012
By 
J. R. Dersley - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man from London [DVD] (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
4.0 out of 5 stars The Man from London, Bela Tarr, 15 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: The Man from London [DVD] (DVD)
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. If you already have Tarr's other films then you should definitely add The Man From London to your collection as it is still a great film which should not be missed.

Special Features: Interview with Bela Tarr
Language: Mostly French with a small amount of English
Subtitles: English
Certificate: 12
Dolby Digital 2.0
Black and White
Region Code: 2
Running time: 90 mins
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bela Tarr and urban alienation, 28 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Man from London [DVD] (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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh my goodness..., 5 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Man from London [DVD] (DVD)
This film is simply terrible. Often those reviewing this movie disparagingly are often accused of doing so on the grounds that they only can enjoy films like Transformers or can't tolerate 'Slow Cinema'. Clearly this is not the case. Tarr's other works like 'Damnation' and 'The Werckmeister Harmonies' were captivating and hypnotic. In both these Tarr's highly individual style serves the story. His fluid camera, the stillness, the score, the patient wait for the scene to unfold at it's own pace the luminous black and white cinematography all come together to form something lovely and challenging. In 'Werckmeister', the score and sound adds an extra dimension to a film that is haunting and mysterious.

This is far from the case here. While the film successfully imitates the conventions of classic film noir, there is nothing else there. The story itself is slight and does not reach the 'lofty' ambitions it strains for. The conceit of crime and punishment, sin and guilt and redemption has been dealt with time and time again with much greater results. Filmmakers as diverse as Bresson and Woody Allen have all tapped into these themes and you were left with the sense that they dealt with their themes. Because the story is poorly developed, the characters are distant and anonymous, Tarr's style has nothing to hang its coat on. The score, unusually for him, is very intrusive and becomes irritating in the extreme. Whereas the 'Werckmeister' score was beautiful and was well matched to the film, thus giving it an emotional depth, here it is illsuited and very jarring. Similarly, the gaze of his camera is fixed upon nothing much beyond black cobbled streets and the backs of the heads of people you don't care about. Though immediately you are aware you are watching a film by Bela Tarr but so what? He is imposing his style on the film for the sake of it, not because he calls for it.

Tarkovsky was an artist the same way Tarr is. But Tarkovsky never made a dud. Each film is a gem and he matched his style to the film he was making. Watch 'Mirror' and 'Stalker' and you can see there is a world of difference between them. But they are obviously the work of Tarkovsky and you know you are watching a film of his. In both cases, his style serves the story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much, 1 Aug. 2011
By 
Robert L. Russell "DuffyShort" (Neocon Village, Louisiana USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man from London [DVD] (DVD)
This movie is too long and too tedious. Too much shouting. Too much trudging around. The sound and overdubbing is irritating. I have no idea which language this film was made in....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Man from London., 22 May 2014
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This review is from: The Man from London [DVD] (DVD)
Haven't seen it yet but rest assured if it's by Bela Tarr it will be magnificent. I thought Fellini was the king by a large margin, but now having experienced Bela Tarr, Fellini shares the crown with this guy but for different reasons. I mean, you can't really compare the two. It's a bit like attempting to compare Michaelangelo or Benevenuto Cellini wit Picasso for instance. Throw in Diane Arbus the much and unjustly maligned photographer, and you will see what I mean. Vivre the difference at this level at least
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 13 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: The Man from London [DVD] (DVD)
There were just far too many long scenes where nothing much happens. Cut at least half an hour from this film and it might help to quicken the pace and add some tension. I just felt I was being slowly tortured, like not being able to sleep during an Emmerdale omnibus.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trance, 23 Jun. 2009
By 
H. Edwards "huwie50" (South Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Man from London [DVD] (DVD)
This was my 1st Bela Tarr movie and I confess to being totally mesmerised. Not being a big fan of the poignant "longeur", this was a revelation. Naturalistic acting from a superb cast and a Vig score that seeps thru your soul enhance the special experience that is watching The Man From London. Hungarian dubbed into French with English subs does not SOUND like a promising recipe,but in all honesty dialogue was secondary to the hypnotic atmosphere,Influences? Well the occasional monotonous tone of an engine, heating pipe or railway signal lever put one in mind of the underworld clasics of Fritz Lang [also Tarr's prediliction for the "upshot"].The look and haunting nature of the production design looked a lot like early work by Wim Wenders- pre-Paris Texas.Great face acting by Tilda Swinton is another highlight. Only disppointment was the lack of extras from Artificial Eye, even though the Tarr interview is most enlightening. It won't be too long before I buy my second...hmmm, Werkmiester Harmonies or Satantango? I have a feeing I have just made a delicious new friendship that refuses to be rushed
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The Man from London [DVD]
The Man from London [DVD] by Bela Tarr (DVD - 2009)
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