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Sátántangó [1994] [DVD]

4.2 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

Price: £12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Peter Berling, Janos Derzsi, Mihaly Vig, Erzsebet Gaal, Miklos Szekely
  • Directors: Bela Tarr
  • Format: Box set, PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: Hungarian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Nov. 2006
  • Run Time: 450 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HRLWQM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,405 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Seven-hour black-and-white epic following life in a small, dilapidated post-Communist Hungarian village where nothing ever happens and nobody wants to be there. Adapted from a novel by László Krasznahorkai, the saga is presented through chapters looking at life from the viewpoint of each of the different villagers, all of whom want to leave as soon as they recieve a much-anticipated cash payment they are expecting. The film won the Caligari Film Prize as well as the Ecumenical Jury Prize Special Mention at the 1994 Berlin International Film Festival.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw the first two-thirds of this film in the cinema (the last third went on too late for me) and its DVD release has provided the opportunity to experience the whole thing, courtesy of the admirable distributor Artificial Eye. The film is regarded by critics I admire, like Jonathan Rosenbaum and the late Susan Sontag, as one of the greatest of the modern era, and I wholeheartedly agree.

I am quite out of sympathy with Tarr's deeply pessimistic and anarchic view of the world, specifically of post-Communist Hungary (which admittedly I do not know). But I can forgive him all that, because of the mesmerisingly stunning black-and-white compositions, ultra-slow zooms and pans, eerily ominous music, and starkly beautiful lighting effects which he achieves in his extraordinar(il)y long takes.

You will either love or hate Tarr's films. Just watch the first few minutes (invariably a single take) of any of them and you will know which camp you are in. Of the 3 others available on DVD in the UK, Werckmeister Harmonies begins with a group of drunken people in a bar acting out the sun, moon, and Earth in their revolutions and orbits; Damnation with huge coal-buckets clanking along high wires like cable-cars; and The Man From London with the bow of a ship moving excruciatingly slowly. The opening shot of Satantango stretches patience to the limit; in an 8-minute prelude we watch a herd of cows slowly amble their way out of a shed and across muddy ground, behind some shabby buildings, and into a field. Each film is imbued with a sense of menace and foreboding, of some undefined apocalyptic threat.

The situation of Satantango is as follows. Two members of a farm collective are planning to run off with the money.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have just finished watching this film. I have had this film for months and was waiting for the right moment to start watching it. And this is important because you really have to be in the mood for watching a film that won't be easy to watch if you do not give it your all. The film is long, really long and I knew that I won't be able to watch it one go so I decided to watch it in three days (since it came in three DVDs). Why is the rush, after all? I found it really useful to watch the film in three settings and gave me time to reflect and let all the scenes I have watched sink in.

If you decide to watch this film, then you have to be patient otherwise you might give up on it. I am not saying that you have to be patient because the film will torture you or anything. On the contrary, it's a great film and different. Yes, it's different from all the films I watched before and I liked that. at least you get to watch something new and original.The cinematography is just superb.It's actually one reason why I had to finish the film. It's magical and surrealistic. You immediately feel that the camera is in the hands of a genius.

The direction the sequence of events are also beautifully composed. The cast are excellent. They acted with extraordinary naturality and spontaneity. Their faces! O the pain and suffering. You feel that every face has its own story to tell. A story that's buried somewhere in their eyes or the deep wrinkles on their faces. I will particularly remember the face of Futaki!

I have also to give credits to the soundtrack composer, Mihály Vig. This man is a master. Listening to the music was a joy. You will love the music.

Not everybody will enjoy this film because it's not every body.
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Format: DVD
A collective farm in disarray. A messianic agitator. And lots of mud & rain. Yes, it's the infamous 7 hour movie, all in Bela Tarr's trademark style: arty black & white cinematography, long slow takes, tracking shots & zooms. The style recalls Tarkovsky but the sensibility is completely different - relentlessly downbeat, squalid & cynical, a bit like Aki Kaurismaki without the jokes. So you get a doctor drinking himself to death, a cat being tortured & a suicidal little girl taking rat poison - all depicted in slow real time takes. It's uncomfortable viewing not because it's boring but because it gets almost too intense.

This is definitely film making of the highest order with stunning images & a very clever interlocking narrative structure, but I found Satantango harder going than his earlier film Damnation. That film had a more focused setting, plot & characterisation whereas Satantango is rather weighed down with enigmatic surrealism & allegorical overtones. I hesitate to recommend Satantango - various criticisms could be levelled at the film & it is certainly not for the uninitiated, but if you know Bela Tarr's work (particularly if you enjoyed Werckmeister Harmonies) or have an interest in good old European art house cinema then you should get this DVD - it's a unique film for sure.

(Nice to see some of the other Amazon reviews here are complaining that the film is too short!)
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I once went on a search for the longest film ever released and i stumbled upon this. At 7.5hours long it fitted the bill it's also black and white and in Hungarian.

So i bought it purely because it was 7.5hrs long, b&w and Hungarian. I just wanted to see if i could, i had no idea what the film was going to be like.

Once it arrived i waited until the mood was right to sit/lay down and watch as much as i could in one sitting. I was half expecting it to be some philosophical arty bull**** of a film, however, the film just sucked me in from the moment it started.

The imagery, characters and long shots are unlike anything else i've seen on film before. In short the film is stunning, it's not complicated, difficult to follow or arty farty film art house stuff. I watch at least once year during the winter when i have a cold or cant be bothered to get out of bed.

I'm proud to have this in my collection, It's a film that Hollywood cannot touch, it can never be remade into a 1.5hr abortion starring Nicolas Cage or some other so called 'actor'.

Satantango is one film that truly deserves the hype.
The funny thing is the dvd cover isn't plastered with "masterpiece" or "stunning" or other choice picked words from reviews that you've never read. Just as the Bible isn't plastered with "great read" or "epic life changing stories" or "based on a true events" all over it's cover nor should this be.

If you've read it this far then thanks for reading.
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