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Sátántangó  [DVD]
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!)
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't mind slow paced films, like those from Bilge Ceylan, but this was 7and a half hour too much. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dwarf Nebula
Simply one of the greatest films ever. I had to have a copy for my film library. One of those rare films that is more like being drawn into a state of mind than watching a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Thomas J.
I have watched a little bit of this film and I didn't know what to really expect at first. It is really slow going at first but you can get into itPublished 4 months ago by James
Long, but engaging, I love Tarr's atmosphere and style, well represented here.Published 7 months ago by K. Doyle
Absolutely enjoyed watching Satan tango. ..not for everyone and it's neither fast paced or gung ho.. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer