News A tango of desperation

Published: July 06, 2019| 10:30 AM

"I welcome all members of the audience with the courage to come to the cinema at 10 in the morning and leave at 6 in the evening" Aleš Stuchlý said in greeting to the film buffs who turned up on the last day of the festival to see Satantango, the seven-and-a-half hour long magnum opus by the spiritual cinema legend Béla Tarr. This film, one of the most crucial in the history of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, will be shown restored, digitalised and in 4K to mark the 25th anniversary of its première.

"The film is an allegory for the end of socialist society, but its scope is universal. Tarr says that even in the most oppressive of times, man can muster up something to cling to – and that the instant he starts to trust in it, desperation turns to hopelessness. The storyline, in which the narrative function is taken over by the way in which it is told, is simple: two false prophets rob an impoverished village in the vilest way – by offering them a better life," Aleš Stuchlý described the film, pointing out the ground-breaking use of extremely long black-and-white takes.

More than seven hours of rain, ruination and hopelessness in the Čas Cinema will be interrupted only by two 15-minute breaks, as per the timing planned by the director himself.

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