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The Cinema of Béla TarrThe Circle Closes$
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András Bálint Kovács

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165310

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165310.001.0001

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The Tarr Style

The Tarr Style

(p.47) Chapter Three The Tarr Style
The Cinema of Béla Tarr

András Bálint Kovács

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the Tarr style of filmmaking, particularly his use of extremely long takes. It characterizes four types of use of long takes, most of them combined with long camera movements, which were the most influential in the cinema of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as in Tarr's work: (i) the process of de-dramatization; (ii) the choreography of continuous change; (iii) the immersion and psychological participation; and (iv) the distanced observation and self-conscious authorial presence. Tarr's long-take style has something of each of these effects. He mainly uses long takes to connect events, but because there is very little narrative content in most of them, he uses long takes alternatively to create the sensation of immersion or, on the contrary, to alienate the viewer through mechanistic movements or static compositions or by making the camera independent of the character's movement. The chapter discusses the Tarr style as it appears in Damnation (1987).

Keywords:   filmmaking style, long takes, camera movements, Béla Tarr, Hungarian film directors, filmmakers

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