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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 in Evolution

The Tarr Style in Evolution

(p.72) Chapter Four The Tarr Style in Evolution
The Cinema of Béla Tarr

András Bálint Kovács

Columbia University Press

In the films subsequent to Damnation (1987) the basics of the Tarr style do not change, but a certain evolution can be detected in several details. This chapter discusses this evolutionary process. The constants in his films are rather obvious: all are black and white; the average shot length (ASL) does not go under two minutes, but in two cases it increases by 84 per cent as compared to Damnation; the environment is characterized always by some combination of desolation and poverty; a film noir visual style dominates; and all the stories continue to be based on the situation of entrapment, but from Damnation on these stories strictly and consistently adhere to a circular structure and are detached from all historical and geographical concreteness. However, there is also an increasing degree of emotional expressivity in Tarr's films. He seems to seek an ever more powerful way to express a feeling of general desperation over the impossibility of changing the situation of human helplessness.

Keywords:   filmmaking, emotional expressivity, camera movement, human helplessness, Béla Tarr, Hungarian film directors, filmmakers

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