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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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(p.1) Introduction
The Cinema of Béla Tarr

András Bálint Kovács

Columbia University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the style and oeuvre of Hungary's most prominent and internationally best-known film director, Béla Tarr. Tarr follows a very particular method in developing his works, dubbed as the permutation principle. This principle concerns not only the stylistic level, but also higher narrative and thematic levels. Once he found the successful ingredients and their combinations, he continued developing this style in various radical ways until he arrived at a point where only two possibilities seemed viable: returning to a more classical formal system, or abandoning his formal and thematic world altogether. He chose the second way, but made this choice in a radical manner, by announcing his potential withdrawal from filmmaking. Tarr's films include Damnation (1987), Satantango (1994), and Werckmeister Harmonies (2000).

Keywords:   Béla Tarr, Hungarian film directors, filmmakers, permutation principle, filmmaking

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