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).
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