Friday, April 4, 2008


I've recently seen a film by director Bela Tarr--Damnation. While I appreciated the film's decadant cynicism, and its sense of defeated existentialism, the thing I found most remarkable was a camera technique Tarr uses in virtually every scene of the film. It seems that always, when two figures are framed in a dramatic scene, Tarr pulls the camera back to pan across their surroundings. This forces the viewer to always regard the characters and their dilemmas in a larger, social dimension. No act, it seems, can be seen outside of its historical context (for Tarr here it's Hungarian society collapsing under the weight of Soviet occupation) It's a simple yet elegant technique--one I'll take with me.

A good introduction to Tarr's major films can be found here.

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