Directed by Bela Tarr
The Book states, "The subject of this brilliantly constructed narrative is nothing less than the world today, and its 431 minute running time is necessary not so much because Tarr has so much to say, but because he wants to say it right." If you were saying something right, I don't think it would take seven hours. Previously I wrote in my Hoop Dreams post that the filmmakers shot 250 hours of footage, but condensed into a three hour movie, presumably because they didn't want to alienate the audience. I guess Tarr doesn't share the same concerns.
Basically, the film takes place in a tiny, run down village in Hungary. The townsfolk learn that Irimias, a conniving man they previously believed had died, is returning. Hours would pass when nothing would happen. I was lulled into such a stupor that I might of missed it when the story actually did progress. I must confess I covered the screen during the cat torture scene. Really, the only way they could have made the experience more unpleasant is if they played a X-Ray Spex album in the background.
I want to observe the people who claim to love Satantango watch this film. I can't imagine anyone being entirely engrossed during the excruciating, hour long sequence where we watch an old man do old man things, like falling asleep. I will give Satantango's defenders the benefit of the doubt; I don't think they are simply being pretentious. I think they might just being forgetting how awful the actual viewing experience is.
Anyway, a film like this has no respect for the audience's time. Therefore, I have no respect for the film. Sorry if my crankiness sounds unwarranted, but I just finished this a few minutes ago. In time, I might claim to like it.
One of the takes lasts 10 minutes and 14 seconds.