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A key turning point in Béla Tarr’s career, the first of the director’s six collaborations with novelist László Krasznahorkai signaled a visible shift away from the verité realism of his early features and toward the highly stylized, black-and-white otherworldliness that would become his signature. The story is a kind of desiccated film noir, focusing on the efforts of a dour loner, Karrer (Miklós Székely B.), to steal back his estranged lover—a lounge singer (Vali Kerekes) in a funereal bar named Titanik—from her debt-addled husband. Karrer lures the husband into a smuggling scheme that will force him to leave town, but these well-laid plans soon go awry, and the characters play out their doomed destiny through enveloping layers of rain, shadow, and despair. An Arbelos Films release. New 4K restoration by the Hungarian National Film Institute – Film Archive.
Watch the NYFF58 Introduction and clip below.