feature, 35mm, 145 minutes, 1:1.66
PREMIER (HUNGARY): 2000.
This story takes place in a small town on the Hungarian Plain.
In a provincial town, which is surrounded with nothing else but frost.
It is bitterly cold weather � without snow.
It us twenty degrees below zero.
Even in this bewildered cold hundreds of people are standing around the circus tent, which is put up in the main square, to see � as the outcome of their wait � the chief attraction, the stuffed carcass of a real whale.
The people are coming from everywhere.
From the neighbouring settlings, from different holes of the Plain, even from quite far away parts of the country.
They are following this clumsy monster as a dumb, faceless, rag-wearing crowd.
This strange state of affairs � the appearance of the foreigners, the extreme frost � disturbs the order of the small town.
The human connections are overturning, the ambitious personages of the story feel they can take advantage of this situation, while the people who are condemned anyway to passivity fall into an even deeper uncertainty.
The tension growing to the unbearable is brought to explosion by the figure of the Prince, who is pretending facelessness and is lying low behind the whale. Even his mere appearance is enough to break loose the destroying emotions.
The apocalypse that sweeps away everything spares nothing. I does not spare the outsiders wrapped up in scientificness, does not spare the teenage enthusiasts, the people who have philistine fears for ease, the family � nothing that the European culture preserved as from of attitude in the last centuries.
The burst of instinctive rage helps the victory of the petty lust for power, that finally holds the rage down again, as the terrible end of an awful story, justifying the sarcastic game of nature � the whale and the cold without snow, which are unimaginable for Hungarian people.
Made from 1996 to 2000.
|Béla Tarr, László Krasznahorkai||Screenplay|
|Erwin Lanzensberger, Miklós Gurbán, Emil Novák, Patrick de Ranter, Jörg Widmer, Gábor Medvigy, Rob Tregenza||Director of photography|
|Franz Goëss, Miklós Szita, Paul Saadoun, Joachim Von Vietinghoff||Producer|
|13 Production / FR, Goëss Film (Budapest), Von Vietinghoff Filmproduktion / DE||Production company|
|János Derzsi, Tamás Wichmann, Hanna Schygulla, Peter Fitz, Lars Rudolph, Ferenc Kállai, Djoko Rosić||Cast|
|Brussels L’Age d’Or - 2000||Prix Cinédécouvertes|
|Sofia International Film Festival - 2001||FIPRESCI Prize|
|Berlin International Film Festival - Forum of New Cinema - 2001||Berliner Zeitung’s Reader’s Prize to the Best Film of Forum|
|Budapest Hungarian Film Week - 2001||Main Prize,|
|Sassari Sardinia Film Festival - 2017||Career Award|
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