[Screenshot]Oy. I have tried to give Béla Tarr a fair shake, and with the exception of a few beautifully cinematic scenes in Werckmeister Harmóniák, I’ve come up empty. It is possible the problem here is me, but his work feels awfully empty at the core, particularly when he’s trying for a cinéma vérité style, which he seems to interpret as an excuse to never have any sort of plot or character development.

The characters in Szabadgyalog are infuriatingly static and profoundly unlikable. It’s thus awfully hard to get even remotely invested in the story (such as it is). The cinematic style is muddy, and the subs occasionally mysterious in a poorly-translated way.; some of this may be the fault of the localizers, or of the state of Hungarian cinematic technology in the ’80s. Wherever the blame lies, this is a difficult film to become engaged in, and I’d rate it a failure, emotional-investment-wise.

See also: IMDB.


About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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