Slow Places in Béla Tarr’s Films explores Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr’s approach to creating geographies of indifference through slow cinema techniques. Through a close examination of Tarr’s filmography, Clara Orban observes that his interiors provide claustrophobic environments in which human relationships have difficult flourishing, while his exteriors become landscapes through which characters wander endlessly. Furthermore, Orban argues, Tarr’s sparse use of animals provides contrast to the humans who inhabit these spaces, as they, too, are indifferent to humans’ fates. Orban utilizes close readings of Tarr’s films—including his earlier short films—along with relevant poems, a thorough filmography, and an interview with Tarr about aspects of this book to aid in her analysis. Ultimately, this book offers an accessible but detailed look at the geographic locations and ecological implications of the entire compendium of Tarr’s productions.
Clara Orban is professor of French and Italian at DePaul University.
List of Illustrations
Chapter 1: Introduction. Tarr and the Anthropocene
Chapter 2: Slow Cinema, Tarr’s Places and Hungarian Cinema
Chapter 3: The Claustrophobic Indoors
Chapter 4: The Empty Outdoors
Chapter 5: Animals
Chapter 6: Short Films and Segments: Further Exploration
Chapter 7: Conclusion: Visions of Loneliness
Appendix A: Petőfi Poems
Appendix B: Transcript of Interview with Béla Tarr
About the Author
“Orban’s book on Tarr’s universe is a rare and important introduction and contribution to the scholarship on Tarr’s cinematic universe in English for scholars, students, and anyone interested in film in general.”