Kárhozat, (Damnation) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kárhozat, (Damnation) (1988)

Kárhozat, (Damnation)


No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr began his career making social realist domestic dramas, similar to the work of John Cassavettes. The feature before Damnation, Almanac of Fall, showed Tarr moving toward a more visually stylized form of filmmaking. With Damnation, the first of his collaborations with novelist Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Tarr adopts a formally rigorous style, featuring long takes and slow tracking shots of the bleak landscape that surrounds the characters. Shot in black-and-white, … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 25, 2006


as Willarsky

as Cloakroom Attendant

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Critic Reviews for Kárhozat, (Damnation)

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

It's a serotonin-depleted ordeal, and yet seemingly a sketchbook of vibes and ideas to come, with some of the most magnificent black-and-white images shot anywhere in the world.

Full Review… | October 5, 2007
Village Voice
Top Critic

If its grey aura of despair sometimes hangs a mite heavily, it's certainly worth persevering with for a pay-off that is as perverse as it is powerful.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The near miracle is that something so compulsively watchable can be made out of a setting and society that seem so depressive and petrified.

Full Review… | July 31, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A more awesomely bleak portrait of town life is hard to conceive.

Full Review… | March 4, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

Beginning with a long, slow tracking shot of a coal transport gondola being viewed by a man from his window, we immediately note a director in complete control. The scene is meticulously composed...

Full Review… | March 4, 2012
Reeling Reviews

nobody subjects humanity to doom-laden fatalism quite like Tarr, and Damnation is unmissable for fans of the auteur's oeuvre, or of mud-spattered miserabilism in general.

Full Review… | May 13, 2009
Eye for Film

Audience Reviews for Kárhozat, (Damnation)

In "Damnation," a singer(Vali Kerekes) closes the door literally and figuratively on her affair with Karrer(Miklos B. Szekely), choosing to stay with her family. So, Karrer becomes so depressed that he turns down an offer to travel to pick up a package, claiming he does not feel like going anywhere, despite quite possibly living in the infamous Armpit of the Universe. Instead, he proposes that the singer's husband Sebastyen(Gyorgy Cserhalmi) take the job for 20% which would clear up their debts.

With "Damnation," director Bela Tarr slows down the pace to create a sense that the characters are stuck in their predicaments without any hope of escape. This is especially true of Karrer who spends an awful lot of time looking at the aerial tram going past his windows. The only problem with this stylistic approach is that as often as it works(a slow pan around a bedroom), it just as much annoys. For example, no establishing shot should last a minute. And there are quite a few times when there is nothing of interest in the frame which leaves plenty of time for the viewer to get a drink, use the bathroom or work on the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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