A ponderous film which for all its moments of beauty and exceptional ugliness is still a trial to watch.
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.
The near miracle is that something so compulsively watchable can be made out of a setting and society that seem so depressive and petrified.
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.
In terms of creating a strong cinematic world, Tarr has few equals.
| Original Score: 3/4
Gloom was never photographed so smartly.
| Original Score: A+
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...
| Original Score: B+
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.
Intellectually provocative and ultimately profoundly affecting.
| Original Score: 4/5
Not cheery, perhaps, but a gorgeously shot and beautifully composed piece that is not as depressing as it might appear.
Tarr's uncompromisingly tragic view of the human condition is well supported by a rigorous formal approach, resulting in an austere work of art.
| Original Score: 4/4