Sátántangó (Satan's Tango) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sátántangó (Satan's Tango) Reviews

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August 7, 2013
It`s the end of our world,more elaborated than The Turin horse,but with the same certainty.Obviously, that`s why he has said that he will not make any other film.Though their styles are different, I find many similarities with Haneke, especially the seventh continent.Combining all these with the economic crisis, I feel sad for the future of Europe
½ April 30, 2013
I'll be honest, I didn't watch all 7 hours. I watched the first 3 1/2. I can't imagine sitting down for all 7 hours of this film. I appreciate Bela Tarr's masterful camera work which, in regards to angles and lighting, primarily sets the tone. And I appreciate the secondary causes of the tone, which are Tarr's poetic and cryptic dialogue as well as the idiosyncratic though convincing performances by the actors. Still, my patience was tried and I couldn't continue on for 4 more hours of interminable long takes and ambiguous weeping.
April 12, 2013
life is beautiful and grotesque by turns
13 4 2013
April 3, 2013
Can't wait to watch it now that I've got my hands on the
DVD all the way from Budapest!
½ March 7, 2013
I was surprised how enjoyable a watch this was. It is very slow, very tedious, and very long. But somehow Tarr immerses the viewer in a world of the poor and struggling and shady dealings that can be captivating and at times quite funny.
November 15, 2012
One of the greatest experiences I ever had in Cinema. Watching the 7-hour long silent epic Satantango kind of changed my opinion about cinema. Tarr has set an example of how powerful and limitless cinema can be and is....
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2012
yes it's worth seven hours of your life
September 7, 2012
Cinematic miracle of the 90's.A true masterpiece
August 29, 2012
You may balk at the length of this film, and I cannot blame you. I put off seeing this for years under the excuse that I really didn't have seven hours to watch a film in. Three hours, no problem. Four hours, meh, okay. Five hours, only if I'm really pushing it. But seven whole hours? An entire day dedicated to the lives of Hungarian farmers?
But this film understands the commitment we make to it. To call it an epic, is, I feel, inaccurate. The Birth of a Nation is an epic. Barry Lyndon is an epic. Those films take place over years and chronicle countless meaningful events in the lives of their main character(s). Satantango takes place, for the most part, over two days in the lives of these farmers. And because it's seven hours long and the lives of these people are about as interesting as our own (well, seriously) the attention to detail is immaculate. There are approximately eight characters, so we get a chance to know them and their lifestyle perfectly over the course of the movie.
And the reason for this is the same reason it's not an epic; we see meaningful events in their lives, but we also see meaningless events. Right near the start of the film we watch a woman go to the bathroom in a pan, in stark contrast to the beautiful shot of cattle that occupied the first eight minutes of the movie.
The only explanation that can be made is that Tarr wants us to actually be a part of the lives of these people, through their distresses and happiness and above all, their tedium. The reason approximately three hours of the film is dedicated to utter nothingness is that can you, seriously, say that you spend more than half your life actively doing something? Really?
It's a punishing work, to be sure. These are miserable, downtrodden people, and we have shared close quarters with them for seven hours. But their misfortunes are truly tangible, because their misfortunes belong to people who use the bathroom and drink and dance and walk and dream and yell and sigh and mutter and grumble and think and LIVE. Life is Satan's Tango, six steps forward, six steps back, and all we can do is occasionally take the time to think about it. I think that, for true contemplation of life and meaning, seven hours isn't too much to ask.
August 1, 2012
One of the greatest films ever made.
June 30, 2012
An epic of the truest sense: it is obsessively and meticulously crafted by a madman; its length, and pace, makes it unforgettable to some, unbearable to most; the subject matter is deafeningly political, grotesquely gorgeous, and darkly hilarious; and, of course, it is indescribably brilliant in every conceivable regard.
½ June 16, 2012
It took me longer than planned, but I finally finished watching Bela Tarr's seven hours and fifteen minute long "Satantango." Safe to say I have never felt more detached to the characters of a film. Another confession would be of "Satantango" coming to the mind whenever I will hear the word "pretentious." I certainly am very sure of my opinion, because like Kieslowski's ten hour long "Dekalog," my viewing presided more than three days. So much time was wasted with developing mindless and lengthy shots; scenes where two characters are sitting in a hospital bench, a young girl walking in front of the camera, a man walking in the rain, etc.; I saw absolutely zero significance in several of these sequences involving dull every day activities. There is a scene involving the torture of a cat that really bothered me, I guess you can say it was one of the maybe three sequences I had feelings for. "Satantango" is dead. I do not see "life" in the characters, the writing, or the cinematography. Sure there are some beautiful shots, but as the film goes on, I start to find it fake. As an example: A Godard, Tarkovsky, or a Bergman film will have sequences where it will be difficult to comprehend what's going on, but still I would have a general idea, I am still able to absorb a lot of the visuals and dialogues to try to capture what the director is trying to say. In Tarr's venture, the language might be dense, philosophical, or poetic; however I simply could not understand what the characters were talking about. It felt meaningless to me, really. Tarr uses one phony trick of creating a scene and then showing the same scene from a different point of view, while yielding a bit more scope. Like my experience with the script, I also did not appreciate any of the performances, they were as cold as you can get. I was unable to see any feeling or emotion in the eyes of the actors, underneath their mysterious appearance and/or actions. "Satantango" is the perfect representation of a director's failure to illustrate his ideas; it consist an ugly world and its people are even more hideous. My next and maybe last film of Tarr will be "Werckmeister Harmonies," which I have heard good things about. Hopefully it doesn't disappoint.
P.S. I don't see any similarities with Bela Tarr and Andrei Tarkovsky as I have read.
½ March 21, 2012
It has been said that if the viewer is to watch this film in one sitting, the impact that the story has created will be so much more powerful. To watch the entire 7 hour film separated in parts will not be any more of an impact than sitting through Requiem for a Dream, and shutting it off at the halfway mark. I am one of the lucky few to have sat down and enjoyed Bela Tarr's masterpiece for a full seven and a half hours (of course with a few short breaks in between). If there is one thing that will throw people off from this movie, it is its running time. For most audiences, it will be an ordeal to sit through. If the mainstream audience was ever to watch such a beautiful film in one sitting, they might go mad thanks to the director's pace, narrative, and impeccable use of tracking shots and slow movements with the camera. Yet what separates Satantango from other masterworks that are just as long, is that the story actually works with the running time. Films like "Taiga" by Ulrike Ottinger (8 hours), "La Commune" by Peter Watkins (5 hours) or even mainstream classics like "Gone With The Wind" (3 hours) and Ben-Hur (3 hours); they would got caught up in the moment and never sustained a true narrative for portraying a story with such a long running time. But Satantango is one of the most impressive films I have ever seen, for that specific reason. Not only does it keep a close eye on its narrative structure, but even as it is cinematically and dialogue driven, it will keep the viewer entertained with its beautiful tracking shots, and stretched screenplay.

Its story is fairly simple, and it doesn't provide us with a huge array of plot twists or big climactic moments. In fact, the film is rather anti-climactic according to most audience's descriptions. To truly appreciate this film will be a difficult task for many viewers, especially the mainstream audience. The main flaw that most viewers will notice right away is that it could be considered fairly tedious, and almost pretentious. The film is mostly focused on picking up the little details by keeping the scene the same for a long amount of time. Sometimes the camera does not move for at least 10 minutes, and the scene does not change for at least 30. Other times, the camera will use its tracking shots and capture the image as it slowly moves several inches over the course of a few minutes. A lot of the film also takes place while the character is walking along a long road/trail. Showing the protagonist's whole journey as the camera stays still, and the character gets closer and closer towards the screen. Its true flaw for that reason, is that it makes up so much time while that is shown. Yet it would only be considered a flaw for those types of viewers. What I saw, was the directors vision being portrayed flawlessly. In around 7 hours, I was able to pick up so much of the plot and little details than I normally would in any other situation. The short stories were more powerful for the strangest reasons. As I was able to picture the environment better, the characters were also able to shine through. Most everyone in the film had a moment to shine, and the tracking shots really gathered their full potential. As most cast members were shown as close to the camera as possible, the dramatic effect could play out very well. The performances set the mood much more than the direction, and it played out which way the story was going. Sometimes the film was entirely dramatic, other times it was disturbing to watch, and every once in a while the black comedy showed through and it was funny as hell. A film with so many genres packed into one, it is hard to decide what it was that you had experienced.

It will be a long time before I even think about watching this again. As much as I enjoyed myself, sitting in my room for seven and a half hours curled under my blankets, and staring at a screen is not my ideal vision of film-viewing. But overall, I was thoroughly impressed. I don't think I have been so impressed with a film since I watched "Les Enfants Du Paradis" or even "Belle De Jour". The film making it top notch. The cinematography never picks a bad sight, and the stories are especially fascinating when they are scrambled together through a chronologically mixed plot that overlooks a few of the previous scenarios through a different point of view. You will never get through 7 hours of video this fast. This is an innovative, imaginative, cinematically beautiful, and overall powerful piece of cinema. How can one do justice to such an epic. As a black comedy that can only be hailed as one of a kind, or as an imagery driven piece of powerful fiction. There's no way to tell, but there will never be any need to. What we are given is a typical film that is able to make use of the art it is qualified as with simple techniques, and moralizing short stories. But is it a good film? Of course... it may be one of the most exhilarating, and cinematically beautiful films I have ever seen. The art-house genre would be proud of such an experimental masterpiece. But for the viewers that are wishing for a more, fast paced and dramatic turn of events, this subtle piece will not be one for you. Fans of the art-house will approve rapidly. But the mainstream won't appreciate what it's trying to achieve.
March 3, 2012
postsinema hacım ;)
February 9, 2012
Hands down, one of the greatest films ever made. One of the few films that actually justify Cinema as an art-form.
However, it is recommended almost exclusively to either people who are catatonic, people who are studying\interested in Black Holes and perhaps to the few who are willing to dive into existential abysses.
January 23, 2012
A masterpiece of movie making.
October 18, 2011
A true movie masterpiece, at seven and half hours long you'll need a whole weekend to digest but well worth it!
October 2, 2011
Tied for my favorite movie of all time. If you are going to watch this then you MUST watch it in one sitting. If you don't then you will lose much of the impact.
August 28, 2011
Sure, no ones seen it. I mean, a seven hour movie? In black and white? In another language? Slow as hell, and in real time? I think this will be forever a forgotten work of art; and I don't mind being the only person I know who would watch it, but seriously; it is one of the greatest films ever made (though I will refrain from using the word favorite, it comes pretty close to the top, if not on the top)
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