I am snob. I can be as pedantic and didactic as the most frustrating cineaste you can find on the Internet. But I’m also a reality check and I’ll tell it like it is: there are a lot of neat things happening Satantango, but those that call it a next step in cinema are fooling themselves.
I’m glad I saw the 7 hr and 15 minute movie. But I think Tarr’s done better work. And there are better films about post-Communist countries/communities tearing themselves apart. And better films of drunken Eastern Europeans acting nuts. And better movies about people watching things, or parallel action POV sequences (none top Gus Van Sant’s Elephant.)
I’ve just given you a golden opportunity to say, “but where’s the movie that does ALL of this!!?” And of course, the answer is Satantango, which is why I rate this slow-as-molasses endurance run as high as a B-.
Okay, send the flames my way. Would you rather I just lied and repeated the word “masterpiece” like everyone else?
(Lastly, I’ve seen 3 other Tarr films and, by and large, love the filmmaker who inevitably comes up when discussing him, Andrei Tarkovsky.)