Béla Tarr
Date of Birth
Jan 01, 1955

Biography

Born in 1955, Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr began making amateur films at the age of 16, later working as caretaker at a national House for Culture and Recreation. His amateur work brought him to the attention of the Bela Balazs Studios (named in honor of the Hungarian cinema theorist), which helped fund Tarr's 1979 feature debut Family Nest, a work of socialist realism clearly influenced by the work of John Cassavettes. The 1981 piece The Outsider and the following year's The Prefab People continued in much the same vein, but with a 1982 television adaptation of Macbeth, his work began to change dramatically; comprised of only two shots, the first shot (before the main title) was five minutes long, with the second 67 minutes in length. Not only did Tarr's visual sensibility move from raw close-ups to more abstract mediums and long shots, but also his philosophical sensibility shifted from grim realism to a more metaphysical outlook similar to that of Andrei Tarkovsky. After 1984's Almanac of Fall, Tarr (who had written his first four features alone) began collaborating with Hungarian novelist Laszlo Krasznahorkai for 1987's Damnation. A planned adaptation of Krasznahorkai's epic novel Satantango took over seven years to realize. The film, a 415-minute masterpiece, finally appeared to international acclaim in 1994. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

Provided by Rovi