Three hours into watching Sátántangó, I really don’t have anything all that observant to say about it, confused as to whether the story-line is being told from a linear perspective or if it keeps transitioning between flashbacks. I must also say that I get a feeling that the story-line is somehow derivative of Dostoevsky’s Demons, but that’s merely pseudo-intellectual conjecture from me, only halfway through this movie; by observing what first appears to be the characterization of villainous, duplicitous personalities.

Directed by Béla Tarr

Duration is key here and so is pacing. Fifty minutes of this film goes faster than twenty minutes do of those harboring a shorter duration. I’m unsure as to why and maybe that’s the reason; prolonged ambiguity and the promise of something special should you make it to the conclusion. I only say this through reading a comment somewhere that An Elephant Sitting Still (2018) was a modernized Sátántangó – and given the correlation between the opening scenes, it’s clear to whom Hu Bo was paying homage.

Screenplay by Béla Tarr and László Krasznahorkai

Maybe that’s the problem with cinema today and the reason why television shows are becoming all the more prevalent in terms of video presentations – people are so quick to dismiss a movie for being four hours long, let alone seven; yet they’ll happily go home, and binge-watch a season of Californication. Anyhow, I don’t intend to analyze this with great scrutiny, as I’m sure many reviewers already hold this in the same regard as whoever the fuck enjoys Ulysses. This film is literally seven hours long, but it is presented in an episodic format.

The dangers of charisma and faith in what appears to be righteous amongst those deprived of anything close to a humane existence are well-presented and left open to interpretation or opinion.

Prior to this film, I was incredibly on edge for reasons I won’t delve too far into, but watching the dilapidated, morbid settings and intense character conversations actually made me feel a hell of a lot better, unlike now, with my chest caving in out of simple aversion towards Microsoft Word. That’s how bad it’s become, as meticulous as I attempt to be in editing…

Produced by György Fehér, Joachim von Vietinghoff and Ruth Waldburger.

And that’s why I’m making note of all that I auto-didactically study here for the sheer fun of it, just to see if by some means I can find writing to be a rewarding process again and maybe continue climbing the mountain. Enough about me – let the remaining three hours commence.

Within five minutes of returning to this (after a habitual nap) I wonder why I’ve somehow been confronted with a child tyrannically abusing a cat. Good fucking morning, Oldes. I love cats and even mine has climbed on top of the TV mantle during this scene. For real. I’ve never seen ‘it’ so engaged in a movie. I’d get a picture, but I value her OPSEC. I’m typing to distract myself from this scene, it appears.

I had to take a picture. They say the psychotic drowns in the waters that the mystic swims with delight, but I’m definitely doggy paddling. My cat never actively obstructs the television. I don’t want to play this game anymore.

I first thought this to be a comparative observation of the origin of murderously psychopathic traits; through the child watching how men treat women or prostitutes within this time and jurisdiction… and then things became seven-fold more depressing and self-aware. Goddamn.

Falling into asymptomatic stasis at the end of part two, or the ‘tango’ act so to speak, I can only articulate my own observations about it being a demonstration of just how ugly alcoholism and what constitutes entertainment to uncultured adults is, interweaving the worth of integrity versus financial affluence in the maintaining of a relationship…and the depressive acceptance of one character who physically keeps a level head.

Maybe I make no sense, I’d rather it be this way than regurgitate statements of fact, whilst other characters regurgitate their drinks. There’s so much at work here, yet so little, all at the same time. The rarity of the narrative poetry only adds to a feeling of spectral power emanating from this film, but I’m getting pretentious.

These elongated scenes absent of dialogue, taken in one shot seriously seem to be inspired by the likes of Tarkovsky.

Overall, Sátántangó delves (in my eyes, I’m not exactly educated about Marxism) into the origins of communism on the level of a microcosm and the result of it, perhaps not in such an order. It captures how every individual isn’t thought of with compassion as far as the higher powers that be are and most definitely sends a warning of both the dangers and virtues of charisma and supposed righteousness; however, the way in which a supposed greater good is to be accomplished is counterintuitive and shows how a communist regime is not that all-inclusive.

Much like a Dostoevsky novel, I feel like this film requires multiple viewings to understand the ironies and nuances at play.

Forgive me, I’m not all that politically educated, and with thirty minutes to go after having to take many naps, prior to refreshing my Remeron cache, my writing definitely isn’t up to the standard I’d like. This film has way too many virtues and I’m unable to compress them into my typical syntax, nor do I want to.

There’s definitely a breaking of the fourth wall here and I’m inclined to agree, but going with the premise of the blog, I like to write in pure ignorance and give more of a reaction than I do a review.

The saying that ‘the road to hell is paved with bad intentions’ comes to mind and I’ll return upon reaching its conclusion. The frequency and insignificance of the events this film homes in upon with a magnifying glass are also made poetically clear and Sátántangó is at heart a very sensitive film, giving virtue to even the most decrepit and immoral of human existences as if to remind all that personality traits are a matter of cause and effect – and that everyone at heart wishes to be a good person; while in reality, self-interest seemingly most often prevails. The lack of sensitivity in whatever climate this film presents in regard to the disabled is also very jarring.

The setting juxtaposes class divides very well and the prolonged nature of takes like this is likely intentional, hoping for the audience to come to such a deduction.

Juxtaposed to one another are an elderly, alcoholic writer who is wise and pessimistic, whilst another remains naïve and intellectual, with the latter being one who is evidently incapable of empathizing with what is to come upon him losing the structural augmentation of what makes him a functional human being.

The way in which people are effectively insignificant statistics in the eyes of those with governmental power is driven home (or away from home) ruthlessly.

Everything is alluded to and there isn’t as much explosive action as many would likely wish for, but this film is far too much for me to analyze any further. It puts the powers of divinity to work against the prevalence of those of functional constitution and I’m honestly too bewildered to write anything else. I must read up on this film, it seems. If my writing makes little sense to you, it’s probably an illustration of just how far-reaching and ridiculously insightful this poetical onslaught is.

The power of the written word, originating from various elements and arguments is emphasized greatly in this movie, on a more positive note.

This is as dark as I’ll be going for a while and good luck if you ever choose to watch it, but I doubt all that many of you will. Every element of the production and casting is to a high standard, but my poor confused mind can’t muster anything else all that substantive to write about, I am exhausted. There are levels to this one, levels beyond even me.

Thanks for reading this one, if you got this far. I imagine this is one of the most complicated, convoluted posts I’ll be making on here and that’s how it had to be as far as Sátántangó is concerned in terms of correlational reactions. There’s a reason I didn’t post yesterday, don’t be expecting any more seven-hour epics any time soon. I can’t even recollect how many naps were necessary while watching and composing this post.