The Man from London (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

The Man from London 2007

A Londoni férfi

Directed by Béla Tarr

Cult director Béla Tarr's bizarre, ominous adaptation of a Simenon detective novel unfolds in amazingly choreographed mobile camera sequences. "Mesmeric." — The Guardian

France / Germany / Hungary In English and French with English subtitles
135 minutes 35mm / B&W

Director

Co-director, Editor

Ágnes Hranitzky

Screenplay

László Krasznahorkai
,
Béla Tarr. Based on the novel by Georges Simenon

Photography

Fred Kelemen

Music

Mihály Víg

With

Miroslav Krobot
,
Tilda Swinton
,
Erika Bók
,
János Derzsi
,
Ági Szirtes
,
István Lénárt

Festivals

Cannes (In Competition), Toronto, New York, Vancouver 2007

Elsewhere

A new film from Béla Tarr (Satantango, Werckmeister Harmonies), Hungarian master of the slow-burning sequence shot, is always an event. The Man from London, shot in photogenically ramshackle Corsica, is adapted from a Georges Simenon novel, so it's nominally a detective film. But although it contains some astonishing film noir photography, Tarr's magisterial long-take style transcended genre long ago. The story, involving a port signalman who witnesses a murder and makes off with the loot, unfolds obliquely through a series of precisely crafted mobile shots that follow ordinary actions at length, while more substantial plot developments may be happening off-screen or deep in the background. It's an atypical way of telling a story, but absolutely compelling if you surrender to the stunning photography, hypnotic camera movement and the mournful score that emerges from and recedes into the ambient drone of the port town. — AL