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Tarr's most ambitious work is structured in 12 chapters - it's a b/w adaptation of László Krasznahorkai's novel - and the narrative movement follows the titular dance steps, moving back and forth around pivotal scenes, viewed from multiple perspectives. It opens with arguments and planned betrayals over the year's wages for a failing collective farm - with the tense interaction noted by an alcoholic doctor. It then shifts into a larger frame with the reappearance of a quasi-Messianic leader. Allegorical yet historically precise, it is an anti-authoritarian satire and metaphysical treatise. In addition, it might well be the great film of entropy. A soundscape of weary accordion and resounding bells balances the sacred and profane spheres. Formally in dynamic tension between the claustrophobic intimacy of Tarr's early influence, Cassavetes, and the rigorously choreographed grace of Tarkovsky and Jancsó, this startling, apocalyptic work is sometimes over-extended, but it builds to a powerful, rhythmic climax of breakdown and withdrawal.

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Cast and crew

Director: Béla Tarr
Screenwriter: László Krasznahorkai, Béla Tarr
Cast: Mihály Vig
Miklos B Szekely
Putyi Horvath
János Derzsi
Erika Bók
Erzsébet Gaal
László Lugossy
Eva Almássy Albert
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