Budapest 2001

  • Ron Holloway


HUNGARIAN FILM WEEK BUDAPEST Awarded both the Main Prize of the Hungarian Jury and the Gene Moskowitz Critics Prize at the 32nd Hungarian Film Week (1-6 February 2001), Béla Tarr's Werckmeister Harmoniak (The Werckmeister Harmonies) crowned the Budapest festival with one of the finest European films produced in 2000. The two-and-a-half-hour screen adaptation of Laszlo Krasznahorkai's novel The Melancholy of Resistance (published in 1989) was four years in the making (1996-2000) and could be brought to completion only with coproduction assistance of visionary Berlin producer Joachim von Vietinghoff. And who else but Béla Tarr, Hungary's leading avant-garde filmmaker, would spend three years (1991-94) bringing another Krasznahorkai novel, Satantango (published in 1985), to the screen in an hypnotic seven-and-a-half-hour tour-de-force? Queried at Cannes 2000, where The Werckmeister Harmonies premiered at the Directors Fortnight, why his fascination for Laszlo Krasznahorkai's literary oeuvre, Béla Tarr simply answered: "We complement each other." Together...