The Man from London
(A Londoni férfi) Director: Béla Tarr, H - D - F, 2007, French and English version / Czech subtitles, 135 min
Maloin works as a night watchman at a port where the rhythm of his day-to-day work is upset by a crime to which he becomes an unwitting accessory. Though the stereotype of his resigned existence remains unchanged, the man’s life is beset by gnawing existential questions. Is his daughter’s toiling worth it when she can afford to wear a fur collar? Does silence indeed always mean tacit consent? Tarr’s film shows that a genre base can also cultivate a spiritual experience, and that even spiritual absorption allows for suspense. The viewer is encouraged to accept the film’s unconventional concept of time, which ranks it amongst works by Andrey Tarkovsky or films such as David Cronenberg’s Spider. Tarr devotes a comparable amount of time to shots of both faces and objects, and the circumspection with which the characters behave reflects the burden of their chosen destiny. László Krasznahorkai, the author of the novel and screenplay for the adaptation of Satan’s Tango, also contributed to the screenplay for this production.