Tarr Béla: I Used to Be a Filmmaker
The celebrated Hungarian film director (Sátántangó, Werckmeister Harmonies, The Turin Horse) recently announced that he is retiring from active filmmaking to run a film academy in the Balkans. The many fans of his unique brand of existentialist questioning are bound to be disappointed that – unless he can be persuaded to change his mind – there will be no more additions to the oeuvre. Meanwhile, however, we can count ourselves lucky to see the director in action - on the set of his most recent film The Turin Horse (2010) - in a new documentary that patiently explores Tarr’s working methods, simultaneously engaging him (he is famously reticent) about his wider philosophical convictions. Tarr is wellknown for the elaborate complexity of his travelling shots. Lamoure’s documentary shows examples of these arduous sequences being set up, with all the additional behindthescenes activity (intricate crane manoeuvres, portable windmachines, clever lighting rigs) that are required to give the sequences in question “authenticity”. A fascinating insight, then into the mechanics of film illusion. But probably the main pleasure of the documentary comes from listening to Tarr himself as he goes about his business, accompanied by his cowriter and longterm companion Ágnes Hranitsky. Patently, he inspires great loyalty among his crew. He is not afraid to play the patriarch. “[Filmmaking] is quite a feudal system because someone has to decide where to put the camera. Democracy does not belong to the world of art. There is no democracy in art, any more than there is in life,” he says, with a smile on his lips.
In his films, French director Jean-Marc Lamoure deals with visual anthropology. Around the same time he was working on his first documentary, Chaalo, les voix du deuil (2004), he directed Farenji and collaborated on various other directors’ film projects. In 2010, together with Pilar Arcila, he founded the production company Ab Joy Productions in Marseille. He also works as a set designer for various music, dance and theatre productions and offers workshops for filmmakers.