Magazine article Screen International

Bela Tarr Interview: Why He Won't Return to Feature Filmmaking

Magazine article Screen International

Bela Tarr Interview: Why He Won't Return to Feature Filmmaking

Article excerpt

Bela Tarr has been at International Film Festival Rotterdam this week. On Thursday afternoon, the director of The Wreckmesiter Harmonies, Sátántangóand The Man From London gave a well-received masterclass at the festival. Afterwards, he spoke to Screen International.

Tarr may have directed two short films as part of his exhibition Till The End Of The World at the EYE Museum in Amsterdam but he has no intention of returning to feature filmmaking. His most likely future endeavours will be directing opera or theatre.

For the last four years, Tarr has been at the helm of the Sarajevo Film Academy, tutoring students from all corners of the world. "I was working with young people. I love them very much. They showed me movies I did not know. We showed them films they didn't know."

Tarr has now leftthe school, which was a faculty of a private university.

"I had to leave because they don't have money," he explains. "It was an expensive programme and it was impossible to do longer."

The Academy closed on 15th December. Tarr hopes he might be able to revive it somewhere else.

As for his own filmmaking career, Tarr re-iterated that it "was done, ready, packed. Take it or leave it."

He again expressed the feeling that he had reached the end of the line with his Silver Bear winning The Turin Horse (2011.) If he was to carry on, he would only risk repeating himself.

"I was developing my own language, my film language. I went deeper and deeper...with The Turin Horse, I arrived at the point where the work is complete, the language is done," Tarr said. "I don't want to use my film language for repeating something. I can't," he declared. "I don't want to be boring."

In the short term, Tarr needs a rest. The teaching exhausted him, he has a bad back and he has been working flat out on the EYE exhibition. After that, one project he is mulling is "a brand new Carmen, new music, new libretto, no Bizet any more...I need a composer and I need a theatre brave enough for this craziness."

Tarr remains as outspoken as ever about the Hungarian National Film Fund. Laszlo Nemes may have won an Oscar for Son Of Saul, backed by the Fund, and production levels may have shot up again but Tarr states categorically: "I am still against this system. …

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