New Trailer for 4K Restoration of Béla Tarr's 1988 Film 'Damnation'

October 26, 2020
Source: YouTube

Damnation 4K Restoration Trailer

"I'd do the basest things to make you choose me." Arbelos Films has unveiled a brand new official trailer for a 4K restoration re-release of a film titled Damnation, originally called Kárhozat in Hungarian. A mid-career masterwork by legendary Hungarian art house auteur Béla Tarr and the first of his internationally acclaimed trilogy of films written in collaboration with author László Krasznahorkai (in addition to the film Sátántangó), Damnation chronicles the doomed affair between bar Titanik regular Karrer (Sátántangó’s Miklós B. Székely) and the cruel cabaret singer (Vali Kerekes) he pines for while scheming to displace her brutish husband (György Cserhalmi). Described as "a poignant Communism allegory that solidified Tarr's unique aesthetic, Damnation is photographed in an exquisitely black & white palette underscored by the mesmerizing long takes that would come to be his trademark." Tarr's Damnation has been restored in 4K from the original 35mm camera negative by the Hungarian National Film Institute – Film Archive under the supervision of Béla Tarr. It will begin showing at the end of October for anyone interested in watching.

Here's the new 4K restoration trailer for Béla Tarr's Damnation, direct from Arbelos' YouTube:

Damnation Poster

A key turning point in Béla Tarr’s career, the first of the director’s six collaborations with novelist László Krasznahorkai signaled a visible shift away from the verité realism of his early features and toward the highly stylized, black-and-white otherworldliness that would become his signature. The story is a kind of desiccated film noir, focusing on the efforts of a dour loner, Karrer (Miklós Székely B.), to steal back his estranged lover—a lounge singer (Vali Kerekes) in a funereal bar named Titanik—from her debt-addled husband. Karrer lures the husband into a smuggling scheme that will force him to leave town, but these well-laid plans soon go awry, and the characters play out their doomed destiny through enveloping layers of rain, shadow, and despair. Damnation is directed by acclaimed Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr, at the time it was his fifth feature film following Family Nest, The Outsider, The Prefab People, and Almanac of Fall previously. The screenplay is written by author László Krasznahorkai and Béla Tarr. The film originally premiered at the Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals in 1988, then opened in Hungary in late 1988 but never was released in the US. Arbelos Films will re-release Tarr's Damnation in 4K in select US theaters + "virtual cinemas" starting on October 30th this month. For more info on the re-release, visit their official website.

Find more posts: To Watch, Trailer



You don't get a more downtrodden looking film. Glad this masterpiece is being highlighted.

DAVIDPD on Oct 26, 2020


His films require patience (check The Turin Horse, for example). I saw few of them and it was always an interesting experience. But these are not for everyone. Not even close ... Haven't seen this one, but I won't mind when I get the chance ...

shiboleth on Oct 26, 2020


I saw The Turin Horse a couple of years ago, and you're right, it does require patience. (And the right mindset) But I was rewarded with a truly one of a kind film experience, so it was worth it.

Efterklang on Oct 27, 2020


He just makes different films in many aspects. And I'm preparing myself to see Satantango, one of his masterpieces (it lasts a little more than seven hours). And one other thing. He was supposed to run a film school here in Croatia (city of Split, on Adriatic coast) and was offering his connections which would help bring many known names from the film world in this area. Unfortunately, local bureaucrats (calling themselves art directors, university professors and what not) messed that up by denying him the verified documents and programs he needed to present them further. Simply said, they didn't control him and tried to bully him. It was a huge scandal in local media. But he goes on, of course, doing what many consider art ...

shiboleth on Oct 27, 2020


Well that situation sounds a bit fucked up. I remember reading about his film teachings when that chinese director, Hu Bo, tragically took his own life after finishing his only movie (An Elephant Sitting Still) a couple of years ago. He was a student of Tarr's if I recall correctly. I think he stopped making movies now, right? Focusing on teaching is not a bad thing I suppose. Maybe he can inspire and bring forth talented directors for the future. Satantango looks more interesting than Damnation if I'm being honest. But at that length I think I'd have to break it up into 3 parts/viewings, but that could work. Another film to add to my ever-growing watchlist..

Efterklang on Oct 28, 2020


Yeah, these little East European countries tend to be corrupt, so no surprises there. Although, that's not cool, to see it as a custom, almost a cultural norm since not everything here is bad... But never mind, what does matter is talk about the movies. I guess Tarr has his own creative rhythm which is probably the reason why he does films and sometimes why he doesn't. He obviously isn't dependent on big film industry so there's that too. There's still enough to see from him anyway. As for the teaching, I'm not sure, I just know that he was supposed to do something about it here, but, obviously, that didn't work. However, I wouldn't be surprised if he's doing it somewhere else (as far as I remember he was choosing some other option in that respect) which can be only good for every film maker. Yeah, Satantango might be a demanding in terms of viewing time, but I use my spare time, when everybody from my family leaves for summer vacation and I get few days off before I join them. I simply prepare food and drinking and everything just go smoothly with few films I want to see myself. This also might work for mentioned film by that tragic author, Ho Bo. I knew about this film that he made, but I wasn't aware that he killed himself afterwards. Very sad, indeed. However, I have to thank you for reminding me of it. I will try to find it and see it. Now more than before. And don't start me with 'ever-growing watchlist'. That just grows and grows... So, nice talking to you ...

shiboleth on Oct 28, 2020


Sounds like a plan. Yeah, I also kind of forgot about it until now. Will try to find it myself. You too man.

Efterklang on Oct 29, 2020

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