Fiorella Moretti and Hedi Zardi’s Paris-based Luxbox has acquired international sales rights to the complete film catalogue of high-art Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr.
The deal takes in Tarr’s “Satan’s Tango,” acclaimed as a masterpiece, whose 25th anniversary will be marked at this year’s Berlinale Forum by a special screening of a remastered version on Feb. 16.
“Satan’s Tango” screened for the first time at Berlinale Forum in 1994, winning the Caligari Film Prize.
The Berlinale event “will be an ideal opportunity to honor the film that was chosen as one of the 50 greatest films of all time in a 2012 British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound poll,” Zardi said.
The seven-hour epic has been restored in 4K from the original 35mm camera negative by L.A. company Arbelos in collaboration with The Hungarian Filmlab.
“’Satan’s Tango’ is a magnum opus to end all magna opera, a dark, funny, apocalyptic allegory of the Hungarian psyche that stimulates, irritates, soothes and startles with blinding strokes of genius in equal turn,” film critic Derek Elley wrote in 1994 in a Variety review.
“For more than four decades, Tarr’s powerful and idiosyncratic cinematic voice has been deeply affecting the course of film history, and today we are excited to have yet another occasion to illuminate and celebrate his oeuvre,” Zardi said.
He added: “The Berlinale will also be a great start for the upcoming two years where we will have the pleasure of launching and rediscovering restored versions of all Bela Tarr’s films. It’s a new momentum for these essential films in our international cinematography.”
Tarr’s film career encompasses nine features to date, from 1977’s “Family Nest,” following a couple that is drifting apart, to “The Turin Horse,” a drama about a farmer forced to confront the mortality of his faithful horse, that won a Berlinale 2011 Silver Bear.
After announcing his retirement from directing in 2011, Tarr moved to Bosnia’s Sarajevo to set up the Film Factory, an international film school where he served as head of program and professor till 2016.
A visiting professor at several film academies, in 2017 Tarr developed at Amsterdam’s Eye Filmmuseum the work “Till the End of the World,” a cross between a film, a theatre set and an installation.