I See a Darkness: Béla Tarr & György Fehér
Screening Dates
  • July 21, 2023 6:30
  • July 24, 2023 8:30
  • July 29, 2023 6:30
New Restoration

Those initial cultish whispers about a Hungarian hidden relic can finally become shouts of Hosanna as Fehér’s masterpiece rises from the dead.”

Z. W. Lewis, The Film Stage

Inexplicably relegated to obscurity following its Locarno debut (where it scored a cinematography award), the first of just two features by György Fehér, better known as a collaborator of Béla Tarr, is finally getting its due as an unsung masterwork of Hungarian cinema. Based on Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s crime novella The Pledge (also the basis for Sean Penn’s eponymous 2001 film), Twilight follows an end-of-career detective in his obsessive pursuit of a child killer, eerily dubbed the giant” by village children. The crepuscular film, rendered with glacial camera moves in ghostly black-and-white, closely resembles the saturnine works of doom-and-gloom high priest Tarr—little wonder, Miklós Gurbán (Werckmeister Harmonies) shot the film while Tarr serves as consultant. Thick with atmosphere and affectless, almost somnambulistic performances (Herzog’s Heart of Glass is also a touchstone, not least because the films share a Popol Vuh soundtrack), Fehér’s chilling policier is less a serial-killer whodunnit than a slow-motion tour of a purgatorial nightmare.

In Hungarian with English subtitles

“[Its] style is so minimalist, it approaches maximalism … [The] combination of pulp and precision creates an arresting and unique work of film noir.”

Teo Bugbee, The New York Times

A procedural with little procedure and, by design, no satisfying answers. The mood it builds is soul-shaking.”

Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter