Damnation

Damnation ★★★★½

Moving at the speed of a glacier, DAMNATION has this utterly weird and hypnotic quality to it that casts a thick spell. It made me feel as though I were floating through some Tarkovskian nightmare. I don't even care to dissect what this film is about, nor get remotely intellectual, but wow this thing made me FEEL all sorts of FEELS. It was like watching Hungarian Lynch at times, only less dream logic, more banal reality, and the trance-like feeling of being swept up in an apocalyptic deluge. I'm not sure I've seen ugliness captured so elegantly before. Tarr's black-and-white photography is oppressive yet arresting. 

The atmosphere is rich and muddy, sweeps you up in a sea of never-ending rain, trashy streets, feral dogs, and a wasteland of industrial decay. This is hell on earth. A ruthless place that cannot be enjoyed, cannot be discerned, where strangers quote sinister passages from the Bible, and where seeking out a lover is the only way to stave off the wilderness of loneliness. Is this Adam searching for Eve in the badlands of mortality? 

The opening shot belongs in a museum.

The sounds and imagery throughout are so devastating in their specificity. 

It's a film that feels like nothing is happening, but wait! Don't try to decipher too much. Allow its gloom and doom to percolate on every pore. There's something scary about watching this village knowing they’re already damned, and knowing that their existence will continue unchanged through an eternity of despair.


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