Béla Tarr’s Family Nest is perhaps best epitomized by an early carnival set piece in which the camera twirls round and round on a whirligig, accompanied by an upbeat and saccharine melody that suggests the Carpenters gone Hungarian, and climaxes with a smash cut to a character vomiting. This juxtaposition should be no surprise to those familiar with Tarr’s work; indeed, the scene seems a warm-up for an even more involved music-to-vomit sequence in his seven-and-a-half-hour masterpiece Sátántangó. In the latter film it’s a simultaneous joke and endurance test that adds to Sátántangó’s thematic brilliance, in the former it merely parallels the trying nature of sitting through Family Nest’s numerous faux-documentary squabbles. There’s a bracing sense of realism to the early scenes as the titular unit argue their way through dinner, the divide separating insult from compliment subsumed by consistently raised voices that cancel each other out and lead to misplaced aggressions. Eventually, though, Family Nest follows the plight of Irén (Lászlóné Horváth), the family’s frustrated, exiled daughter-in-law, as she searches the communist block for housing of her own, and the characters suddenly morph into unconvincing mouthpieces for a highly unsubtle political critique.
- 108 min
- Béla Tarr
- Béla Tarr
- Lászlóné Horváth, László Horváth, Gábor Kun, Gábor ifj. Kun, Gáborné Kun, Jánosné Szekeres, József Korn, Irén Rácz, Jánosné Oláh, Krisztina Horváth, dr. Adrienn Kádár
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: