Becoming Béla Tarr’s Bêtes, or How to Stop Being Afraid of Ceasing to Be a Human Being

James Martell


Against our common rush to understand the world in our own, human terms, Béla Tarr’s films give us the opportunity to come in touch with our own stupidity, and through it, with our madness and the becomings it opens up. This essay looks at the current state of the world (disdainful gesture, disgustedly) and with Tarrian eyes, tries to question our speeds, and to see the bottomless abyss that Nietzsche, Deleuze, and others proposed to us as our only living escape.

Keywords: Stupidity; Thinking; Slowness; Affect; Space; Béla Tarr

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Texts Cited:

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Films Cited:

Damnation. Dir. Béla Tarr. Hungarian Film Institute, 1988. DVD.

Sátántangó. Dir. Béla Tarr. Mozgókép Innovációs Társulás és Alapítvány, 1994. DVD.

The Turin Horse. Dir. Béla Tarr. TT Filmmûhely, 2011. DVD.

Werckmeister Harmonies. Dir. Béla Tarr. 13 Productions, 2001. DVD.


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