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The Man from London

  • Crime/detective
  • Drama
  • 2007
  • Bela Tarr
  • 139 mins
  • 12A

Summary

After witnessing a crime during his night shift as railway switchman near the docks, a man finds a briefcase full of money. While he and his family step up their living standards, others start looking for the disappeared case.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Acclaimed Hungarian auteur Bela Tarr is best known for slow-moving, allegorical epics such as 2000's Werckmeister Harmonies. And had anyone else made this adaptation of Georges Simenon's crime novel, it would probably have been hailed as an intriguing mystery and an impeccable exercise in cinematic artistry. But there's a vacuum at the centre of Tarr's slow-burning, existentialist noir where he would usually examine the characters' crippling ennui. World-weary railway signalman Maloin (Miroslav Krobot) witnesses a dockside murder, and decides to steal the large amount of money he recovers from the victim. This act should fire the imagination, especially as the crime plunges Maloin into the depths of an international police investigation. But both his dilemma and his strained relationships with wife Tilda Swinton and daughter Erika Bok are depicted with such detachment that it's easier to empathise with Agi Szirtes, the murderer's wife, than the anti-hero. Fred Keleman's inky monochrome photography is superb, but the action is often impenetrably impassive, making this tantalising but never compelling.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
MaloinMiroslav Krobot
Maloin's wifeTilda Swinton
HenrietteErika Bok
BrownJanos Derzsi
Mrs BrownAgi Szirtes
Inspector MorrisonIstvan Lenart

Crew

rolename
DirectorBela Tarr

Details

Theatrical distributor
Artificial Eye
Released on
2008-12-12
Languages
English | French | Hungarian
Formats
Black and white
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