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Béla Tarr to premiere new film Missing People at this summer’s Wiener Festwochen


- The legendary Hungarian filmmaker’s first movie since 2011’s The Turin Horse is a documentary portrait of modern Vienna, described as “a powerful plea for humanity”

Béla Tarr to premiere new film Missing People at this summer’s Wiener Festwochen
Director Béla Tarr

Proving once again that we should never take enigmatic auteurs at their word, Hungary’s Béla Tarr has come out of his official “retirement” from filmmaking to premiere a new documentary work, Missing People, at this summer’s Wiener Festwochen.

An official commission by the eminent multidisciplinary arts festival, Missing People will have public screenings between 12 and 16 June at the MuseumsQuartier, Vienna. The film appears to be a return to observational social-realist documentary, the style that Tarr mastered in his early filmmaking period. No information has been published on its running time, or indeed if it’s planned as a multi-screen installation, à la Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s own exclusive work for the festival, Fever Room, in 2016.

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The festival blurb explains: “Vienna is the city with the highest quality of living in the world… [But] many inhabitants do not fit into this picture and are hidden from sight owing to poverty and social hierarchies. Béla Tarr’s Missing People makes them visible again. Using just a few shots, the film shows these invisible people in the kind of place to which they would normally have no access.”

After funding troubles forced the shutdown of his innovative film school, the film.factory (located in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Tarr has gradually been reemerging as a working artist. He made a documentary short, Muhamed, as part of the multimedia installation Til The End of the World, curated by him for the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. At events for the anniversary of his classic seven-hour black comedy Sátántangó at the Berlinale this winter, he began to drop hints that he was working on further new material.

Following this, cineastes will be hoping for an official feature-length follow-up to The Turin Horse [+see also:
film review
interview: Béla Tarr
film profile
(2011); word will likely circulate as he speaks to the press over the festival.

Missing People is an Austrian production, commissioned and financed by the Wiener Festwochen.

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