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The Prefab People
The Prefab People
Actors: Judit Pogány, Róbert Koltai, Kyri Ambrus, Jánosné Bráda, János Fábián
Director: Bela Tarr
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     2005     1hr 42min

Shot in a gritty, documentary style, this is a relentlessly realistic portrait of a young working-class couple who suffer the everyday stresses of marriage. The film opens with a huge fight between husband and wife, and th...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Judit Pogány, Róbert Koltai, Kyri Ambrus, Jánosné Bráda, János Fábián
Director: Bela Tarr
Creators: Barna Mihók, Ferenc Pap, Bela Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Facets
Format: DVD - Black and White - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/28/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 42min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Hungarian
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Early Tarr Crystalizes a Theme
Eileen Corder | West Coast | 08/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Shot in glorious black and white, this little gem of a film is definitely on a par with Tarr's later work. Caught in a town filled with smokestacks and a maze of project-like housing, the dysfunctional marriage of a young working class couple becomes a metaphor for the problems of modern (1982) Hungarian society and the consumerist world in general. Weaving the sights and sounds of families, beer halls, beauty shops and routine, The Prefab People reveals an earlier Tarr: simple, short and to the point with Herzog/documentary-type images, including a man who plays his lips as if they were a clarinet.

Superb performances by real-life partners, Judit Pogany and Robert Koltai, trick one into feeling like a voyeur. In public and in private, they deal with the stark reality of their seemingly dead end existence. Fights and disappointments, loneliness and a shallow thinness of life fill the screen in painfully long close-ups. A good amount of (mostly live) music adds to the mix. The closing image, the one you see on the cover with the couple riding in the back of a pickup with their newly purchased Minimat 65 washer, glues the episodes of break-up back together with what money can buy. Tarr uses the film's 75 minutes to construct a single movement that revolves on and on, ending at the beginning, churning up the clothes of life in a futile attempt to once and for all get out the dirt... or have we simply arrived in hell for good?"