Katalin Varga (2009)

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Katalin Varga (2009). 1h 22m

“Peter Stricklandu0026#39;s debut movie Katalin Varga reminds me very much of another recent British film, Asif Kapadiau0026#39;s 2007 effort Far North, which is also a folk horror story about an outcast and her child. Stickland uses the dank forest of Romania instead of the perilous ice flows of the north, but the movies are birds of a feather, low budget movies intended to tap primal energies.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eChildren run away from Katalin Varga, a darkly pretty woman with live-wire eyes, whou0026#39;s altogether too spirited to remain unmolested in the time-capsuled world with which the movie presents te viewer. Folk have mobile phones, but Katalin still travels by horse-drawn cart, and men still make hay in the fields with pitchforks. Gossip in Katalinu0026#39;s village is poisonous enough to make Clouzotu0026#39;s vision in Le Corbeau appear positively made of marshmallow. Following the repurcussions of gossip regarding Katalinu0026#39;s past, she travels with her child into an apparently infrastructure-less hinterland on a dark mission, like black lightning.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s no surprise to find, following shot after shot of foreboding nature scenes, that this is a tragedy, in a cul-de-sac structure similar to Monte Hellmanu0026#39;s brilliant 1965 movie Ride in the Whirlwind.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s a brutal movie, in structure rather than in screen violence, which there is remarkably little of, and which is generally obscured in incoherence when it occurs. Itu0026#39;s almost senseless and left me with a directionless primitive anger.”


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