Béla Tarr receives the UNAM Film Library MedalBy: Gabriela Martínez @GabbMartivel
Prior to the screening of his film The Turin Horse (2010), Hungarian director Béla Tarr received the UNAM Film Library Medal in recognition of his long career and for being a source of inspiration for young filmmakers. Guadalupe Ferrer, director of UNAM’s Film Library, presented this recognition accompanied by Daniela Michel, general director of the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM).
The medal is made in 99.9%, with pure silver extracted during the process of developing, restoring and rescuing films within the Filmoteca labs.
Guadalupe Ferrer referred to Béla Tarr as a “great humanist of contemporary cinema who, through his language, rhythm and view (…) emphasizes the dignity of people and immerses the viewer in the faces and emotions of their characters.”
“I am very moved and excited,” said the Hungarian filmmaker, adding that this particular date was very important for him, because tomorrow, October 24, marks the fortieth anniversary of the day when his first film Family Nest (1977); is also the 30th anniversary of the first day of filming Damnation (1987) and the twentieth anniversary of the first day of filming Werckmeister Harmonies (2000). “Tonight, you give me this medal. The truth is that I still feel very confused, I was out there at four in the morning walking, thinking all this, and was very excited. I want to tell you that, through what I have done, I wanted to share with you the pain and joy and everything that we see happening before us,” he concluded.
The unveiling of an armchair with his name also took place during the event. He took the opportunity to thank Daniela Michel, Guadalupe Ferrer and his friend, Fred Kelemen, who was present in the room.
Béla Tarr was a Special Guest of FICM 2011 with a retrospective presented by the Cineteca Nacional, which included the Mexican premiere of The Turin Horse.
The filmmaker was born in 1955 in Pécs, Hungary. He began his career as an amateur director and later worked at Balázs Béla Stúdió, the most important experimental film workshop in his country, where he made his feature film directorial debut.
In 2003, he founded TT Filmműhely, an independent film studio, of which he was a director until 2011. He was an academic and professor at Film.factory, the Sarajevo International Film School, which he founded in 2012.
He is currently president of the Hungarian Filmmakers Association and a member of the Széchenyi Academy of Arts and Literature. He has received the Kossuth Prize, the most prestigious award for Hungarian artists, and the Balázs Béla Prize, which recognizes the best directors in Hungary, among other important national and international awards.
His filmography, which includes titles such as Damnation (1987), Sátántangó (1994), Werckmeister Harmonies (2000), Man from London (2007) and The Turin Horse (2010), has been essential in the history of cinema.