Béla Tarr started working in film as an amateur,at the age of 16. He directed his first feature film, Family Nest (Családi tűzfészek, 1977) at the age of 22. This film, along with The Outsider (Szabadgyalog, 1981) and The Prefab People (Panelkapscolat, 1982), constitutes the first phase of Bela Tarr's opus, characterized by social issues and documentary style.
His TV adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth (1982), which he filmed in just two shots, announced a change, and a new phase in his creative work. In the mid 1980s, he started a collaboration with the writer László Krasznahoraki, whose works were the basis of Tarr's film Damnation (Kárhozat, 1988), Satan's Tango (Sátántangó, 1994) and Werckmeister Harmonies (Werckmeister harmóniák, 2000). Damnation marked the beginning of a visual style for which he is known today: a distinctive black-and-white photographic approach, and long, slow shots, which culminated in the seven-and-a-half hour long adaptation of Krasznahoraki's novel, his masterpiece, Satan's Tango.
The film brought him international recognition, and the Werckmeister harmonies are no less appreciated. His next film, The Man from London (The Man from London, 2007) is based on the novel by Georges Simenon.
The film The Turin Horse (The Turin Horse, 2011), which he announced several years ago as the last film he will make, was presented at the Berlin Film Festival, and was awarded the Grand Jury Prize - the Silver Bear, as well as the FIPRESCI Prize.
Because of his relentlessness, Tarr was never part of mainstream film-making. The film world considers him one of the world's most original and most coveted contemporary authors. His lens manages to capture the impact of historical changes on Hungary - the post-war years of the empire to the Soviet invasion, from the pitiful years under Communism to modern attempts of privatisation. Drawing inspiration from the works of Italian neorealism and the French New Wave, and questioning today's alienation and morality in a provocative way, his films have a strong influence on the younger generation of filmmakers, such as Gus Van Sant and Jim Jarmusch.
Családi tűzfészek / Family Nest (1977)
Szabadgyalog / The Outsider (1981)
Panelkapcsolat / The Prefab People (1982)
Őszi almanach / Autumn Almanac (1985)
Kárhozat / Damnation (1988)
Sátántangó / Satan's Tango (1994)
Werckmeister harmóniák / Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)
A londoni férfi / The Man from London (2007)
A torinói ló / The Turin Horse (2011)
Hotel Magnezit (1978)
Utazás az alföldön / Journey on the Plain (1995)
Visions of Europe (2004), segment: Prologue
- City Life (1990)
2005 Andrzej Wajda Freedom Award, American Cinema Foundation, USA
1988 Bronze Rosa Camuna for: Kárhozat (1988), Bergamo Film Meeting
2011 FIPRESCI Berlin International Film Festival, For: A Torinói ló (2011).
2011 Silver Berlin BearJury Grand Prix for A Torinói ló (2011).
2011 Nomination for Golden Berlin Bear International Jury Award, for A Torinói ló.
2001 Reader's Jury, "Berliner Zeitung", for: Werckmeister harmóniák (2000).
1994 Caligari Film Award for: Sátántangó (1994).
2007 Cannes Film Festival, nomination for Palme d'Orfor, for: A Londoni férfi (2007).
2005 France Culture Award, Foreign Cineaste of the Year, for: Kárhozat (1988).
2011 European Film Awards, Nomination for Best Director for: A Torinói ló (2011).
1988 European Film Awards, Nomination for Best Young Film, for: Kárhozat (1988).
2002 Hungarian Film Critics Awards, László B. Nagy Award for: Werckmeister harmóniák (2000).
2001 Hungarian Film Week, "Gene Moskowitz" Critics Award and the Grand Prize for: Werckmeister harmóniák (2000).
2011 Istanbul International Film Festival Honorary Award
2003 Jerusalem Film Festival, Lifetime Achievement Award
1984 Locarno International Film Festival, Ernest Artaria Award for: Öszi almanach (1984).
1982 Special Mention for: Panelkapcsolat (1982).
1979 Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival, Grand Prize for: Családi tüzfészek (1979).
2012 Robert Festival, Nominated for Best Non-American Film, for A Torinói ló (2011), shared with: Ágnes Hranitzky
2011 Yerevan International Film Festival, Lifetime Achievement Award
Film Direction 1,2,3