The Prefab People

Director: Béla Tarr
Year Released: 1982
Rating: 2.0

A series of disjointed scenes show a marriage coming apart - it begins with the husband leaving the wife (for good) to accept a job in Romania (which she didn't want him to take), and ends with him and her sitting in the back of a truck along with the brand new washing machine they bought (a washing machine being a key symbol of domestic living). The acting is excellent, and Tarr's camera really gets in the muck, capturing the eyes-to-the-floor unhappiness of the husband and every tear drop on the wife's face, but he doesn't actually care much about revealing the deeper aspects of the relationship (even very brief 'good moments' turn sour quickly) and is content with surface-level arguments and a general sense of misery. I felt like I was walking in at the end of an argument and wondering where it started, and the (apparently) arbitrary construction of the events don't contribute to further understanding.