» » Türelem (2007)

Short summary

An office clerk as seen during her daily routine - all the little vibrations of her face. And a man, impatiently waiting for her, beyond the windows.

László Nemes later directed the acclaimed feature film Sauli poeg (2015) applying the same approach he first used in Türelem (2007).

Selected for over 70 international film festivals.

Consists of one sequence shot (10 min. 23 sec. without credits).

There is no dialogue, except a few words and mostly inaudible background noise.

There is a crying old woman, dressed in black, who is forced by other prisoners, probably 'Sonderkommando', to stay where she is. This moment looks very similar to a historical picture from the 'Auschwitz Album' collection and is probably inspired by it. The original picture can be seen for example in the documentary Scrapbooks from Hell: The Auschwitz Albums (2008).

Begins with a quote from T.S. Eliot's famous poem "The Waste Land" (1922): "I could not / Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither / Living nor dead, and I knew nothing, / Looking into the heart of light, the silence. / Öd' und leer das Meer."

Dedication at the end: "To the unredeemable loss of the Freilich family".

Only one piece of source music can be heard during the film: "Absent" (1912) performed by Elizabeth Spencer and Charles W. Harrison. The music is used again over the end credits.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Stylish Monkey
    This short film from Hungary addresses the theme of personal indifference to the drama of others suffering in an unusual way. Director Laszlo Nemes Jeles risks extreme close ups and soft focus, refuses action, and limits movement, making "Patience" (the festival title is "With A Little Patence") a rather daring approach to the topic.

    The film offers an epigram from T.S. Eliot about neither seeing nor hearing, but the appropriate thematic guidelines for this film are Breughel's "Fall of Icarus" and W. H. Auden's discussion of the painting in "Musee des Beaux Arts." In short, those in the painting—the plowman, the shepherd, and the people aboard the sailing ship--continue with their lives as the unfortunate youth's white legs disappear into the Aegean. So too, the buttoned clerk in "Patience" works through her routine, relieving her boredom with the broach she slips out of a breast pocket, and in a stunning finale, closes her window to a scene beyond her office that is horrific not for what it depicts but for what we know it tells us about historical events.

    There is much to admire in the concept and technique of this award winning film that was also nominated for the Golden Lion at Cannes in 2008. The sound is wonderfully evocative, combining ambient office noise with an unidentifiable but elegiac aria and the incessant click-clack of the many typewriters that is like the initial appearance of a toothache; we are too aware of it though it has not yet become painful. The closed yet expressive face of the clerk is recaptured in the feminine figure contained within the military cut of her shirt, a subtle connection to the scene outside the busy office. And yet, the long set up of the drab office, the repetitive activities, and the too dark interior are perhaps too great a price to pay for the brilliant and stunning outdoor scene and the final shot of the closed windows that look like prison bars.
  • comment
    • Author: Rleyistr
    "Türelem" is a 14-minute (with credits) live action short film from almost 10 years ago and the writer and director is László Nemes, who just won Hungary an Academy Award for "Son of Saul". But his movie here is really not worth seeing. For almost 10 minutes we see a woman, an office clerk, during her daily routine. Last two minutes shake things up a bit, but it is basically as uninteresting as everything before. The cast is all-Hungarian. Language here is listed as Hungarian as well, but there is really no dialogue, so you can watch this wherever you come from and whatever language you speak. But why would you? This was a very boring little movie. I certainly do not recommend checking it out and it baffles me how it got so much awards attention. There is basically no acting in here, but that is not the actors' fault, but the script's fault really. Don't watch.
  • Cast overview:
    Virág Marjai Virág Marjai
    Attila Menszátor-Héresz Attila Menszátor-Héresz
    Éva Kelényi Éva Kelényi
    Kálmán Kovács Kálmán Kovács
    Endre Ferenczy Endre Ferenczy
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