'There is no story, which is also to say: there is no perspective center, only a great continuum made of the conjunction of the two modes of expectation, a continuum of modifications that are miniscule in comparison to normal, repetitive movement. The task of the filmmaker is to construct a certain number of scenes that allow for the texture of this continuum to be felt and that bring the play of the two kinds of expectation to a maximum of intensity. The sequence shot is the basic unity of this construction because it is that which respects the nature of the continuum, the nature of the lived duration in which expectations come together or fall apart, and in which they bring together and oppose beings. If there is no center, there is no other means of approaching the truth of situations, and of those who live them, than this movement that ceaselessly goes from a place to the one who awaits something there. There is no other means than finding the right rhythm for making the rounds of all the elements composing the scenery of a place, and for giving them their suffocating power or their dream-like virtuality: the bareness of a room or the columns and partitions that punctuate it, the leprosy of the walls or the brilliance of the glasses, the brutality of the neon lights or the dancing flames of the stove, the rain that blinds the windows or the light of a mirror. Béla Tarr insists: if montage, as a distinct activity, has so little importance in his films, this is because it takes place in the heart of the sequence, which never ceases to vary in its own interior: in a single shot, the camera passes from a close-up of a stove or a fan to the complexity of the interactions for which a bistro serves as theater; it climbs from a hand toward a face before leaving the latter to enlarge the frame, or to explore other faces; it passes though zones of darkness before illuminating other bodies, now caught on a different level. In this manner it establishes an infinity of miniscule variations between movement and immobility: tracking shots that advance very slowly toward a face, or initially unperceived halts in the movement.'
Jacques Rancière, Bela Tarr, the Time After, translator: Erik Beranek, publisher: Univocal