The Bijou is perhaps my favorite space at CalArts. It’s a small theater. Seats about 120 people and an unspecified number of dogs. (invariably you be in the middle of some feature and hear gerrrrr-Rouffff … rowf ra-ra-ffff rowf) I spent many a happy evening and afternoon of my graduate tenure watching films amazing to abstruse. During that time I had the great fortune to meet Béla Tarr when he lectured and presented Sátántangó. It played twice and I deeply enjoyed all four hundred thirty nine minutes both nights.
Irimiás and Petrina go to the police station, where they have a meeting with the captain. At the same time in the village Estike goes out with his brother, Sanyi, to bury some money in the ground to make it grow into a money tree. Both events take place during the daytime when the rain is not falling. Later Irimiás and Petrina drink in the pub in town, where Kelemen sees them. Halics visits Estike’s mother. Estike tortures and finally kills her cat in the attic of their house. In the meantime a heavy rain starts. Halics leaves their house, and Estike finds out that the money has disappeared; someone has stolen it. Kelemen returns to the village, enters the pub, and reports to the bartender on his meeting with Irimiás and Petrina in town and on the road to the village. Halics is already in the pub.
It is around that time that Futaki wakes up in Mrs. Schmidt’s bed, but they are surprised by Schmidt’s unexpected early return. Futaki has a hard time sneaking out of the house, but he returns later as if he has just arrived. At the same time the doctor watches the whole scene (Schmidt returning, Futaki sneaking out and hiding before returning to Schmidt’s house). Halics crosses the space, probably going home from the pub to relate the news about Irimiás’s return to his wife. Futaki and Schmidt start an argument over the distribution of the money the villagers earned and that Schmidt and Kráner want to steal, but Mrs. Halics arrives with the news that Irimiás and Petrina are approaching on the road, and maybe they have already arrived at the pub. Mrs. Schmidt leaves for the pub to check out what has happened; Schmidt and Futaki follow her later.
The doctor spends almost the whole day in front of the window in his chair, taking notes and drinking. At some point in the day, around noon probably, Mrs. Kráner visits him, announcing that from now on she will no longer bring him lunch. The doctor throws her out. Realising that he has run out of brandy, he puts on his coat and leaves the house to buy alcohol. He walks in the heavy rain, and enters a hangar where he meets two prostitutes. In the meantime the villagers arrive at the pub to be there when Irimiás and Petrina arrive. First, they distribute the money Schmidt and Kráner originally wanted to steal in the morning, then they start to drink heavily. That is when Estike’s mother arrives and tells the bartender that she cannot find her daughter. She also drinks, and then leaves the pub. It is already dark outside. The villagers start dancing, and that is when the doctor arrives in front of the pub. There he meets Estike, who peeps inside the pub through the window. She carries a dead cat in her arms, yells at the doctor, and then runs away. In the background we see Irimiás, Petrina and Sanyi arriving. The doctor tries to run after her, but very soon he gets out of breath, and finally he collapses, and is unable to get up again. He remains there lying on the ground until the next morning, when Kelemen finds him, and loads him on his cart.
The time that elapses from this evening until the next morning is missing from the narrative. This is when Irimiás and Petrina meet the villagers in the pub, and we don’t know where Estike spent the night. We meet her again, still walking with the dead cat under her arm, and soon after that she poisons herself. There is another jump in time: we don’t see when and how Estike’s body is found and carried to the pub. The next plot event is when the villagers gather around Estike’s dead body, and Irimiás makes a speech. The result of the speech is that everybody hands over his or her share of the money to Irimiás, who promises them he will immediately start the project which will help them get out of the village and start a new life. He tells them to pack up everything and move immediately to a neighbouring manor, which will be their new home where they will start their new business together. Estike’s coffin is loaded on the bartender’s car, and the villagers go home and pack up. They hit the road while Irimiás and Petrina go back into town. Petrina tries to convince Irimiás to flee with the money rather than continue to play games with the villagers. But Irimiás knows that this story can’t finish that way; the villagers should not discover immediately that they have been duped. The villagers arrive at the abandoned manor, which is a huge, entirely empty estate with no doors or windows and no furniture in it. They spend the night there. In the meantime Irimiás and Petrina arrive in the town in Steigerwald’s pub. They spend the night there. Irimiás has Payer come to see him, and wants to buy explosives from him. The next morning the villagers have a fight, because Irimiás didn’t show up at the time agreed. Some of them are convinced that Irimiás has deceived and abandoned them. Shortly afterwards Irimiás and Petrina arrive, and announce that they have to postpone the realisation of the project, and for the time being the villagers have to be separated and dispersed in the region before they can gather again to start the project. They are driven to a railway station, and each of them is assigned a place to go to stay. At the police station two clerks edit Irimiás’s report on the villagers. The doctor returns from hospital after three weeks, sits at his desk writing his notes, and leaves the house as he can hear bells ringing. He walks to the lonely chapel, where a madman rings the bell. He goes home and boards up the window.