Tarr pays meticulous heed to the shyest details. This visual and temporal depth that Tarr emphasizes comments directly on life. The film’s narrative layout is extremely unique. He supports his simple narrative with abstruse poetic dialogue. The dialogue is sparsely spread across film. The long shots do not manipulate us in the way a rapid succession of shots might. Here we are forced to observe the main character rather than replace (or become) him. This detachment makes this film all the more foreign to us. The film not only separates us via the dominance of long shots, but also from Tarr’s use of a dark and despotic setting, which is often flooded with rains that visually mute the physical details of characters and the setting. The setting is characterized as a sort Beckett-esque landscape that is desolate and deprived of life’s vivacity.
Throughout the film there is an eeriness that peruses each scene. This strange shadow of despair forces the viewer to confront the many metaphysical questions of life. Tarr never provides us with a resolute conclusion; he only steps into this brief moment, a slim fraction, of life. What do we experience from this? All of these questions in the film force us to make phenomenological juxtapositions and connections. Despite the fact that Tarr never directly imposes his own metaphysical opinion onto the viewer, he does compel us with the bleakness of reality in this fraction of time (and person’s life) that he has decided to portray.
Another important aspect of the film is in the sound. Sound is important because it is the emotional counterpart to the film's dialogue. The film, for the most part, is diegetically scored. For example, music comes from the woman's singing, or a man playing the accordion. This aural pan from non-diegetic sound to a realization that it is diegetic (i.e., seeing the musician) is important. It creates a metaphor for wisdom and experience (this layerage of knowing/expecting). Half way through the film we are conditioned to this diegetic extension (or diegetic surprise) and before we even see the musician we are already wondering where the artist might appear in the scene.