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Werckmeister Harmonies(Werckmeister harmóniák)

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Hungary, Italy, Germany · 2000
2h 19m
Director Béla Tarr
Starring Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, Hanna Schygulla, Alfréd Járai
Genre Drama

This story takes place in a small town on the Hungarian Plain. In a provincial town, which is surrounded with nothing else but frost. It is bitterly cold weather — without snow. Even in this bewildered cold hundreds of people are standing around the circus tent, which is put up in the main square, to see — as the outcome of their wait — the chief attraction, the stuffed carcass of a real whale. The people are coming from everywhere. From the neighboring settlings, even from quite far away parts of the country. They are following this clumsy monster as a dumb, faceless, rag-wearing crowd. This strange state of affairs — the appearance of the foreigners, the extreme frost — disturbs the order of the small town. Ambitious personages of the story feel they can take advantage of this situation. The tension growing to the unbearable is brought to explosion by the figure of the Prince, who is pretending facelessness. Even his mere appearance is enough to break loose destructive emotions...

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Variety by Derek Elley

A stunning feature -- another hypnotic meditation on popular demagogy and mental manipulation.


TV Guide Magazine by Ken Fox

The film could easily be reduced to a parable of post-Communist Eastern Europe, but the allegory digs deeper into the very order of things, exemplified by 17th-century musicologist Andreas Werckmeister's arbitrary imposition of a "tempered" tonal system over naturally occurring tunings.


The New York Times by Lawrence Van Gelder

Mysterious, poetic and allusive, The Werckmeister Harmonies beckons filmgoers who complain of the vapidity of Hollywood movie making and yearn for a film to ponder and debate.


New York Post by V.A. Musetto

While Tarr's newest epic, Werckmeister Harmonies, isn't intended for the shopping-mall crowd, it is more viewer-friendly and will please adventurous moviegoers.

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