COMMENT MOVIE POSTERS THAT CONTAIN AN ACTUAL STILL FROM THE MOVIE (speaking of, some people recommend movies i have not…
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...
Why do I hold Werckmeister Harmonies aloft as the greatest film I have ever seen? A huge part of it, admittedly, and the thing that makes me think it will remain my favourite film to the day I die, is its profound personal relevance. I first saw the film about 5 years ago now, at a time when my interest in cinema was in the very very earliest stages of blossoming. It blew me away. Takes that long, images that symbolic, music that intoxicating, scenes that spellbinding, meanings that elusive... it was far too much for my uninitiated mind to deal with, but I knew that it was changing me. What's funny is that I encountered it entirely by mistake:…
There is no comfort in the worlds created by Bela Tarr. He has the unique ability to create his very own universe within the stories he chooses to relate. Otherworldly, yet real, Tarr's earth is a singularly harsh and unforgiving place, a place in which he chooses to explore what we are and where we are headed.
Werckmeister Harmonies is no different. In harrowing black and white we are transported to an anonymous Hungarian town, out of which life is slowly seeping away. It is a desolate place, struck by poverty and inhabited by people for whom life is very hard. While we follow mailman Janos (the focal point of the story), we slowly pick up snippets of how bad…
PTAbro's World Tour Stop 11: Hungary
"The world has gone completely mad. Now it's not down here, but up there where something's gone wrong."
János is a simple man; a servant and an idealist. Always being tasked with jobs no one else wants to do, like putting unruly children to bed or delivering an ultimatum to his closest friend from his conniving ex-wife, it is poetic that what he's actually paid to do is deliver the news that no one else wants to hear. Everyone around him refuses to hear the truth, and since it is his job to do so, he is relegated to a gopher in order to delay his inevitable announcements until it is too late. It's…
Part of the 30 countries festival. Hungary
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." – Matthew 12:40
Werckmeister Harmonies... Three days in the life of János, three days in the making of a revolution in a small Hungarian town, three days of threat, darkness, ignorance, duplicity. A three day eclipse of the sun/Son.
"And just imagine, in this infinite sonorous silence, everywhere is an impenetrable darkness. Here, we only experience general motion, and at first, we don't notice the events that we are witnessing" – János Valuska asking three drunks to play the sun, the moon…
Revolution rolls through the hidden towns and villages of Eastern Europe, leaving a trail of destructive mythology in its wake. Like the countless dictators that have come before it this dark, moving force holds captive one of the wonders of the world, God's magnificence held within a giant steal container. Wherever it comes to rest its unsettling presence moulds chaos from tranquility.
The omnipotence of a higher power lingers behind the framing of Bela Tarr's slow hypnotic takes taking in the fragility of man still so easily shaped and corrupted by elements beyond our control. His camera moves gracefully around the town following Janos through his routine in the first half of the film in sequences that induce a dreamlike…
Part of Lise and Jonnie’s What A Wonderful World: May 30 days, 30 countries.
Film 5 – May 5 – Hungary
My initial reaction after watching Werckmeister Harmonies ( besides running up to the cold dark attic and burying myself in whatever fodder I could find ) was to chicken out and toss off a non-review as I had done with The Turin Horse. Maybe a quip about the Prince, maybe an observation that Giant Whales coming to town is never a good sign. No, I’ll try to at least put down some impressions without any time to contemplate.
Since there is no way to compare Werckmeister to any film that I’ve ever seen except my only other Tarr, I’ll…
Simply put, one of the most haunting, bleak, and moving films I've ever seen. The cinematography, the recurring music, and the beautiful acting of Lars Rudolph combines into a movie-watching experience that is utterly transcendent of anything else you've seen. I'll watch it again and again - if only to find out what Béla Tarr is trying to fucking say.
I watched half of this piece of shit months ago, and as it was so difficult to find online and as I have no intention of watching what promised to be an equally dull second half, I consider the fucker watched and time to move on. Seeking out the other films of Bela Tarr will not be high on my agenda any time soon.
A promising unbroken Steadicam shot in a bar where customers stand in for the movement of planets, filled with whimsy and haunting music, quickly descends into a familiar, uninspired pattern: single unbroken shots of walking with no dialogue and tedious philosophical musings about music that are beyond my comprehension. The unbroken shots seem to have been…
I couldn't stop thinking about how similar the main character was to Peter Dinklage.
As for the film itself, well, this is my first Tarr and if I'm being honest I was a little afraid of him as his films have a reputation for being long and challenging. However, I found this film to be deeply engrossing from that outstanding opening scene right up to that beautiful ending. I found no artificial pretense in his long takes, rather, they induced a wonderful meditative state and an opportunity to enjoy the exquisite cinematography. I'm not gonna sit here and claim I "understand" what it was all about but it made me feel things and think things and that is a sign…
Béla Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies is undoubtably the best first time viewing of 2016 for me. I'd never seen a Tarr Before, I had only heard of how much of an acclaimed filmmaker he was and how his films are very slow and contemplative. I was anxious to watch this film, I'd deliberately saved it for a Friday evening so I could get the most enjoyment out of it. Werckmeister Harmonies is a masterpiece.
Tarr's camera is very much a character in the film, we are forced to follow protagonist, János around a small Hungarian village, we become very much a part of his life for the 2hr 25m runtime. Tarr is a filmmaker that really embraces detail in his films,…
Not for me.....
Stylistically, definitely Béla Tarr. B&W, very lengthy shots, sound synchronization sometimes looser than we're used to. Pretty unique; the only even vaguely similar film I can think of is Fritz Lang's Metropolis. Contentwise, sort of like Kubrick or Tarkovsky: lots of gripping images, but generally more than one way to interpret them. A series of events that clearly form a story line ...except it isn't entirely clear what that story line is. Humoristically, again definitely Béla Tarr. Could be seen as deadly serious, or could be seen as a hilarious _very_ black comedy, or most likely a little of both.
Maybe very spiritual, maybe entirely conventional. Maybe imaginary, maybe what actually happened during Russian rule. Maybe abstract and nihilistic, maybe…
Allusive, mysterious, and impactful.
Werckmeister Harmonies tells the story of a man living in the past of our political shackles in the form of a mad circus.
The metaphorical values killed me.
The score and imagery will never leave me; it's hauntingly beautiful.
It has so much to say, so much poetry, SO MUCH SYMBOLISM.
The slow pace really becomes entrancing after awhile.
One of the best films I've ever seen, and this is only my first Tarr film.
"You are the sun. The sun doesn't move, this is what it does. You are the Earth. The Earth is here for a start, and then the Earth moves around the sun. And now, we'll have an explanation that simple folks…
I went into Werckmeister Harmonies with an open mind and kept telling myself that I might not fully understand everything on my first viewing (which is okay). Well, by about halfway through the film, I was feeling hopelessly lost and disconnected. I can only assume that there was a crucial symbol or metaphor I completely missed. This is a fault on my part, not on the film, but it kept me from getting out of the movie what I had hoped. As hard as I tried to be an active viewer and engage with the film, it felt like a chore to watch most of the way through.
In spite of the challenges I experienced as a viewer, I felt…
More walking than "Fellowship of The Ring."
In alphabetical order; I'm not a fan of every film that's listed here but, even if I'm not a fan…
The best that cinema has had to offer since 2000 as picked by 177 film critics from around the world.…