This is how I would introduce a newcomer to foreign classics, from most accessible to least accessible. I'm still a…
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…
A new all-time favorite.
this was hugely powerful, i'm pretty sure i missed lots of things but this is one of the movies that remind me why i love cinema so much
My second film from Bela Tarr (first was Damnation) and once again it blew me away. Visually it is stunning - despite the long (and I mean long) takes it had me completely engaged from the opening shot to the end. The score is another masterpiece by Vig Mihaly, and it complemented the film so well. Even the title is fantastic, and the scene that references it perfectly summarises the film. Every metaphor used is expertly crafted, and ultimately it's an incredibly moving piece of work. I'm sure there are tons of different interpretations of it, and the Wikipedia page talks about lots of political allegories that possibly went over my head, but I still connected with it hugely on…
Bela Tarr captures life in all it's glory but he's not a director who seemingly admires the world we live in; instead he captures how shit life gets and presents it to us in the greatest way.
This review is going to be a total mess as I just can't capture my thoughts after seeing this film. So here's some sprawling points:
I'm a recent Tarr convert, and this is only the second film by him I've seen ('Satantango' was my first) yet he's already approaching my list of favourite directors. His style of unbelievably slow pacing, long black and white shots, a bleak atmosphere and a dirty, grimy world are so thoroughly effective in conveying a mood that 'Werckmeister…
The epilogue and the "Prince" scenes are easily two of the best I have ever seen, the score is absolutely sublime and the cinematography stunning. I could go on, but it would just be superlatives upon superlatives, so I won't bother.
I don't often rate films with five stars, that way it gives more meaning to the films that I do, and Werckmeister Harmonies definitely deserves all five.
And now, we'll have an explanation that simple folks like us can also understand, about immortality. All I ask is that you step with me into the boundlessness, where constancy, quietude and peace, infinite emptiness reign.
Two years ago I thought this was a Pretty Great art film and now--I don't know if it's living in Trump's America or simply being older--I realize this is one of the most important films ever made.
This is the only Tarr film I'm seen to date. It's phenomenal. I am flabbergasted by it.
My third Tarr, and my favorite. My attention span has increased by watching Tarkovsky, Bresson and Antonioni films, to the point where I didn't start browsing my phone once during the entire film! Anyways, this film was one of the most spellbinding and mesmerizing films I've ever seen. Never before has one guy walking for five minutes been so captivating. A lot of the film is allegorical, I think for postwar Europe, but how I'm not sure. And I don't think I need to completely understand the film to love it, because it made me feel. The Prince is the best character to not appear on screen, although they show his shadow. That was a really cool scene, where his…
Here I thought that I fully understood movies; what they are capable of, what they can show me, and how they can make me feel. I've become a bit jaded, sort of figuring I'd never see another movie again that felt like something completely and utterly different from the thousands I've already seen. Now I've been reminded that I don't know shit.
This movie is beautiful. I can't quite explain why or how, but it's absolutely beautiful. Like some strange dream that makes you happy when you wake from it and that you think about the rest of the day. You don't always understand it, but you know how it made you feel. This movie is operating on some other…
Quando comecei a assistir mais filmes eu precisava de um caminho pra seguir e caí de cabeça em um monte…
Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Step Two: Pick a Number.
Step Three: GET WEIRD!