At first, I thought that the movie was going to be about the perception and appropriation of the horrors of Hiroshima by a foreign eye, but the film - at first gradually, then suddenly and completely - takes a turn from the global and focuses on the much more personal. The shift didn't really bother me as much as its totality did. I felt like it rendered the whole setting of Japan and the documentary-style prologue irrelevant, or if not completely irrelevant, then merely too disconnected.
Desolate, decrepit, bleak, beautiful. Understated long takes, restrained performances, a touch of the surreal, great compositions and coloring straight out of a Melville film, with bright saturated reds often popping out.
This is my first Angelopoulos film and it reminds me a lot of Tarkovsky and Tarr (which is pretty much the highest praise I can think of), so I'm excited to delve deeper into his filmography.
The prologue 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.