8.2/10
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Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)

Werckmeister harmóniák (original title)
An innocent young man witnesses violence break out after an isolated village is inflamed by the arrival of a circus and its peculiar attractions: a giant whale and a mysterious man named "The Prince."

Directors:

Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky (co-director)

Writers:

László Krasznahorkai (novel), László Krasznahorkai (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lars Rudolph ... János Valuska
Peter Fitz Peter Fitz ... György Eszter
Hanna Schygulla ... Tünde Eszter
János Derzsi ... Man In The Broad-Cloth Coat
Djoko Rosic Djoko Rosic ... Man In Western Boots (as Djoko Rossich)
Tamás Wichmann Tamás Wichmann ... Man In The Sailor-Cap
Ferenc Kállai Ferenc Kállai ... Director
Mihály Kormos ... Factotum
Putyi Horváth Putyi Horváth ... Porter (as dr. Horváth Putyi)
Enikö Börcsök Enikö Börcsök
Éva Almássy Albert Éva Almássy Albert ... Aunt Piri (as Almási Albert Éva)
Irén Szajki Irén Szajki ... Mrs. Harrer
Alfréd Járai Alfréd Járai ... Lajos Harrer
György Barkó György Barkó ... Mr. Nadabán
Lajos Dobák Lajos Dobák ... Mr. Volent
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Storyline

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 trailer, 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. Aambitious 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.... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Hungary | Italy | Germany | France

Language:

Hungarian | Slovak

Release Date:

1 February 2001 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

A Harmonia Werckmeister See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,852, 7 October 2001

Gross USA:

$25,461

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,461
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is composed of 39 languidly paced tracking shots. See more »

Goofs

Janos finds Lajos, who is supposedly dead, yet you can clearly see the actor breathing. See more »

Quotes

János Valuska: 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 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. And just imagine, in this infinite sonorous silence, everywhere is an impenetrable darkness. Here, we only experience ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Book 1 - Prelude No. 8 in E-flat minor (BWV 853)
from The Well-Tempered Clavier
composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
The "grating" recording that György listens to in his study, though the piano is far from "perfectly tuned".
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Challenging, profound, surreal and pretty hilarious.
23 March 2019 | by Amyth47See all my reviews

My Rating : 8/10

Béla Tarr, Hungarian filmmaker - known for philosophical arthouse cinema delivers a mystical mad tale (that will require immense patience, I think I did 10 household chores while watching this movie) that is original in content and absurd yet meaningful.

37 long takes make up this oeuvre of world cinema and a black-and-white palette works best for such kind of art - colour would distract from the cinematic experience.

Watch it and absorb the melancholic background music - images and sounds melt so beautifully in this arthouse venture.


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