Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)



AKA: Werckmeister Harmóniák
Directed by: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
Starring: Lars Rudolph (Valuska), Peter Fitz (Eszter), Hanna Schygulla (Tünde Eszter)
Country: Hungary, European Cinema
Language: Hungarian (English subs)
Runtime: 02:19:25
Genres: Surreal

Plot – Spoilers:
A young man Valuska lives among older folk in a small Hungarian town and does odd jobs while also being helpful to the elderly people that need it. One of them, Eszter is of the firm belief that Werckmeister’s theoretical principles are flawed and the harmonies in music imperfect. Valuska has a thirst for knowledge and education and is respected by the local drunkards for the things he’s gleaned from hanging around intellectuals in town.

The town itself is abuzz with news of a circus rolling in and the mysteries it offers. While Valuska is simply wonderstruck by the arrival of a massive stuffed whale, the men in town are more interested in a deformed man known as ‘The Prince’, with revolutionary ideas that promise a vent for their frustrations.

Werckmeister Harmonies is a surreal experience in black and white with stunning night-time lighting and mesmerizing long shots and music if you’re willing to allow yourself the patience for it.

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