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Werckmeister harmóniák | Béla Tarr, 2000
Hungary | Format: 35mm | 145 minutes
Note: The February 3 screening will take place in the Walter Reade Theater and the February 8 screening will take place in the Francesca Beale Theater at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
Three years in the making, Werckmeister Harmonies is a sustained immersion in the universe of weatherbeaten villages and full-contact metaphysics that Tarr and collaborator László Krasznahorkai specialize in. A mysterious traveling circus (complete with stuffed whale) disrupts the calm of the puszta (plains), and marks a sea change in relationships of all kinds—between families, lovers, peasants and royals. Unfolding in real time, each action, however small, carries the weight of revolution, in a movie voted as one of the best of its decade in Film Comment. With Fassbinder icon Hanna Schygulla.
“For all of its phantasmal themes, Werckmeister Harmonies is resolutely realistic. Every person, every room, every street, every action, every line of dialogue, feels as much like cinema verite as the works of Frederick Wiseman . . . Bela Tarr's style seems to be an attempt to regard his characters with great intensity and respect, to observe them without jostling them, to follow unobtrusively as they move through their worlds, which look so ordinary and are so awesome, like ours.” —Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times
Image courtesy of Magyar Filmunió / Hungarian National Film Fund