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Werckmeister Harmonies


Drama / Mystery

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Hanna Schygulla Photo
Hanna Schygulla as Tünde Eszter
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.31 GB
Multiple languages 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 26 min
P/S 7 / 25
2.43 GB
Multiple languages 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 26 min
P/S 14 / 47

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Galina_movie_fan10 / 10

'The Melancholy of Resistance'

The film is based on the novel "The Melancholy of Resistance" by László Krasznahorkai. This story takes place in a small Hungarian provincial town in mid-winter. The event that starts to build up the atmosphere of suspicion and unrest is the arrival to town of a circus consisting of only one giant lorry containing a huge, maybe the largest in the world stuffed whale and a mysterious figure who is called the Prince, is never seen except as a shadow on a wall and who possesses the sinister powers of making people act like a mob. The circus is a challenge to the citizens to understand what its place in their small and familiar universe is. They see the circus as the dark shadow of the moon during the total eclipse that "grows bigger... and bigger. And as it covers more and more, slowly only a narrow crescent of the sun remains, a dazzling crescent. And at the next moment, the next moment - say that it's around one in the afternoon - a most dramatic turn of event occurs. At that moment the air suddenly turns cold. Can you feel it? The sky darkens, then goes all dark. The dogs howl, rabbits hunch down, the deer run in panic, run, stampede in fright. And in this awful, incomprehensible dusk, even the birds... the birds too are confused and go to roost. And then... Complete Silence. Everything that lives is still. Are the hills going to march off? Will heaven fall upon us? Will the Earth open under us? We don't know. We don't know, for a total eclipse has come upon us..." When there is a failure to understand, the fear may cause the descent into cruel and senseless violence and turn the decent people in the merciless monsters.

As a director, Bela Tarr is extraordinary. A lot has been said about his camera work and long single take shots. His usage of only two colors - black and white is stunning, his sound works perfectly with the images adding to the building of the unbearable tension. His three main characters are played by the German actors Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, and Hanna Schygulla - the Fassbinder favorite actress, the star of his 23 films. Casting Lars Rudolf as a protagonist, the young man whose journey throughout the winter night on the streets of the town we follow step by step contributes to the movie's success. Rudolph looks like a cross between Prince Myshkin and a Rock Star, and he is actually Frontman of the group Stan Red Fox. Judging by the movie's ending, the comparison with Myshkin will sadly make sense, too. It will also bring to memory the final words of Anton Chekhov's "Ward #6" - "The whole world is Ward #6". You know, I would not say that everyone should run and find the film and watch it. I understand that it is not easy watching, it does require an active participation but I found it extremity rewarding because it introduced me to the master with the unique style, obvious talent and the interest to the eternal and difficult questions that may not have easy and immediate answers.

I am skeptical when critics announce every new interesting Eastern European director "New Tarkovsky" but I should say Tarr is the closest to him I've seen so far. The plot and the story were a little too easy and too obvious for me to follow but Tarr's ability to create an unbearable tension and atmosphere without any special tricks is amazing.

"Werckmeister Harmonies" is a masterpiece of melancholic resistance. I was resistant to it first, but then, its melancholy overwhelmed me.

Reviewed by NateManD10 / 10

Slow paced, beautiful descent into madness!

There's one film that sends shivers up my spine just with it's mere title and that's Bela Tarr's "the Werckmeister Harmonies". It's one of those films that may infuriate some viewers meanwhile leaving others awestruck. The story concerns a very cold winter in a small Hungarian town. The camera follows a man Janos in his various everyday events. We know that this is no ordinary film during the poetic intro in the bar, where the various customers act out different parts of the solar system in rotation. The peaceful order of the village is disturbed, when a traveling circus comes to town. The circus has a stuffed whale carcass on display and abnormalities in jars. A man known as the prince who runs the circus remains in hiding. The stuffed whale seems to have a mystical power. These and other small events which are not fully explained lead the town's people to go crazy and eventually turn violent. This film is very slow, at some times unbearable. Certain events are filmed in real time. Similar film's that come to mind are Antonioni's "Avventura,L" and Heneke's "Code Unknown" Although this film is super slow at times, I loved it. There is something that is gripping about it. It is very surreal and emotional. The scene where the villagers go crazy and raid a nursing home almost brought me to tears. The films musical score is so haunting, it will stay in your mind forever. Also director Gus Van Sant is highly influenced by the films of Bela Tarr and it's apparent in his more recent work like "Gerry" and "Elephant". "The Werckmeister Harmonies" is a masterpiece that's not for everyone. I recommend it for viewers who are extremely patient and are looking for something different.

Reviewed by rooprect10 / 10

The Day the Circus Came Into Town...

"Werckmeister Harmonies" is one of the most challenging films, with the greatest payoff, of any movie I've ever seen. A visually stunning adaptation of László Krasznahorkai's novel "The Melancholy of Resistance", this film tells the story of a sleepy Hungarian village over the course of about a day and a half when the circus rolls into town. With the circus come two main attractions: the body of a giant whale, and a 25-lb circus freak known only as "The Prince". These two attractions have profound, shocking effects on our hero Janos (excellently played by the boyish Lars Rudolph) and the inhabitants of the entire village, if not the entire country.

The story presents a powerful allegory, every bit as biting and accusatory as Plato's "Allegory of the Cave", exposing the nature of human folly and the reason why society does, did, and always shall suck. I've found that the people who most enjoy this film are those who are moderately to extremely cynical; it shows us a very dark, nihilistic, nightmarish world similar to what we've seen in the classics "Brazil", Orson Welles' "The Trial" and basically every Herzog film ever made.

But what makes this dark film enjoyable to watch is that doesn't just show us that humanity is flawed; it seeks to explain *why* humanity is flawed.

I'll warn you up front, this is a very slow moving film with seemingly pointless, indulgent scenes of people silently walking down the street, eating a can of soup, or walking down the street in the opposite direction. Something to bear in mind is, just like in the epic "2001: A Space Odyssey" which has scenes of, say, an astronaut running on a giant hamster wheel for a painfully long time, these scenes are there to convey the monotony of existence. Even beyond that, these scenes are supposed to convey the comfort humans feel with tedious & ritualistic behavior. Order vs. chaos.

The second thing that might help is the meaning of the title "Werckmeister Harmonies" which is the key to understanding the film's message. It's explained in a scene near the beginning, but I'll try to explain it in simpler terms here. In western music, we have a particular tuning system for all instruments. This system was developed by Andreas Werckmeister around the year 1700, and centuries later we still use it. The problem is, in a nutshell, it's wrong. Werckmeister's "well tempered" tuning is a compromise that allows instruments to sound good in a variety of keys, but it sacrifices the purity of sounding perfect in any 1 particular key. Pure, "natural" instruments such as the recorder flute sound great but they are limited to 1 key, 7 notes per octave. When western music took on complex instruments like the piano & guitar which play in every key, 12 notes per octave, a certain degree of fudging had to be made in their tuning. This is because in the natural world, the diverse frequencies of music don't add up to neatly repeating 12- note octaves as we want (for some reason we lose about 1/5 of a note every octave). Thus the music we know today, while not necessarily being unpleasant, is not as pure & simple as true "naturally tuned" instruments of yesteryear.

How does this relate to the movie? The movie is about humans' need to quantify the unquantifiable, our need to create artificial order that suits us, even though it may be an aberration of nature. If you grasp this idea, along with the metaphor of the Werckmeister tuning, as well as the creative story that unfolds in the film, all augmented with intelligent cinematography, you will adore this film.

Congratulations, you have successfully read through the driest & most boring IMDb review I have ever written. I have no doubt that you will enjoy solving the philosophical puzzle of the film "Werckmeister Harmonies".

Similar, challenging films include: "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1969),"Aguirre the Wrath of God" (1972),or the more recent Coen brothers' philosophical "A Serious Man", or the brain-blasting Kaufman dark comedy/mindbender "Synecdoche, NY" (2008).

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