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Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)
"Werckmeister harmóniák" (original title)

8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 6,997 users   Metascore: 92/100
Reviews: 55 user | 52 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

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 ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Title: Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)

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Cast

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

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 tent, 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:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 February 2001 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

A Harmonia Werckmeister  »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 10,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title references the German musician Andreas Werckmeister (1645-1706). 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Gerry (2002) 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

 
Rhythmical Harmonies
22 January 2007 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

  • A portrait of a small town in Hungary descending gradually into civil


disorder -

An extraordinarily brilliant movie. But this is not for everyone. Beautifully shot in black and white, the director bravely specialises in spectacularly lengthy shots which the viewer's brain will either become absorbed by or reject for tedium. An interesting dimension which can heighten involvement in these long shots (or annoy the hell out the unconvinced) is rhythmical sound - be it cranky machinery (reminiscent of Sergio Leone),walking, or an amazing scene where two kids are jumping up and down and banging on drums on the eve before a riot ensues. There is a detachment to the camera-work which reminded me of Kubrick. Again this is a technique which will alienate many viewers. But it works disturbingly well in particular during the penultimate riot scene at the hospital.

I watched this followed by The Damnation on the current double-disc DVD edition available in the UK which is a superb issue and has an interview with the Director as a bonus feature. Interesting to note that he states quite categorically that he intends no allegorical/symbolic element to his work.


10 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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