8.2/10
11,331
58 user 59 critic

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 »

On Disc

at Amazon

5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A rural farmer is forced to confront the mortality of his faithful horse.

Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
Stars: János Derzsi, Erika Bók, Mihály Kormos
Damnation (1988)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A lonely barfly falls in love with a married bar singer.

Director: Béla Tarr
Stars: Gábor Balogh, János Balogh, Péter Breznyik Berg
Satantango (1994)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.

Director: Béla Tarr
Stars: Mihály Vig, Putyi Horváth, László feLugossy
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After witnessing a crime during his night shift as railway switchman near the docks, a man finds a briefcase full of money. While he and his family step up their living standards, others start looking for the disappeared case.

Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
Stars: Miroslav Krobot, Tilda Swinton, Erika Bók
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A large, claustrophobic apartment is the setting for this intense chamber drama. In this dense setting, the inhabitants of the apartment reveal their darkest secrets, fears, obsessions and hostilities.

Director: Béla Tarr
Stars: Hédi Temessy, Erika Bodnár, Miklós Székely B.
Family Nest (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The breakdown of the relationship of a couple by living in a flat of the husband's parents.

Director: Béla Tarr
Stars: Laszlone Horvath, László Horváth, Gábor Kun
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A husband and wife, drifting apart, reflect on the events leading up to the worst argument of their marriage.

Director: Béla Tarr
Stars: Judit Pogány, Róbert Koltai, Kyri Ambrus
The Sacrifice (1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

At the dawn of World War III, a man searches for a way to restore peace to the world and finds he must give something in return.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Allan Edwall
Balthazar (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson's Mouchette.

Director: Robert Bresson
Stars: Anne Wiazemsky, Walter Green, François Lafarge
The Mirror (1975)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Margarita Terekhova, Filipp Yankovskiy, Ignat Daniltsev
Nostalgia (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A Russian poet and his interpreter travel to Italy to research the life of an 18th-century composer.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Oleg Yankovskiy, Erland Josephson, Domiziana Giordano
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In a work of site-specific expanded Cinema, going beyond his earlier narrative features,the director presents a middle and upper class audience gathered in a museum setting with images of ... See full summary »

Director: Béla Tarr
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lars Rudolph 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
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 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 »
Edit

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

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. 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

Radetzky March
by Johann Strauss Sr.
(played during the scene where Tünde Eszter (Hanna Schygulla) is dancing with the Chief Constable (Péter Dobai).
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
'The Melancholy of Resistance'
28 May 2006 | by Galina_movie_fanSee all my reviews

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.


15 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 58 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows to Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse all our free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed