8.3/10
10,352
55 user 58 critic

Werckmeister harmóniák (2000)

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:

, (co-director)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »

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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lars Rudolph ... János Valuska
Peter Fitz ... György Eszter
... Tünde Eszter
... 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
... 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
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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:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

1 February 2001 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

A Harmonia Werckmeister  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$25,461
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although never directly stated in the movie which year it is, most probably it is post-1991 period as one guy in marching crowd is holding a shopping bag by SPAR and this retailer started to operate in Hungary in 1992. 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 ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in What Is Cinema? (2013) 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

 
Slow paced, beautiful descent into madness!
27 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

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.


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