8.2/10
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55 user 59 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:

Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky (co-director)

Writers:

László Krasznahorkai (novel), László Krasznahorkai (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 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
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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:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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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

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made with 6 cameramen: one American, two Hungarians, two Germans and one Frenchman. See more »

Goofs

Janos finds Lajos, who is supposedly dead, yet you can clearly see the actor breathing. See more »

Quotes

György Eszter: I have to make it clear that not even for a moment is there doubt that it is not a technical but a philosophical question. So that the tonal system in question, through researches, has led us inevitably to a test of faith, in which we ask: on what do we base our belief that this harmony, the core of every masterpiece, referring to its own irrevocability, actually exists or not. From this it follows that we should speak of, not research into music, but a unique realization of non-music which for...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paris, je t'aime (2006) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
I don't get it
19 December 2005 | by rand_corpSee all my reviews

First let me say I'm not someone who usually cringe at the fact of having to think while seeing movies, I love Tarkowsky movies for example, Berghman is also a favorite.....but this? The positive points can be summed up easily: the photography is splendid, and the music is perfect....does it make a good movie? I used to think so, but this one is a perfect example of one that (for me) doesn't make it.... maybe it's because I'm too dumb? possible, but I don't think so.... Tarkwosky for example also used very long shots, but what he never did was filming 5 minutes of the exact same image of two people walking (and I mean just their heads, because in this movie there are a lot of those shots, but sometimes it IS effective), the general result is plainly boring, even with the intelligent undertones (which are done in a way that, while intelligent, is above all very pedantic)

you also always feel that the director is making some of the long shots not for the aesthetic, or symbolic effect, but just to spare on budget....

I'm very disappointed in this film, because I really liked the first 30 minutes or so, but it just went on and on, without even keeping the same level as in the first scenes....

While reading the very praising comments on this page, I also get the feeling some people just try to see much more in the movie than there is to it...when a movie is slow and arty, it doesn't necessarily mean it is very profound....yes it is an allegory on musical theory placed in the context of a small town, which is quite interesting on itself, but it does NOT make a profound movie....except for people who absolutely want to make some sort of intellectual masturbation out of it, but then it's not what you find in the movie, but what you find in yourself....an exercise that, in my opinion can be made much more effectively while watching "Stalker" or "Solyaris" than Werckmeister Harmonies, that owes much to Tarkowsky, but cab never equal it's level....


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