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WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES

Hungary, 2000 (MIFF 2001, International Panorama)

Director: Bela Tarr

Six years after the monumental Satantango. Bela Tarr returns with Werckmeister Harmonies, a film bearing the unmistakable trademark of the Hungarian master seen by some as the only true successor to Andrei Tarkovsky. Shot in his signature B&W and set in a small, rural village, Tarr traverses the territory with customary brilliance. Jobless hang around in the streets, families are disappearing, revolution is in the air. Into this isolated village comes an outsider who touches on the local's frustrations with uncanny prescience, a visionary who advocates a Utopia and is enraptured by the miracle of creation. Tart's cinema style is mystical, allegorical, metaphonc—deliberate in its rhythm, long takes and tracking camera, beautifully designed soundtrack and energetic narrative.

"The title refers to 17th-century German composer Andreas Werckmeister. esteemed for his influential tomes on harmony and musical construction—a fitting parallel for a filmmaker whose films work on the emotions in as unfathomable a way as the compositions of great symphonists."—Variety

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