8.2/10
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60 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 »
6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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:

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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the shooting the temperature dropped to -15 degrees Celsius. 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

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

Soundtracks

Valuska
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User Reviews

 
Contemplative Film
28 October 2002 | by JanazzSee all my reviews

made entirely of longshots of 2-4 minutes in duration. Layers of symbolism in poetic images. It's not a movie, it's not entertainment. It's film, and you have to engage and ask questions about what you are seeing. Why did only 2 people saw the whale? What was the significance of that? How did the riots get started? Who were the insiders and who were the outsiders? How could you tell? Why the hospital? Why do humans always need a causation? Why was the Prince's speech in a different language? What did the Prince represent? What did the Whale? A viewer may not want to be taxed with these questions but given the way the world is, these questions are worth thinking about. I've only seen one other "contemplative film" which is Angelopoulos' Ulyssey's Gaze, which I deeply cherish. This didn't get to me as deeply as it's images weren't as evocative to me. This is probably due to my being able access the cultural symbols of Angelopoulos more easily (though that film isn't "easy" either,it's just that I have more background in modern Greek poetry, etc.). Recommend this film as a unique chance to think of an alternative use of celloid, don't be intimidated.


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Details

Country:

Hungary | Italy | Germany | France

Language:

Hungarian | Slovak

Release Date:

1 February 2001 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Werckmeister Harmonies See more »

Filming Locations:

Hungary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,852, 7 October 2001

Gross USA:

$25,461

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,461
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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