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Werckmeister Harmonies

In Dundee the other month, I got sat opposite the university’s film lecturer at dinner. Who, thank god, turned out to be a civilised human being and an excellent conversationalist. And so we killed a few bottles of wine and he told me about Bela Tarr’s WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES, which he considered a genuine masterpiece and one of the very few great films made (or at least released) so far this decade. So the moment I got home I ordered up a DVD of it, because the man had excellent taste in all other things, and because I wanted to see a film that long that is comprised of only some forty shots. This is the opening sequence. And a single take.

This sequence is, I think, very close to perfect.

Published in researchmaterial


  1. Curse you Ellis. You’ve done it again.

  2. Eric Eric

    The much reminds me of Tarkovsky.

  3. Thiago Arbex Thiago Arbex

    Seems great.

  4. mkhall mkhall

    This is astounding. Damn it, Ellis, I’ve been laid off — I can’t just go and plunk down money for DVDs now!

    Ah, well, that liquor store looks pretty easy to knock over. I’ll be back later.

  5. Jens A. Jens A.

    Werckmeister Harmonies is an incredible film, and as Eric said – it’s very reminiscent of Trakovsky’s movies (Solaris in particular, I think), which is all the reason you need to watch it, really.

  6. Moniker42 Moniker42

    You would like Satantango.

  7. Jim Jim

    Eric I thought the same thing, reminds me of Tarkovski’s Andrei Rublev but everyone appears cleaner and more sane.

  8. Werckmeister Harmonies is definitely one of the best of the decade. Bela Tarr is an incredible filmmaker. It’s funny I read this just now because I’m about to watch Tarr’s 7.5 hour film, Satantango. Should be interesting.

  9. I should mention, Warren, that you would love The Man From London, Tarr’s latest.

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