September 5th, 2009 | researchmaterial
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.