Directed by Béla Tarr
Running time: 145 minutes
Based on the 1989 novel The Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai, Béla Tarr's black and white film Werckmeister Harmonies uses notions of time and metaphor as its guiding principles. Incorporating only 39 different shots over its 2 hour 25 minute-duration, Tarr's epic movie is elliptical and discursive, resisting montage in favour of slow scenes that epitomise the anomie of its setting. The film is set in a small, bleak town in the Hungarian plain during winter, where it is bitterly cold and yet still without snow. Despite the cold, the rag tag inhabitants gather in the main square to see a travelling circus, whose main attraction is the enormous carcass of a stuffed whale. This sinister show seems to trigger a moral and social breakdown and things slowly begin to unravel. János, a young man and affable fool, attempts and fails to keep order in the face of social disintegration. Incorporating elements of the gothic and the fantastical, Tarr's portrayal of a hermetic and mysterious world is a masterpiece of independent cinema.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.