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Comments 1 - 15 of 19

Shazaaaam's avatar


Great beginning, great cinematography, the hospital and (multiple) whale scenes are just amazing, but like Chris, I did get bored for some of the "Janos walks around the village" shots and the lengthy bit with the helicopter. Having to watch the pair of screaming children for that long was a real headache, too. I guess I'd put this around a 7 or 8, but it's hard to rate a movie that I found so uneven. Awfully glad I watched it, though.
9 years 11 months ago
Kinchski's avatar


Well, tastes may vary. Personally I found this to be nearly flawless. The scene with the whale is deeply moving, and all the long takes worked for me - I found them to feel very full and, in a strange way, full of energy. I never felt like I was waiting for the next scene, it was like thoughtful intermissions between the 'action'. Well, there's my two cents.
10 years 5 months ago
Uruloki's avatar


Oh look, it's the "people only pretend to like this"-discussion again. This has nothing to do with so-called "good taste", why can't you people just accept that there are different types of movies for different types of people with different types of taste.
10 years 11 months ago
ChrisReynolds's avatar


Far too long and boring. Holding a shot while nothing happens is the equivalent of silence in music - it can add huge emphasis and tension to a scene, but keep using it and it becomes unbearably dull. Other commenters go on about the beauty of the cinematography but I honestly wasn't impressed - a lot of the scenes are rather uninspired shots of Janos wandering through the village, and as he only has 39 shots to set up in the whole movie, Tarr can afford to take his time over some of them. The action scene in the hospital and the slow scene after where everybody walks away are probably the only two out of the 39 shots that genuinely deserved the length they were drawn out to.

Also I found Janos incredibly irritating with his constant blank stare and mouth hanging open.
9 years 11 months ago
Shaunage's avatar


I don't know that I've ever seen a better shot movie.
11 years 3 months ago
heat_'s avatar


Seems like there are two main viewpoints regarding this movie.

1 - Too much single sequence scenes, too much walking, boring, long etc.
2 - Timeless masterpiece.

First of alI I need to admit that the movie is a pretty difficult one to watch. Difficult in terms of both cinematography and theme. In contrary to the slowness, the viewer gets tired catching the technique or the theme.

I can't recommend this movie to everybody. One must enjoy to see so much fine tuned technical aspects (Tarr seems to be a master in attention to detail) or should be deeply into existential concerns.

Regarding the long shots. Yes, they are long, however they are intentionally long. That is the way director conveys the feeling that he wants you to be in. That may not be your cup of tea.

The only part that distracted me was the hospital scene. I understand that, acting details of such an action scene is not director's top priority in such a movie, however the action going around throughout the scene was a bit lousy.

As a final word, is the skeleton in Leviafan the same whale? Who knows... ;)
3 years 7 months ago
Gershwin's avatar


Damn right, Joseph. I just saw the first 30 minutes last week and it instantly urged me to write an ode (in Dutch) to this movie. Only having seen 30 minutes.

That hasn't got anything to do with pretending to like it. I never read a thing about it before I watched it.
10 years 1 month ago
AdGuzman's avatar


Loved the initial take, I loved Jànos definition of immortality, however I somehow deceived myself into thinking that was the kind of 'ride' Tarr was taking us which he never does, he's true to himself and avoids formula, avoids giving the audience what we think is appropriate and in doing so he manages to create an honest, truthful and refreshing cinema.

I'm not going to say I understood Werckmeister Harmonies, but there were ideas behind it such as how easy is to disrupt the quietness in life or of a culture/community in the presence of 'bright' new notions, views or acts.

However, after watching some interviews from Mr Béla Tarr I have the sense that 'making a statement' out of his stories is never his purpose, perhaps he's just trying to portrait life as he perceives, and being not only factual but also sincere in how narrative tends to display in real life.

I'm sure I will be trying to watch Werckmeister Harmonies for a third time, trying to catch more details, trying to pin things out even when Béla has already said that's not his idea of cinema...

The only "flaw" I could think of is that in catching moments on camera, and getting the audience (me) immerse in the story was a task better achieved in Sátántangó, it was easier for me to enjoy and lose myself in the moments captured in Sátántangó than in Werkmeister.
4 years 7 months ago
TheMajor's avatar


I've seen only about 4 of Tarr's movies, but this is the one I liked the least so far. Probably because the plot is too alien to me. The cinematography didn't impress me as much as some of his other movies like Sátántangó and A Torinói ló, but the main aspect I prefer about these latter movies is how they pull you up close to the characters. They suck you in.
9 years 6 months ago
NuclearPlanet's avatar


It's just so dream like and almost beautiful from start to finish. The long takes would have worked much better if the director had taken more advantages of the visuals. As Kubrick once said "Observancy is a dying art".

The ending feels just complete out their, not sure what exactly went on their but it felt like I watched the plot to a different movie.
9 years 8 months ago
Sobchak's avatar


Didnt get it
11 years 4 months ago
Phil2000's avatar


Possibly the best movie of the decade. I can't explain why I like it so much. I usually don't like movies without plots, but this is mesmerizing.
11 years 6 months ago
Jackaloo's avatar


lots of good things to say here but I think my favorites are the moments of sly comedy! rly exemplifies something i love about hungarian cinema in general :-)
1 year 9 months ago
V012's avatar


Beautiful, melancholic and artistic, this film is ingeniously executed in story and especially directing
8 years 2 months ago
andype's avatar


I've needed time to realize, how good this movie is. I've seen it two days ago and my first reaction was to mark this as unlike, then yesterday I took this mark back and know I favorized it. Probably it was because of this Bollywood movies on the list 2000', I had to see this stuff to realize, how much I like this Wrckmeister harmóniák...
3 years 8 months ago

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