Werckmeister Harmonies (****1/2)

(2001) dirs. Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky – w/ Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, Hanna Schygulla, and so on.

Synopsis: The meaning of life is contemplated, mail is delivered, the circus comes to town. Angry mobs and bonfires, some are driven mad. There Is A Whale.

Review: It’s only a slight exaggeration to say this film secured a place in my favorites in its first fifteen minutes. There’s a certain understated elegance, but I’d be lying if I told you I knew exactly what I like so much about this movie. Watch the opening scene yourself, and see. (Although it is certainly better, and more compelling, to see it on a larger screen, and as part of the larger movie.) Werckmeister Harmonies is a mostly inscrutable movie, filled with ambivalent but excellent imagery, curious characters, and stunning music.

Rating: [••••½] out of [•••••]