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Werckmeister Harmonies (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on April 7, 2008

I was worried about revisiting this one, as I was afraid that it wouldn’t be as good as I thought and I’d regret purchashing it. But… wow, I think this is now one of my all-time favorites. An incredible, breathtaking experience. So amazingly self-assured and confident. The most obvious comparison is Tarkovsky (with a touch of David Lynch) but I love it more than any of his films. There’s just so much to love here. The long, patient shots, a mere 38 of them in 140 minutes (by comparison, something like Die Hard 4 has about that many in a single minute), balletic and hypnotic to the point where you don’t even realize you’ve been watching an unbroken shot for 5, 8, 10 minutes. The hazy dreamlike black & white photography, loaded with evocative and unforgettable images. The array of interesting, haggard faces, none more compelling than Lars Rudolph’s haunted, sensitive, sunken eyes. The beautiful music, simple and sparse but immediately gets under your skin. And the story, which Tarr insists is free of allegory, but is prime material for a variety of interpretations. Facets Multimedia needs to hurry up with their release of Satantango, because I’m ready to blind-buy it. Rating: 10


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