Werckmeister Harmonies (4/16, 9:45pm)

A masterpiece of bone-chillingly stark beauty, Béla Tarr’s breakthrough film about chaos descending onto a small Hungarian village is an intellectual and visual juggernaut of near-unmatched power. Through unforgettable imagery that intertwines hope and despair as inseparably as the black and white of the film’s bleakly stunning compositions, Tarr melds all the unalterable monumentality of the cosmos with the small rhythms of our human routines and intrigues. A bar full of haggard drunkards beautifully recreates the dance-like rotations of the solar system — and the stuffed corpse of a whale interrupts the bustling life of the village square with the inescapability of decay, both physical and societal. Throughout it all, Tarr’s trademark long shots (the film is comprised of a mere 35 long-takes), along with his solemnly gliding camera, transform the screen into the equivalent of an oversize hourglass that both mourns and celebrates the unavoidable progress of time, and our place in it. Ultra-rare 35mm print!
Dirs. Béla Tarr & Ágnes Hranitzky, 2000, 35mm, 145 min.

Watch excerpts from “Werckmeister Harmonies”!
YouTube Preview Image