Werckmeister Harmonies

Werckmeister Harmonies

DVD Rating: **1/2

Reviewed by: Anton Bitel

Read Anton Bitel's film review of Werckmeister Harmonies

The only extra is a 38-minute interview with Béla Tarr conducted by Jonathan Romney at the National Film Theatre in 2001, timed to coincide with a complete BFI retrospective of the director's work. The format is a little awkward, with Tarr addressing his audience (mostly) through an interpreter, and some tighter editing might have been in order – something that certain more sacrilegious viewers might also say of his protracted films themselves.

Still, there is plenty of interest, not least Tarr's assertion that scenery, weather, time and locations play as prominent a part in his films as the character, and his perverse insistence that there are "no allegories... no symbols of any kind" in his films, nor indeed any politics (which he regards as an improper subject for film).

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How he reconciles this position with the further claim that his "marginal films about marginal people" deal with "social, ontological and cosmic problems" is anyone's guess. Less surprising, however, is his contempt for the film industry, and for conventional movie-making in general.

Reviewed on: 13 May 2009
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Cosmos gives way to chaos in Tarr's whale of a tale.
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Product Code: ART 417 DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: 1.66:1

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0

Extras: Béla Tarr interview

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