I See a Darkness: Béla Tarr & György Fehér
Screening Dates
  • July 21, 2023 8:45
  • July 23, 2023 8:20
  • July 29, 2023 8:45
  • August 1, 2023 7:00
New Restoration

Béla Tarr’s films remind us of the strange and beautiful potential of narrative cinema.”

Jim Jarmusch

Werckmeister Harmonies, Béla Tarr’s transfixing follow-up to his seven-hour epic Satantango, is one of the Hungarian auteur’s signature achievements and a benchmark work of contemporary art cinema. Based, like Satantango, on a novel by László Krasznahorkai, the film is set in a dreary, wintry East European village, where the arrival of a strange travelling circus, and a sinister zealot known as The Prince, unleashes destructive forces that plunge the community into madness, murder, and revolution. In distinctive, dreamlike Tarr fashion, the monochrome film is composed of mesmerizing long takes (by a sextet of cinematographers, Twilights Miklós Gurbán among them), and enveloped in mournful, melancholic atmosphere. The title refers to Andreas Werckmeister, a 17th-century German composer whose theories of harmony (and cosmological order) are disputed by one of the characters. Ágnes Hranitzky, Tarr’s longtime editor and wife, would from here on be acknowledged as co-director on their pictures.

In Hungarian with English subtitles

A work of bravura filmmaking … Magisterially bleak, voluptuously monochromatic, undeniably beautiful.”

J. Hoberman, Village Voice

Mysterious, poetic, and allusive, Werckmeister Harmonies beckons filmgoers who complain of the vapidity of Hollywood movie making and yearn for a film to ponder and debate.”

Lawrence Van Gelder, The New York Times

Tarr’s precise yet effortless command of the long take is so transcendent as to suggest the presence of God.”

Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine