|Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on July 8, 2010 at 6:21 PM|
WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES **
IDEA: A bizarre traveling circus arrives at an unnamed town in Hungary, bringing with it a giant stuffed whale and a faceless "Prince" that incite havoc amongst the villagers.
BLURB: Béla Tarr is clearly unfamiliar with the tool of editing. His Werckmeister Harmonies, a trudging, lumbering 2 ½ hour slog very much reminiscent of the dead whale carcass at its center, is quite the maddening experience. Is a nearly four minute, seemingly looped tracking shot of two men walking side by side without a word to each other necessary, when the shot could have easily skipped all that and jumped to their destination arrival? Debatable, and the camerawork is often impressive on a purely technical level anyway. Is any of it particularly interesting? Not for this viewer. Tarr’s message of innate human disruption, spiritual isolation, and the clash between natural order and one of a more man-made inclination is stuff worth exploring. Here, he takes an indulgently – and depressingly dour – long time to do so, with little sustainable interest.