Bela Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies is not for everyone. It is long, coming in at around two and a half hours (not too long considering his last movie is seven and a half hours in length). The average time of each shot is close to three minutes long. It is shot in black and white. There are no special effects or plot twists.
Yet Tarr’s style is mesmerizing and penetrating. It creates a dark, bleak world of relentless winters, muddy streets, and frightened citizens. The characters seem real. The black and white shots are sometimes dramatic, sometimes beautiful, and sometimes horrifying. I really enjoyed this film, but as I said, its not for everyone. I’ll provide the opening takes below as well as the song from the video.