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Trailer Watch: 4K Restoration of Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky’s Werckmeister Harmonies

A trailer has arrived for the 4K restoration of Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky’s 2000 film Werckmeister Harmonies from Janus Films. Based on the 1989 novel The Melancholy of Resistance by Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai, the film will be re-released in New York later this month with more cities to follow.

An official synopsis reads:

One of the major achievements of twenty-first-century cinema thus far, Béla Tarr’s mesmeric parable of societal collapse is an enigma of transcendent visual, philosophical, and mystical resonance. Adapted from a novel by the celebrated writer and frequent Tarr collaborator László Krasznahorkai, Werckmeister Harmonies unfolds in an unknown era in an unnamed village, where, one day, a mysterious circus—complete with an enormous stuffed whale and a shadowy, demagogue-like figure known as the Prince—arrives and appears to awaken a kind of madness in the citizens, which builds inexorably toward violence and destruction. In thirty-nine of his signature long takes, engraved in ghostly black and white, Tarr conjures an apocalyptic vision of dreamlike dread and fathomless beauty.

Werckmeister Harmonies will open at NYC’s Film at Lincoln Center on May 26. In the meantime, read Vadim Rizov’s interview with Tarr during the 2019 New York Film Festival (also hosted at FLC), in which the director discusses the then-recent 4K restoration of his opus Sátántangó upon its 25th anniversary.

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