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Werckmeister Harmonies

Werckmeister Harmonies

In a nameless, frozen, Eastern European village cloaked in fog, Janos (Lars Rudolph) choreographs three grizzly drunks in a pantomime of the earth circling the sun and the moon circling the earth. He freezes his actors and describes a total eclipse of the sun; the world grinds to a halt in momentary fear until the warmth of the sun again blankets the earth. On his errands in the wintry wee hours, he hears his neighbours worry about the severe coal shortage, the disappearance of entire families, and the impending riot. He watches as a truck lumbers into town, pulling an enormous corrugated shed behind it. Inside is a stuffed whale. The most gigantic ever seen. A sign says that a Prince accompanies the whale. Janos goes to visit Uncle Gyorgy (Peter Fitz), a musicologist determined to prove that the order imposed on sound by the Werckmeister Harmonies is false and only sonic chaos and disorder is truth. Weary and hungry, Janos finally makes it home when Aunt Tunde (Hanna Schygulla) arrives, threatening to move back in with Gyorgy if Janos does not convince him to use his influence to help her start her 'clean town movement'. It's simply exquisite.