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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. 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. – Janus Films