Back to All Events

Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) - Scenes Season

Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani


Inspired by a project by Caroline Jupp to interview local audiences about their personally significant movie scenes, this season is celebrating a selection of these films from the iconic to the obscure.

Werckmeister Harmonies was chosen by Richard, one of Deptford Cinema’s volunteers, who has been entranced by Béla Tarr’s sublime film, and in particularly its transcendent final scene.

A Scenes publication, featuring the transcribed interviews, will be available to browse and purchase during the Scenes Season from the Deptford Cinema bar.

Within a bleak rural Hungarian town rumours abound of a mysterious circus that is due to arrive. There are suggestions of apocalyptic events coinciding with the circus’ performance in neighbouring towns. A young man, Janos witnesses the arrival of the circus and the townspeople’s descent into violence provoked by the appearance of the Prince and the whale.
Based on László Krasznahorkai’s acclaimed novel The Melancholy of Resistance, Werckmeister Harmonies is an enthralling and mesmerising film, quite unlike anything else you have ever seen.

Béla Tarr

Born in Pécs in 1955 Béla Tarr is one of the most celebrated auteurs in cinema. Initially intending to become a philosopher Tarr was prevented from attending university by the Hungarian government so pursued his ‘hobby’ of cinema. His films, typically darkly comic and apocalyptic, are usually set against a backdrop of oppression, chaos and occupatioStarting with 1988’s Damnation Tarr began collaborating with novelist László Krasznahorkai adapting his works Satantango (into a 7 hour epic) and The Melancholy of Resistance. One of the greatest directors of the ‘slow cinema’ movement Tarr retired from filmmaking in 2011 leaving us with a small but unforgettable body of work.

Scenes Season Logo.jpg
  • DIRECTOR: Béla Tarr

  • STARRING: Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, Hanna Schygulla

  • Hungary

  • 2000

  • 139 MINS

  • RATING – 12

  • English Subtitles 

Doors 7:30 PM

Film 8:00 PM

Scenes Web Cover.jpg
Novel, compelling and...quite astonishingly moving.
— Richard Williams, The Guardian
Unique, mesmeric and sublime.
— Peter Bradshaw
Tarr’s precise yet effortless command of the long take is so transcendent as to suggest the presence of God.
— Slant Magazine
Werckmeister Harmonies 2.jpg
Mysterious, poetic and allusive, ‘Werckmeister Harmonies’ beckons filmgoers who yearn for a film to ponder and debate.
— The New York Times