Where: The Belcourt
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, March 22
In 2002, the Nashville Film Festival showed Bela Tarr’s Werckmeister Harmonies only once, to a half-full auditorium on a weeknight. By the following weekend, the black-and-white allegory of fascist upheaval — spellbinding to some, maddening to others, you'll know which you are from the clip above — was the festival’s most talked-about movie. The people who saw it couldn’t stop thinking about it, even those who didn’t like it, and the people who missed it couldn’t stop kicking themselves. (Like the legendary Jason and the Scorchers show at Cat’s Records, it became one of those events whose audience has mysteriously multiplied over the years.)
The word “hallucinatory” gets applied to a lot of mildly macabre, picturesque stuff. But Tarr’s famously long, glacial, crepuscular takes (the entire movie has just 39 shots) produce a time-warping effect somewhere between daydreaming and impatience yielding to hypnosis. If you’re at all curious, go — you’ll never see anything else like it, unless it’s also by Tarr.