The Turin Horse 2011 ★★★★★

The Turin Horse is now on Netflix. Now The Turin Horse is on Netflix. On Netflix now, The Turin Horse. Here is what I wrote about it for my weekly column "This Week On Demand". It's now on Netflix (US). You now have no excuse to not watch it.

Since cementing his signature style of minimal cuts, languid pacing, and monochrome photography with 1988’s Damnation, Béla Tarr has given us some of the greatest cinematic achievements of the last 25 years. He claims The Turin Horse to be his last film, his thoughts on the world now apparently all spoken. The howling winds of the film’s soundscape are as unrelenting as Tarr’s bleakness, his story that of a poor farmer and his daughter whose livelihood is threatened when their horse refuses to work or eat. Unfolding over just thirty shots set to the tune of Mihály Víg’s soul-shattering leitmotif, The Turin Horse is a cruelly frank depiction of life, stripped of all its frills and exposed for the recurrent procession of mindless routines that it is. Such bare, brutal, brilliant honesty is rarely captured on film; Tarr’s camera boggles the mind with its artful grace, rendering all poetic with its unflinching gaze. This is not just the best film of 2012, but among the greatest ever made.