Watched Aug 13, 2012
Robert Beksinski’s review:
I guess I am still not a Bela Tarr fan. I actually did (with low expectations) hope this would be the film to change that for me and urge me on to explore more of his work. So far I have only seen one of his films I truly enjoyed but even that film (Damnation) was not great enough to persuade me to dig deeper after being severely disappointed with both Werckmeister Harmonies and Satantango (Which I could not even stomach to finish). I did however finish The Turin Horse and without fast-forwarding which has become accustomed to Tarr films and his excruciatingly long takes. One thing I have to give him in all of his films but certainly more so in The Turin Horse is his keen eye for visuals and setting up shots (he just needs to make them shorter in length). The cinematography here is crisp black and white and absolutely beautiful amongst the deary and harsh landscape. But the film fails because it becomes overlong and too repetitious and pointless. We see a 6 day repetition inside the lives of poor peasants and the bleak surroundings they must endure. Eventually towards the end certain events very subtly change the lives of these two individuals for the worse as if being punished in a way for their crimes (the titular horse whipping). The story could have come across like a powerful retelling similar to the Book of Job but instead drug on and settled for pointless examination of mundane tasks. Tarr I would consider to be the one director who I wished I did like if their were someway to overcome all of these obstacles. I still rate The Turin Horse 6/10 for even the lack of story, the visual aspect and direction were superbly well executed as is usually the case with Tarr.