The best that cinema has had to offer since 2000 as picked by 177 film critics from around the world.…
The Turin Horse
In 1889 German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessed the whipping of a horse while traveling in Turin, Italy. He tossed his arms around the horse's neck to protect it then collapsed to the ground. In less than one month, Nietzsche would be diagnosed with a serious mental illness that would make him bed-ridden and speechless for the next eleven years until his death. But whatever did happen to the horse? This film, which is Tarr's last, follows up this question in a fictionalized story of what occurred. The man who whipped the horse is a rural farmer who makes his living taking on carting jobs into the city with his horse-drawn cart. The horse is old and in very poor health, but does its best to obey its master's commands. The farmer and his daughter must come to the understanding that it will be unable to go on sustaining their livelihoods. The dying of the horse is the foundation of this tragic tale.
Me: So Mr. Tarr, what exactly is your film The Turin Horse about?
Bela Tarr: Ze film is about ze futility and meaninglessness of life. Man is but animal, a beast of burden meant to be suffering, and zen die. Zayr is no God. Zayr is no after life. Happiness is nozthing.
The wind blows.
We watch a moving world. We do not move ourselves.
We are Pygmalion in reverse. Our daily routine is the chisel, turning us to stone.
We wait. We ignore. We transform.
The wind blows.
It sucks our breath, it drowns our words.
Actions speak louder. Actions can match the wind.
Nature versus routine. An eternal battle to wear away our stone facade.
Both with the same goal, reward, curse. Stone or dust.
Winner signaled by brief panic, then stone or dust.
The wind blows.
I'd like to place a reservation on my rating for The Turin Horse for now. Béla Tarr is a director I've long been wanting to experience,…
This is a film of the elements.
Between the constant wind, the need for water, the dirt and mud, and the light of small, flickering flames, this film is the sum total of reality. In the midst of all of these is the aether, the fifth element that controls movement and light. In this case, the aether is the camera, which moves fluidly about our sparse subjects and observes, yet also commands their fates in a metatextual way. The aether is Tarr's storytelling.
The wind is the uncontrollable power that sweeps away everything. It is the horse's refusal to work and the inevitability of the end. It is constant, grating, and brutal, and it drives those who attempt to move…
Bela Tarr drops the mic and exits stage left leaving the audience perplexed and stunned. There is no letting up from an auteur with such a determined vision, looking at the drudgery of life's routine also proving to be a fitting curtain call to his career.
He imagines what happened to a beaten horse said to have influenced the depression that led to Nietzsche's death. The dense atmosphere of the film links itself to the weighty existential musings of the philosopher creating a far reaching parable. God Is Dead in this ferociously angry land where the sun never shines and the wind batters through the soul.
It is a beautiful film to look at offering no hiding place for the…
This is one of those cases where my rating is for the merits of the film and not my preferences. As beautiful as this film is, I could only recommend it to those who are particularly interested in seeing the daily routines and harshness of 19th Century country living, or to serious fans of Tarkovskiy, who are used to slow long shots where not much happens on the screen.
The Turin Horse.
It is gorgeous. Every shot is one of the most beautiful photographs you will ever see.
It sounds beautiful. The score and the harsh wind are almost indistinguishable, both playing the same melody.
The art direction is perfect. Every single dented pot, every crack in the wall, every…
It’s hard to imagine a film more depressing than Tarr’s remarkable and seemingly final offering. Even the bleakest works of Ingmar Bergman would fail to come close. But, just as with the Scandinavian master’s best pieces, Tarr’s The Turin Horse is nevertheless essential, entrancing viewing. The sadly retiring Hungarian’s singularity of vision is even more intense here than before, with his alluring, trademark tracking shots and gentle black humour all but abandoned in favour of mostly static, dialogue-free scenes of drudgery and repetitive manual labour, leavened only by the howls of the relentlessly blowing wind and the intermittent accompaniment of Vig’s outstandingly haunting score.
The plot, what there is of one, follows the miserable lives of a stroke-victim farmer (Derzsi),…
Very long, very slow, very simple, and extremely bleak.
I love Potatoes!
Against these elements we're insignificant. Against these elements we tread the murkiest of waters until either they disappear or we drown. Or both. Simultaneously. As the door slams shut from relentless gusts of wind. The watchful eye, the only acknowledgement of our existence, retreats in silence. And the darkness descends. And ultimately overtakes.
*stares out window*
In seven days God deconstructed the world; it sat in abject spiritual poverty, barely subsiding and growing ever closer to the brink of death.
Tarr takes Nietzsche's tale of the horse on the road to Torino to the ultimate end: a parable of humankind working oneself/or being worked unto oblivion. It's a fitting, if horrifically bleak, swan song for Tarr.
Robert Frost once said that the world would end either in fire or in ice. In The Turin Horse, Bela Tarr negotiates a middle way between these two paths. His characters seem to be trapped in amber, slowly suffocating under the banality of their existence. Borrowing structurally from Jeanne Dielman, the film shows six consecutive days in the life of a hansom driver and his daughter. Tarr's camera lingers (some would say languishes) upon the repetitive motions that, summed together, make a life.
And yet, there is a sense of damnation present in the film as well. Each day, some element of their lives is stripped away from them. It is a sort of anti-Genesis story that sees their life become ever more cold and closed off. By the end of the film, even Light has deserted them.
Au Hasard Balthazar 2: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
My initial reaction to the film is "here is a black and white movie, well made, sombre in spirit that takes off from the event that led to Nietzsche's eventual death." The famous nihilist, Nietzsche, who once studied to be a monk and then denounced the existence of God, ultimately went mad after he saw a horse being brutalized by a horse- cart owner when the horse stubbornly refused to pull the cart. This movie "The Turin Horse" is all about stubborn lives as well in a stubborn world.
The wind blows relentlessly in a barren spot in Hungary. A partly paralyzed father and his daughter live in a house built of stones and tiles far away from any living…
"To live is to suffer; to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering." – Friedrich Nietzsche
If you are looking to be entertained, continue looking. Tarr did not create this film to entertain you. In fact, it requires a Tarkovskyesque effort to watch. It is a harrowing 2 1/2 hours.
I think everyone might read this film differently, but for me, it's about man's struggle against a cold, brutal, uncaring world. Tarr's use of time and space immerses the viewer into this brutal world. There is no joy here. Simple kindnesses the daughter directs toward the horse are lapped up quickly by a parched viewer looking for a redemption, anything.
What struck me most was the storytelling- that…
A masterpiece not many will appreciate.
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.