Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
The Turin Horse
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.
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,…
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.
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 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…
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…
More an experience than a film, Béla Tarr's The Turin Horse is one of the bleakest and most depressing pieces of art I have ever encountered. And at the same time it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
Tarr's film builds on a thought, a musing (taken from the film's synopsis): 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…
Breathtaking cinematography. A torturous experience. BUT THAT'S THE POINT. Ouch.
Da su peor cara cuando es ruidosa, en los escasos pero existentes diálogos. "The Turin Horse" es una de esas películas que funcionan mejor sin palabras de por medio.
Establece un código de elementos básicos con el espectador: el arrollador e incesante viento, las ropas de los personajes, la mesa de la comida, la ventana, el caballo, el pozo, su única composición musical... la rutina. Pero la película no es rutinaria, bajo su estructura, casi por capítulos, se va renovando constantemente a nivel visual. No hay dos escenas rodadas del mismo modo. A través de sus largos planos secuencia siempre está buscando estrategias distintas, jugando con el espacio, puedes situar la arquitectura y los personajes incluso cuando están fuera del…
Starting off from an apocraphyl tale about Nietszche and the day that he saw a cabman whipping his horse and then ran up to the creature, put his arms around it and then headed back to his home, where the madness would start to set in that then stayed with him until his death. Bela Tarr uses this moment as a springboard to then look at what happened to the horse and cabman, the result is a film full of beauty and foreboding that will test your patience even while it treats your eyes.
The lives of the people shown here are difficult ones, full of nothing to hold your interest. Apparently. I admit that during the first half hour…
"We have to eat"
I complained a couple of weeks ago about the weightless feeling to the camerawork in BIRDMAN, and, with my first Tarr movie, I get my wish: long takes where you feel the camera's ponderous moves in your bones. The story, such as it is, concerns the relentless snuffing out of every resource an old farmer and his middle-aged daughter need to survive. The B&W cinematography is so crisp and sensuous; however, that it creates an energy that offsets the deadening tedium of their existence. It's fun, in it's odd way. The only problem is a sawing, Phillip-Glassy score with a leitmotif that's repeated way too many times, but it's a minor one. 8/10
Beautiful, artistic, briliant, and heartbreaking, "The Turin Horse" is Bela Tarr's swan song, and sadly, at the end of an illustrious career, his final film.
Cuando un amigo mío vio hace tiempo «El caballo de Turín» me comentó que le había encantado, pero que no podía comprender cómo le había gustado tanto ver a gente comiendo patatas.
Quizá sea porque hay mucho más que eso en la última película de Béla Tarr. Una obra peligrosamente monótona –a fin de cuentas, la monotonía es parte de su discurso–, pero increíblemente bella, tanto como desoladora.
«El caballo de Turín» es una experiencia, radical pero profundamente meditada, su idea no nace del antojo. Tarr elimina el «argumento», y con ello se desmarca la narrativa tradicional (¿podría decirse incluso que se desmarca directamente de la narrativa? No me atrevo). No hay introducción ni nudo. ¿Y el desenlace? La sensación final es de completo abandono. Desasosiego y vacío.
Hoy no veré nada más, no estoy en condiciones. Estoy rendido.
There's a scene mid-way through The Turin Horse where the daughter is once again performing her daily rituals, which includes going into the barn to check on the horse's well-being. There it stands, perfectly still, refusing to eat or drink, appearing to have completely given up on its own life and therefore the lives of its owners who need the horse's mobility for survival. It is as profoundly moving as it is disturbing. All I could think about was - what was running through it's mind? What did it know that we don't? What did Nietzsche see in it's eyes that day that eventually broke him? This film is a sea of despair that one could easily drown in. The only thing certain in Tarr's final film is - God is well and truly dead.
Looking for an alternative to sleeping pills? Well this is... zzzz zzzz zzzz