This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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.
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,…
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…
Beautiful shot with a hypnotizing score, The Turin Horse is Bela Tarr delivering a simple yet complex look at the repetitive confines of daily existence. By showcasing the same chores over and over from different angles, and by contrasting interior/exterior spaces so fluidly, Tarr wears the viewer down - but in a way that --for me at least--has you thinking about your own routines and the day-to-day grind of modern existence. In some ways, aside from the bleakness, I fantasized of a life that was as simple as these two characters. In today's world we have a million more things to do and keep track of, yet we have a false sense that they will always be there.
That god damn horse.
Really bleak in a beautiful way. It's an endurance test by design, showing the mundanity of a survival lifestyle. Initially, it seems like it could be taken as a perseverance of human nature against a nature whose fierce, aggressive and unrelenting obstacles seem to exist primarily to directly scorn humans for existing. But its also ultimately defeatist: the horse won't work, and eventually the lantern won't light. As much as these two people struggle to do things as simple as eat their potatoes, there are some things simply beyond their control and the cruelty of reality is that these things don't necessarily have any logic to them. Sure, the lantern can't light because they lack the…
Oh, as something devastating/sad can be beautiful at the same time?
LET THOSE POTATOES COOL DOWN A MINUTE FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!
A powerful, ageless, and haunting film whose evocative imagery lingered in the mind long after the scenes were over. Everything about this painfully beautiful, bleak, meticulously-crafted, existential masterpiece was perfect and made for a rapturous and profound viewing experience.
In a symposium in 2007 devoted to Béla Tarr’s cinema, David Bordwell stated that “we want a cinema that puts the brakes on, slows things down. What we have to start doing if we want to study film history and aesthetics of film history is to look at how different filmmakers are taking this path.” It is undeniable that in a world where technology is advancing faster than ever, the attention span of audiences is becoming shorter and shorter – films reflecting this trend. The cuts have become faster, action moving at a rapid pace, all to keep us on our feet constantly. It is thus important to examine dromology itself – the science of speed – where there social…
i like'd the horse and the potatoes. masterpiece!
Why do you watch films? If it is just to fill in some time before you die, then don’t watch The Turin Horse...although it will make the wait for your death seem longer. But if you want something to provoke, make you think 'What was that about?', stick in your memory and unsettle you, then The Turin Horse will be a good bet. Apparently Bela Tarr has said it is his last film, but it is the first one I’ve seen. Start at the end and work back: a good enough strategy. What to say about it? 1) Nietzsche. The film begins with a narrator telling us about Nietzsche clinging to a horse that is being whipped by a cab…
Well I mean... I don't want to NOT slice my wrists after watching this
I wish I could like it more; it's interesting and it's so sparse but I'm conflicted as to how much it works in The Turin Horse's favour. I get that we are only supposed to be watching them survive but I just want more development. Maybe I'm just mad that Bela Tarr is retired now.
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.