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…
Posted at my personal blog, Aesthetics of the Mind:
For six days, man and woman each eat a potato, and then dark silence overcomes them. Ritual figures deeply in Tarr’s observation of the death of God. Metonyms of the Lord, the horse will not eat, the wind will not blow, the water will not rise, the fire will not burn. Life stands still. God Is Dead.
99/100 – Masterful
I've thought a lot about this film and now I know exactly where the problem is: the writing and the buildup.
Bella Tarr is a director capable of doing a good film, he did so with Werckmeister Harmonies. Why was WH so good? Because it gave enough setup for the long shots to be consumable, it opened in a way that creates curiosity towards the environment the film takes place on. This film doesn't even try to do that. The cinematography, while being good, is just good eye candy, there's not much behind it. The pacing is horribly slow, so slow that it makes the film almost unwatchable (an issue I also had with Satantango) plus the film seems to…
Bela Tarr's swan song proves to be not just the most underrated film of the decade but possibly ever. Tarr's style really fits the film and shows the world shows the world he created is dark desolate distant, hopeless, a world that is slowly ending.
The human characters are not developed very much which is due to the fact the film isn't about them, I find the film more to be about the horse who is slowly dying. The characters seem to represent humanity as a whole rather then individual characters. The cinematography are top notch here, Tarr's long shots perfectly convey the tone of the film. This also is one of the most gripping films I have ever seen,…
I don't get it.
holy hell, what a film, the apocalypse has never looked so stark and somber. so grounded in the earth and the fury of the elements that to even consider a god is paramount to absurdity, and the nihilism of framing the film around the horse that drove nietzsche mad is harrowing, to say the least
i hate slow movies , really hate them
but this movie is different , the great cinematography kills the deadly boring slow Rhythm , very creative use of the " zoom " which i also hate :) , the lake of speech gives the rare conversations more power
message strongly delivered dear bella tarr .
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…