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.
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…
Béla Tarr is a hit and miss with me. This is, IMO, his best film. Simplicity becomes him! We have everything from a Béla Tarr film here, the wind, things blowing all over the place, long takes, beautiful black and white cinematography, dirty people, even dirtier animals, repetition of things, filmed from a different view, hopelessness and a dystopian world. Here Tarr's style works perfectly for the story.
There are going to be SPOILERS from here on!!!
What we have here is an apocalyptic film, like Melancholia (2011) by Trier and The Road (2009). It is a film about the world unwinding. God created the world in 6 days according to the first chapter in Genesis (The Bible). What we…
The Turin Horse is now on Netflix. Now The Turin Horse is on Netflix. On Netflix now, The Turin Horse. Here is what I wrote about it for my weekly column "This Week On Demand". It's now on Netflix (US). You now have no excuse to not watch it.
Since cementing his signature style of minimal cuts, languid pacing, and monochrome photography with 1988’s Damnation, Béla Tarr has given us some of the greatest cinematic achievements of the last 25 years. He claims The Turin Horse to be his last film, his thoughts on the world now apparently all spoken. The howling winds of the film’s soundscape are as unrelenting as Tarr’s bleakness, his story that of a poor farmer…
Bela Tarr's final film 'The Turin Horse' offers a bleak picture of a father and daughter battling for basic survival. In 1889 Friedrich Nietzsche suffered a mental breakdown after protecting a horse from a brutal flogging, the story of Nietzsche's downfall is well documented, but Tarr wanted to tell the story of what happened to the horse and owner afterwards. Over 6 days we see the daughter carrying out the same mundane tasks - dressing her father, getting water from the well, cooking and eating a potato and cleaning out the stable - whilst an almost apocalyptic storm rages outside. Tarr is famous for his long shots, and apparently the film contains just 30 over its 2 and a half…
Like watching a beautiful painting dry - aesthetically pleasing but tedious to the extent of ordeal.
Ok, I let it sink in, and have decided this movie is bullshit. I appreciate "silent films", but only when there is some kind of purpose or tension beneath the silence, otherwise it is just silence. Unfortunately there is not much going on beneath the surface here. Some pretty engrossing/ gritty shots of the way the people live, but eventually, after the fourth time, the effectiveness of eating a potato with just one hand is lost. For that matter I would rather just watch something like "A Year In The Taiga". Honestly, I watched this movie because I love Nietzsche, but there was only like one monologue that kind of summoned him. The rest of the movie beat a single…
I previously saw Béla Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies and found it extremely difficult to rate and review. I honestly couldn't decide what I thought about it. I still can't say with 100% certainty whether I liked it or not. I'm having pretty much the same issue with The Turin Horse. On one hand it's hauntingly beautiful with amazing cinematography. On the other it's a story that's uncompromisingly bleak and not easily accessible. Tarr gets his point across with the camera where you can almost feel the hardship and despair of these people. There's very little dialogue making it a very visual film, but I can imagine some will find it as boring as it is bleak. That's why I say it's…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Why weren't they talking to each other?
If there ever was fitting film to match Abbas Kiarostami’s quote “I don’t mind if someone falls asleep while watching a film, as long as they dream about it after” it is Belá Tarr’s most recent and apparently swan song film. It is one of the most boring, dull and sluggishly paced film that you will have watched but it has more resonance than a 8.0 earthquake. It shatters your perceptions of humanity and forces you to rebuild, or convince yourself that life isn’t totally meaningless.
The withered faces, the brush of wind, the struggle of light and the potatoes, potatoes, potatoes create monotony that Tarr’s marvellous one take shots guides through the viewers eyes, into their brain and forces…
This is the, supposed, last film of Bela Tarr. The thought of that saddens me, but I can't imagine having a better swan song than this. If he sticks to his word, and this is it, at least he left us with one more masterpiece.