Béla Tarr, The Turin Horse

Slant Magazine on the DVD/Blu-Ray release of Tarr's final film
Promotional poster for The Turin Horse (dir. Béla Tarr, 2011)
A review by Budd Wilkins (Slant Magazine): 'The final film from acclaimed Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr, The Turin Horse is an almost perfect encapsulation of the stylistic hallmarks and thematic preoccupations that have marked the director's work, at least since the beginning of his collaboration with novelist and screenwriter László Krasznahorkai. The film opens in poetic-philosophical mode with a literal tabula rasa: Darkness fills the screen. A disembodied voice relates an incident, perhaps little more than an apocryphal legend, a footnote from the history of philosophy concerning the collapse of Friedrich Nietzsche after compassionately embracing a beaten horse in the streets of Turin. "Quiet and demented," so we are told, Nietzsche lived out the last 10 years of his existence. The anecdote concludes somewhat inconclusively: "Of the horse, we know nothing." This quizzical narration contains all the simplicity and ambiguity of one of Kafka's fables, opening up vistas of ethical and ultimately metaphysical speculation. Likewise, the atmosphere of existential enervation that accumulates over the course of The Turin Horse suggests the bleak and barren topography of a late Samuel Beckett play as filmed by Andrei Tarkovsky. Ultimately, precisely what relation the film's subsequent events bear to Nietzsche and his philosophy remains resolutely open to viewer interpretation.' [Read More]

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