“In Turin on 3rd January, 1889, Friedrich Nietzsche steps out of the doorway of number six, Via Carlo Albert. Not far from him, the driver of a hansom cab is having trouble with a stubborn horse. Despite all his urging, the horse refuses to move, whereupon the driver loses his patience and takes his whip to it. Nietzsche comes up to the throng and puts an end to the brutal scene, throwing his arms around the horse’s neck, sobbing.
His landlord takes him home, he lies motionless and silent for two days on a divan until he mutters the obligatory last words, and lives for another ten years, silent and demented, cared for by his mother and sisters. We do not know what happened to the horse.”
These are Béla Tarr’s introductory words at the beginning of his film, which picks up the narrative immediately after these events, and is a meticulous description of the life of the driver of the hansom cab, his daughter and the horse. This Hungarian director’s new work bears all the hallmarks of his inimitable style including long takes, black-and-white photography and almost no dialogue. –Berlinale
Born in 1955, Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr began making amateur films at the age of 16, later working as caretaker at a national House for Culture and Recreation. His amateur work brought him to the attention of the Bela Balazs Studios (named in honor of the Hungarian cinema theorist), which helped fund Tarr’s 1979 feature debut Family Nest, a work of socialist realism clearly influenced by the work of John Cassavettes. The 1981 piece The Outsider and the following year’s The Prefab People continued in much the same vein, but with a 1982 television adaptation of Macbeth, his work began to change dramatically; comprised of only two shots, the first shot (before the main title) was five minutes long, with the second 67 minutes in length. Not only did Tarr’s visual sensibility move from raw close-ups to more abstract mediums and long shots, but also his philosophical sensibility shifted from grim realism to a more metaphysical outlook similar to that of Andrei Tarkovsky. After 1984’s… read more
Ágnes Hranitzky, Béla Tarr’’s collaborator, editor, co-director and wife.
Next time I have potatoes, I am trying that eating technique. As for the rest, it veered a bit too close to self-parody for my tastes. I'm also interested in getting around to watching Haneke's The Seventh Continent (perhaps a double feature?) to see whether there're some thematic similarities.
After seeing The Turin Horse a third time, it made me realize that a portion of the film reflects how repetitious my daily activities are, eating the same food and reliving the same mundane experience. A weight of human life as Tarr would describe it. Even the use of black-and-white reflects the world truly. In some way it's a documentary or in another way a dark impressionist painting with Nietzsche as the painter.
The “unholy egoism”, claimed by Stirner, arises from the frailty of the image, blackened in perpetual distress – his prophecy brings the tempest to the last endurance of man. We killed God, and now we are our own deity as lone individuals, till the end of times.
Adrian Curry’s annual round-up of his favorite film posters of the year.
A Japanese La jetée and more posters from our sidebar Tumblr, Movie Poster of the Day.
Also: Farocki, Amos Poe, Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins, Barbara Hammer, Fritz Lang and a busy season for admirers of Sherlock Holmes.
Adrian Curry looks at two new posters designed by Scott Meola.
A little more than a dying lamp this time.
In our annual poll, we pair our favorite new films of 2011 with older films seen in the same year to create fantastic double features.
“Our film of 2011 is The Tree of Life (by a country mile).”
Lars von Trier’s Melancholia leads with eight.
Also: Quite the David Lynch package in the Guardian. Remembering horror producer Richard Gordon. And more.
Béla Tarr’s masterful “final film,” The Turin Horse, is now seeing a theatrical release in the US.
A highlight of this roundup on Tarr’s last film: Robert Koehler’s interview with cinematographer Fred Kelemen.
How a tracking shot saved Europe.
A telling, accidental detail changes the feel of one of the Hungarian master’s virtuoso camera moves in his newest film.
A look at the posters for the films in the main slate of this year’s New York Film Festival.
A couple of weeks ago, The Cinema Guild announced that it had acquired US distribution rights to what, for me at any rate, remains the best
The Hungarian premiere of Béla Tarr's The Turin Horse (review and roundup) in Budapest this coming Thursday was to have been a celebration
Finding work at the Berlin Film Festival
What a night for Asghar Farhadi's Nader and Simin, a Separation. Not only has the International Jury of this year's Berlinale, presided over
Notes will follow, but first, an introduction: "Among cinephiles the most anticipated competition entry by far was The Turin Horse, the
Trailer for Béla Tarr’s “The Turin Horse”
A Torinòi Lò: l’Apocalisse secondo Bèla Tarr, il suo Testamento (stando alle proprie dichiarazioni) al mondo della Settima Arte dopo il Monumento eretto con Satantango (1994), passando per Damnation… read review
Beautiful and beautifully lit black and white cinematography of people (and a horse) doing mostly very ordinary things. The score is lovely and appropriately spare. I was mesmerized for the first hour… read review
“Everything’s in ruins. Everything’s been degraded, but I could say that they’ve ruined and degraded everything. Because this is not some kind of cataclysm, coming about with so-called innocent human… read review
Visually beautiful, the ascetic black and white shots are accompanied by the minimalistic score of violins and organ, silence and the sound of a violent wind. The shots are carefully choreographed… read review