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Review: The Turin Horse

Bela Tarr's final film
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 7, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars



Legend has it that in Turin, Friedrich Nietzsche came across a horse being beaten by its driver. Nietzsche embraced the horse, went insane, and remained so for the rest of his life. Hungarian director Bela Tarr might not have gone insane, but he has said that this will be his last film. Shot in meditative long takes in black and white with minimal dialogue (The Artist fans take note: the horse is no Uggie), the film records a Biblical six days in the lives of an old man, his daughter, and their moribund horse in a ruined farm in the middle of wind-blown nowhere. She boils potatoes, does laundry, draws water, and cleans the stable. He eats potatoes, grumbles in his long johns and, since the horse can no longer draw a cart, lies in bed. Then things get worse. Mihály Vig's dirge-like soundtrack underscores the eloquent futility, which makes Bresson's Balthazar seem Disney-like. It's part of a Tarr retrospective at the HFA, which no film lover should miss.

  Topics: Reviews , Boston, new, short takes,  More more >
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