The Turin Horse by Béla Tarr

2011 (Hungary/France/Germany/Switzerland) · 146 minutes · with Erika Bók, János Derzsi, Mihály Kormos, Ricsi


“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.


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