The Turin Horse - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Turin Horse Reviews

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February 16, 2013
The Turin Horse (A torinói ló Hungarian film directed by Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky,. Starring János Derzsi, Erika Bók. Film was co-written by Tarr and his László Krasznahorkai. The film is shot in black-and-white. The film premiered at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, and earned Jury Grand Prix. The film was official Hungarian entry for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language, but could not make it to final list. This is supposedly the last film by Tarr, as he claims in his interview with NY Times.

The opening of the film a man narrates an earlier short-story of Nietzsche, while in Turin (Italy) one day in 1889, he witnessed a cart driver beating a horse and threw himself, weeping, on the animal's neck ,according to legend, the event led mental breakdown from which Nietzsche never recovered.

Tarr says that he wanted to show the heaviness of the life; plus the daily basic routines to fetch water from well under harsh weather, in someone's life. After watching interview of Tarr, I came up with view that if we were to ascertain segments of life's philosophical ups-and-downs then, there are countless such issues out there, to dramatize them and debate over their existence in the universe.

If Tarr is so much anxious to show the world about daily fetching of water from well and how hard it can be for someone, then he should research on this and come to Thar (Sindh, Pakistan) one of the largest deserts in the world, where the dwellers go out each day in search of water.

These movies are not aimed at general/average audience, for they contain real upheavals of human-life and tragic resounding of misery suffered at state of poverty and ever changing environment (that Tarr wants to explain).
February 14, 2013
Repetitive routine of the father and daughter on the last six days of their world was overlong, boring and haunting but not all uninteresting. The production setting, including wind, and cinematography were great.
February 13, 2013
2h and 30 m? wow. I'll make it's dry
February 10, 2013
Grueling. Haunting. Terrifying.
January 21, 2013
Like watching paint dry. Sets a new benchmark for slowness. Move over the snail and tortoise, the Turin Horse is here.
Brilliant cinematography nevertheless. The movie has been shot in only 30 long shots, and you feel it.
½ January 21, 2013
It's a marvelous achievement, one that's beautifully well-composed but completely despairing. Not an easy sit, but a bold piece of cinema. I'm not sure I loved it or even completely absorbed it but I was often intrigued or mesmerized by it and it won't leave me for awhile.
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2013
The Turin Horse offers all of the fun of burying your grandmother, without the comfort of having the rest of your family near. Bleak, full of mysterious beauty that is hard to put your finger on, and endlessly-bordering on obnoxiously-long. And once it is done one thing is for sure, you hope you never have to experience it again.
January 10, 2013
This is a MESMERIZING film.
Bela Tarr may be the greatest living filmmaker.
½ January 3, 2013
Pretentious and tedious. I love the works of Nietzsche but although this movie manage to recreate the despair of the philosopher thought, it reaches boredom at its best.
January 3, 2013
An extraordinarily difficult and challenging film; nothing really happens for nearly two and a half hours, but there's an inescapable magnetism to this film that eventually lulls you into submission. The sculpting of every haunting frame around every small movement of the pattern-like, prosaic tedium of the story, ends up feeling like an almost cleansing experience.

Whilst the creepily lit, black and white cinematography has a tormented, ghostly feel to it - real menace comes from the film's stark and lugubriously crumpled score that meshes with the discordant shrill of a brutal wind.

The Turin Horse is, by turns, a melancholic fable and an almost strange allegorical story on death; richly rewarding to those who have the patience to stay with it.
January 2, 2013
#6 on Tim's 2012 list
December 30, 2012
A film about the good old days!? When I first heard about it, I thought it could be either social realist or metaphysical (rubbish), or at least allegorical. I suppose it's both (and also an aesthetic, film-making exercise). Compare with The Grapes of Wrath?
December 28, 2012
Overrated and astonishingly dull. If Newt Gingrich is a stupid person's idea of a smart person, this is an idiot's idea of an intelligent film. Two stars is as generous as I can be. Really disappointing.
Super Reviewer
December 7, 2012
Bela Tarr's "Swan Song" is Tarr-esque in all forms-- long takes, glorious black and white, and silent-- which may be fantastic news for Tarr fans.
½ November 26, 2012
It's typical Bela Tarr. Long and gorgeously photographed and while it didn't floor me I can't really say too much bad about it.
October 22, 2012
Stunning slow movie, an endurance test and a delight
October 17, 2012
The best of movie of 2012. Uncompromisingly relentless, horrific and distressing. The definition of masterwork.
½ October 5, 2012
This is a masterpiece. Béla Tarr is a genius. Period. The philosophical premise is intellectually deep. The execution is the typical work of a master: so true to its visionary's grandeur that it is unique in every way. One can see the master's fingerprint on his work. Now this is not an easy movie to watch. It is deliberately slow, repetitive, dark, dry. That just adds to the power for those who will put the in work to reap the deep intellectual and artistic rewards. Most movie goers are looking for entertainment, nothing wrong with that. This film is not it! For those looking for a rare gem, like a Picasso in a museum, this certainly is a film for you to work on! As with any masterpiece the deep rewards are worth the heavy lifting.
September 30, 2012
A deep disappointment after the equally challenging, equally glacially paced, but utterly sublime Werckmeister Harmonies. Practically a self-parody, its only virtues are stolen from other films. Had Bresson's masterpieces Au Hasard Balthasar and Mouchette been soulless exercises in style, they would have been this film. Mix in a bit of Lilian Gish's infinitely superior 1928 silent, The Wind, and the parody is pretty much complete.

Some will give the film points for cinematography, but it's cheap beauty: the easy and crowd-pleasing technique of sharp detail and high contrast that sells millions of Ansel Adams prints and makes people believe Dead Man isn't Jarmusch's worst movie.
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