Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 04 February 2012 15:06

'The Turin Horse' Plods Along Beautifully

'The Turin Horse' Plods Along Beautifully betweentheseats.blogspot.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: Bela Tarr and Agnes Hrantizky
  • Dates: February 17-19, 2012

Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr is among the best directors too few U.S. film fans know. This results in part from the demanding nature of his work, as The Turin Horse proves. For it requires enormous patience for almost 2½ hours during this minimalist, black-and-white masterpiece probes the human condition of an isolated father and daughter.

Over six days announced with titles on the screen, the man and his daughter speak infrequently and then briefly and abruptly as they endure harsh weather and savage wind, holed up in their isolated, small farmhouse. The longest exchange occurs when a neighbor arrives and asks for a glass of pálinka, a traditional Hungarian brandy. He departs quickly. One other interruption in their tenuous survival comes when gypsies stop to steal water from the well. Aside from that, the daughter dresses her father who has one useless arm, they try to feed the ailing horse that refuses food and drink, the daughter trudges up a barren rise to get water, and boils potatoes that they eat with their bare hands. That's it, as Tarr and co-director Ágnes Hranitzky express volumes about human existence through repeated actions and drawn, somber faces.

Tarr has said that he doesn't tell stories, but he certainly captures life with visual mastery. The Turin Horse begins with a shot that has been called among the best 15 minutes in film history. Seen from a low angle slightly above ground level, the horse struggles mightily to pull the farmer's wagon, a metaphor for life. The camera tracks backwards in front of the horse, always retreating. In other scenes, the camera follows the daughter from behind as she fetches water, tracks slowly within the cabin to close-ups of heartbreakingly sad, motionless faces, or sits still for long takes out a window showing a denuded landscape. The wind blows relentlessly, complemented by a dark score of organ and string sounds.

The back-story is that Friedrich Nietzsche exited his home in Turin, 1889, to find a horse being beaten by its driver. Tarr imagines these events as the subsequent days. The Turin Horse is an experience, difficult but rewarding, in Hungarian with English subtitles. The St. Louis premiere of The Turin Horse screens at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 17th through Sunday, February 19th. For information and the current schedule, you may call 314-968-7487 or go to the web at: Webster.edu/film series.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

KDHX Recommends

July
Saturday
26

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes Genevieve -- featuring Rebecca Ryan and Leslie Sanazaro -- to the West Pool Pavilion for a morning of acoustic music. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers'...


July
Sunday
27

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars for a family matinee Sunday, July 27 at Noon. Kids under two are free. $8 advance tickets on sale now. Tickets available at the door for $10. Kids under two are free. For...


July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

2 users and 8852 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook