The great Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr’s dauntingly rigorous work, with its minimalist settings and incredibly elaborate long takes, is not to everyone’s taste. Yet he is a true visionary and one of the great stylists of post-war European art cinema.
The Turin Horse is another of Tarr’s allegories in which human existence is pared down to its barest essentials, with man’s battle against nature assuming apocalyptic dimensions. The qualities that really distinguish a Béla Tarr film, however, are almost exclusively cinematic, and The Turin Horse is no exception. Shot in suitably austere black and white in a mere 30 or so sequence shots, the film is an extraordinary technical and aesthetic achievement that surpasses everything produced by other gifted contemporary filmmakers, American or European.
This film is screening as part of our special tribute season, dedicated to Pete Walsh (March 9th – 31st).