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The Turin Horse [Blu-ray]

4.3 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On January 3, 1889 in Turin, Italy, Friedrich Nietzsche steps out of the doorway of number six, Via Carlo Albert. Not far from him, a cab driver is having trouble with a stubborn horse. The horse refuses to move, whereupon the driver loses his patience and takes his whip to it. Nietzsche puts an end to the brutal scene, throwing his arms around the horse s neck, sobbing. After this, he lies motionless and silent for two days on a divan, until he loses consciousness and his mind. Somewhere in the countryside, the driver of the cab lives with his daughter and the horse. Outside, a windstorm rages. Immaculately photographed in Tarr s renowned long takes, The Turin Horse is the final statement from a master filmmaker.

SPECIAL EDITION Blu-ray includes over 3 hours of bonus material!

- Hotel Magnezit (1978, 10 minutes), a short film by Bela Tarr
- Audio Commentary by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum
- Press Conference with Bela Tarr, co-director Ágnes Hranitzky; actors Mihály Kormos, Erika Bók, and János Derzsi; director of photography Fred Kelemen; composer Mihály Vig; and co-producer Gábor Téni from the 2011 Berlin Film Festival (45 minutes)
- BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE: Regis Dialogue with Bela Tarr at the Walker Art Center (2007, 81 minutes)
- Theatrical Trailer
- Booklet featuring an essay by film critic J. Hoberman


"An auteurist triumph." --Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

"Four Stars! A sumptuous masterpiece by one of the greatest moviemakers of all time." --V.A. Musetto, NY Post

"A death-haunted masterpiece. Tarr s most fully achieved, challenging movie since his 1994 epic Sátántangó. --J. Hoberman, Village Voice

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Janos Derzsi, Erika Bok, Mihaly Kormos, Risci
  • Directors: Bela Tarr, Agnes Hranitzky
  • Format: Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Hungarian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Cinema Guild
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007P4SQB4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,433 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr's latest, and likely last, film begins by recounting an anecdote from the life of Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher and philologist who taught that life is nothing more than will to power, and that the task for us is to face up to this without despair and resentment, without insisting that where there are no absolutes there can be nothing worth while, that without the security of certainties there can only be emptiness. I don't think Tarr wants to resolve that question, but certainly aims to provide a setting that provokes it. I don't know if there's an ultimate moral or message here, but there's certainly room for meditation on the differences between men and beasts, between life and the land it depends on, and on the kind of carrying on it takes to elevate a life towards something like dignity and meaning. It's a profoundly moving film, that's so beautifully shot, with the subtlety of its lighting and the intelligence with which the camera moves, that it's hard to look away. Still, with a film like this you have to be patient. In classical Hollywood style, every shot aims to convey a very specific bit of information and as soon as that information has been delivered it's time for the camera to move or cut. With a style like that of Bela Tarr, the camera moves very deliberately, but slowly and cutting is kept to a minimum and that means that either you'll be bored waiting for the next cut and the next bit of info or you are forced to slow down, and register as important details you might otherwise overlook, such as the intensity of focus with which the father attends to his daughter as she helps him with his buttons, since he has minimal use in one arm.Read more ›
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Format: Blu-ray
In the thirty shots which comprised the entire 154 minute running time of the movie, "The Turin Horse" portrayed the decay of an already sterile relationship between a man and his daughter living a solitary life on endlessly windswept plains, their only lifeline to the world being their horse. As the horse refuses to eat and slowly approaches death, so progresses the lives of its owners. It's a stunning work that compares favorably with the best of early Bergman. Using a palette of stark black and white images and a deliberate sense of pace that echoes the work of Tarkovsky, "The Turin Horse" transports the viewer into the existence of its protagonists with such immediacy and emotional power that its lingering effect never leaves you. From its opening shot of the horse fighting fierce winds to pull a cart over miles of desolate plains to its closing image, which devastatingly portrayed the resignation of all hope, the film is a tour-de-force of all the possibilities that cinema offers. And from the standpoint of technical achievement, I am at a loss to explain how some of those seven minute-plus takes were done, traveling inside and outside the house into gale-force winds with immaculate steadiness and impeccable composition, rotating 360 degrees and immersing the viewer completely in its world. There is not a single shot that feels like it's "showing off"; every impressive tableau is so rooted into the fabric of the characters' lives that it becomes an inseparable part of the experience.

It is not an easy film to view for audiences accustomed to more traditional narrative structure. Indeed, there is nothing that even resembles a conversation in the film until well over an hour and fifteen minutes into its running time.
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Format: Blu-ray
Before you skip on to the next review (or movie), read this. If you appreciate artistic subtlety, the nuance of the unsaid, and beautiful black and white imagery, you should watch this film. I saw it at Telluride Film Festival, and to be honest it was difficult to watch, but I couldn't stop watching. Beautifully done, luxurious in its sparse storytelling, this film haunts me today after one viewing.
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Format: Blu-ray
"Do you remember, Milan Kundera wrote this book about the lightness of the being? We just wanted to show you the heaviness of the being," this is what Bella Tarr said in an interview with the New York Times referring to his masterpiece The Turin Horse.
That comment by the extraordinary Hungarian filmmaker neatly sums up this magnificent, if challenging, film. As with all filmmakers of Mr. Tarr's caliber, the film works in many different levels and has many different layers of meaning.
However, and taking Mr. Tarr's comments as an illuminating starting point, rarely, maybe never before, has the cinema focused so intensely on the harrowing, soul crushing, involuntarily heroic aspects of physical work, and in this case, physical work connected to actual survival.
In an isolated farm, an old man, his daughter and a horse face the elements, starvation, and what for viewers would definitely be a soul crushing routine. And yet in facing this apparently dreary existence Tarr's character achieve a sense of grace, including the aforementioned horse, who simply can not move anymore; they are not heroic, we don't know if they are spiritual, we just know that for them life has always been this way and will continue to be this way, if they make it to the next day.
In this sense, this film has a touch of the eternal in it, and while watching it is impossible not to think of the hundreds of millions of lives which have been lived like this throughout history in all the world, and some which continue to be lived this way. It is striking that the lives of the father and the daughter are in some ways identical in their barreness to that of the horse, with the primary goal being survival.
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The Turin Horse [Blu-ray]
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