Writings About The Turin Horse

A comment on some reviews of Bela Tarr’s 2008 film ‘The Turin Horse’.

There isn’t much of a story in the film. It’s more of a series of repetitive daily actions that describe how life for a father and daughter living in a stone cottage slowly declines over the space of a about a week. But many if not most reviews I read talked about a story in the film. I could not discern a beginning or end in the film. It was more of a a random slice of unspectacular life spanning about a week.

For me the film was a shaggy dog story and close to Thomas Bernard’s writing in mood and pace. As the cadence of Bernhard’s writing has a relentlessly engaging rhythm (lieder like), so Note Keleman’s photography had a palpable plasticity in the long takes that defied disinterest.


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