Walker Art Center

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The Turin Horse

Directed by Béla Tarr, Film Premiere

“A rich, deeply moving story, a movie of incredible mystery and power that ranks among the director’s finest works.” —Indiewire

The latest film from Béla Tarr (Werckmeister Harmonies, Sátántangó, and the subject of a 2007 Walker Regis Dialogue and Retrospective) is also his last, claims the master filmmaker himself. The title stems from an apocryphal story about the cause of Friedrich Nietzsche’s madness: while vacationing in Turin in 1889, the German philosopher saw from afar a man mercilessly whipping his horse, and ran across a square in desperation to fling his arms around the animal. Afterward, Nietzsche broke down and spent the last 10 years of his life in silence.

The Turin Horse, conceived and written with Tarr’s frequent collaborator, László Krasznahorkai, uses the parable of the horse to demonstrate that actions and gestures resonate long after their actual occurrence. Employing the epic shots, grimly beautiful black-and-white cinematography, gracefully orchestrated camerawork, and moody yet subtle sound design for which he has become renowned, Tarr has created an overwhelmingly relentless evocation of what he calls the “heaviness of human existence” as it winds down, day by day. 2011, 35mm, 146 minutes.


The Premieres series is made possible by generous support from Elizabeth Redleaf.

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