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Wednesday, March 7, 2012


"Chronicle," referring to the "on camera" documenting of the adventures of three boys who develop "super powers" after falling into a strange hole in the ground. Proceeds from levitating fun to horrible, violent -- excessively violent egotistical mahem. Ugh.
Au contraire, "The Turin Horse" -- an art house favorite (raved about by the professional critics), moves at a pace slower than watching paint dry.  It proports to be the story of what happened to the horse that Friederich Niezsche threw his arms around sobbing (not the horse, Neiezsche) when he saw it being beaten by its owner. According to the voice-over narrative, the great philosopher then went up to bed, said his final words to his mother, and never spoke again, having lost his mind, until he died a few years later. Meanwhile, this film, Directed by the renowned Hungarian Director, Bela Tarr and photgraphed by Fred Keleman depicts the life of the horse.  With mournful music incessantly playing in the background (except when drowned out by the violent windstorm raging outside, blowing dried leaves kicking up so much dust I could barely breathe), I kept waiting for something to happen.  Well, starting with "Day One" - a young woman gets out of bed, puts on several layers of clothing, throws some wood into the stove, and then dresses an older man in several (lots of ) layers of clothing. He may have had a stroke, because his right arm hangs lifeless and useless at his side throughout. Not until "Day Two," which is pretty much a repeat of "Day One" does she call him "Papa," and you learn that she's the daughter.  Every day she goes out to the well, carrying two buckets and fills them (struggling with the weight) with water, brings them in.  Then comes the going into the barn, opening the doors, putting on the horse's harness, etc. All of this in such slow motion with virtually expressionless faces that when it got to "Day Three" the audience, including me, moaned, thinking, "Oh, no, not again!"  Every day the routine is pretty much the same.  Breakfast was a shot or two of home made vodka (I figured this out after seeing them finish the one daily meal of one boiled potato each -- that they used their fingers to remove the peel, and then seemed to throw away whatever was left, but were obviously saving to make the brew.)  Oh, maybe it was Day Four when  visitor came, asking for some of the liquor - they give him a bottle. He speaks some absolutely nonsensical philosophical/political  twaddle and leaves,  throwing some coins down on the table.   And then there was the cartload of Gypsies who came to get water out of the well, but were driven off.   Meanwhile, watching each scene was like being in an art gallery and examining a painting for 20 or 30 seconds before any action took place. Yes, the composition of each frame is artistically excellent, but so what?  BORING!  Known as a master "Minimalist," Bela Tarr has said this would be his last film.  I say, "Thank God."
Oh,  soon the horse stops eating, then won't even drink water.  Then the well runs dry.  I kept waiting for the father and daughter, sitting at the table, to wither and die, wanting them to die, that's how painful this film was.    

1 comment:

  1. Okay, you MADE my day with that review!

    "Bela Tarr has said this would be his last film. I say, "Thank God."" ROFL!