19th Titanic Filmfestival

Festival Films Programs Press News

Béla Tarr's last film opens with success at Berlinale

Tarr(MTI) – Béla Tarr’s latest film, The Turin Horse drew a full house for its opening night at Berlin International Film Festival. The film was received favourably, the audience rewarded the director with thunderous applause. German critics are praising Tarr’s oeuvre and regard the film rumoured to be his last work as a testament.

The Turin Horse received its world premiere at Berlinale. The opening night brought a pleasant atmosphere, Béla Tarr introduced his colleagues as good friends after the screening.    

Next day the German press published highly appreciative articles on Tarr’s oeuvre. The Berliner Zeitung, which issues a quite considerable appendix focusing on the festival every day, characterizes the film made in Hungarian-German-French-Swiss co-production as powerful, beautiful and still. „The Turin Horse is a monolith” – says the journal reminding the readers that Tarr regularly appears with his films at the most important international film festivals.    

The Hungarian artist regularly „puts the audience to the test”. Tarr never scrimps on time in his films, it is quite evident from Satan’s Tango and Werckmeister Harmonies as well. His films are shot in black and white and contain very little of „what we can call plot”. „At best it can make the audience forget about time and space” – says the Berliner Zeitung that also deals with The Turin Horse’s philosophical aspects and highlights the film’s visuality as well.   

The last one turns off the lights is the title of the article which was published in the journal Tagesspiel about The Turin Horse. The journal's critic regards the film as Tarr’s testament, also mentioning that the director plans to give up filmmaking. „His 146-minute-long film makes it quite obvious that Tarr said everything he wanted in his previous film, The Man from London released four years ago – says the critic, who also states that for this reason the film can only be read as a testament.

The Hungarian filmmaker has contirbuted to the metaphysical legacy of the European cinema with several films that will be talked about for a long time – says the critic quoting Satan’s Tango and Werckmeister Harmonies as examples. However, The Turin Horse lacks the humour that could be found in the artist’s previous works – states the critic whom the music of the film also leaves quite disappointed. „After six days there is no God who would finish the work. The last one turns off the lights, Tarr does not need to explain that every man dies alone” – concludes Tagesspiel’s critic.  

A horse and no western is the title of article published in the prestigious Die Welt. The journal reminds the readers that Tarr is a recurring guest at Berlinale. He participated with Satan’s Tango in 1994, and the festival’s audience could see other Tarr-films as well. According to the Welt’s critic, The Turin Horse makes the audience disappointed at the very beginning, since it does not show the scene when Nietzsche loses consciousness after seeing that a teamster keeps beating his horse in the street. You hope that you will see the philosopher’s collapse, however, the events of Turin are only told – says the journal which gives a summary of the film’s „plot” as well. The critic also discusses the long shots and the laconic dialogue almost restricted to a few remarks.     

The Screen issued at Berlinale every day gives four stars to The Turin Horse, the Tagesspiel and Die Zeit give three points, while the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Süddeutsche Zeitung reward the film with two points, respectively. Three points mean the film is evaluated excellent, while two points stand for good.     

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