Home Page  
 
 

The Turin Horse
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Hungarian DTS-HD 2.0 Stereo
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • "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
  • Regis Dialogue with Bela Tarr at the Walker Art Center
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Turin Horse

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By:
2011 | 143 Minutes

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $34.95 | Series: Cinema Guild
Cinema Guild

Release Date: July 17, 2012
Review Date: August 24, 2012

Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca

Share:

SYNOPSIS

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.


PICTURE

The Cinema Guild presents Béla Tarr’s final film The Turin Horse on Blu-ray in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc with a 1080p/24hz high-definition transfer.

Cinema Guild’s black and white presentation is superb. Sharpness and detail is spot on, with cleanly defined edges and nary a moment of softness. Blacks are inky and deep and gray levels are clearly defined. The image looks film like and natural overall, retaining the film’s grain structure, which is noticeable but in no way obstructive. I think I noticed a couple of specs of debris in a few places in the source, maybe a side effect of the windy conditions, but otherwise the print looks immaculate.

In all this is a stunning presentation, the best I’ve seen from Cinema Guild, serving the film’s amazing photography perfectly.

9/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

Screen Capture

AUDIO

The film comes with a DTS-HD MA stereo track. Despite the lack of any surround activity, and despite the very nature of the film itself, it’s an incredibly robust audio presentation. The film’s score is loud and clean, and all sound effects and (little) dialogue come through crisp and clean. Every little nuance in the track, every little sound effect, from the wind to the peeling of a potato, comes through clearly. For a stereo track it’s very impressive.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Cinema Guild have included some great supplements starting with Tarr’s 1978 12-minute short film Hotel Magnezit. Documentary in style it looks at a group of workers who live in a hostel but focuses on one specific worker who is being evicted. There is then a fight amongst the workers as blame for this event is tossed around and as they talk more comes out about the evicted man and the mood begins to change. Very different in style in comparison to The Turin Horse (and it probably contains more dialogue in its short running time) it’s a nice counterpoint. Unfortunately it looks to have been sourced from a video tape, a rough one at that.

We then get an audio commentary from film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum. Interestingly the commentary doesn’t cover the entire running time of the film, lasting less than half of the film’s length. Rosenbaum admits early on that doing a commentary about this film (or Tarr’s films in general) is too daunting a task on his own so instead he offers a brief but incredibly satisfying track about Tarr’s work, with a little bit of discussion about The Turin Horse itself. While he offers a great dissection of the director’s work he also offers some personal stories since he was friends with the director. I’m almost ashamed to admit I was actually dreading this track. I like Rosenbaum and his work but I feared a heavy, lengthy academic track about the film but instead I got a rather affectionate look at the man’s work that managed to be more than engaging.

Next is a somewhat maddening feature, the entire 50-minute press conference from the Berlin Film Festival, which features Tarr, co-director Agnes Hranitzky, director of photography Fred Kelemen, composer Mihaly Vig, co-producer Gabor Tenu, and actors Mihaly Kormos, Erika Bok and Janos Derzsi. The first 10-minutes are easily the most awkward and bizarre photo shoot I’ve ever seen at one of these things, painful because it feels most everyone is out of their element in this incredibly surreal and bizarre situation, particularly Bok. But Tarr handles it extremely well, and almost seems a bit of an old horse at it. When we finally get to the actual conference there’s still some awkwardness but it flows a little better. There are of course many of questions about the film, its meaning, Tarr’s influences, Nietzsche, and what it was like making it. Answers range from vague to detailed from the various participants, but I think what won me over most was Tarr himself. I’m not overly familiar with the man, and I’ve only seen a couple of his films, but I was stunned at how loose and actually playful the man could be. He seems genuine and answers the questions as best he can, as does everyone else. It’s a little painful at first but stick it out as there is some decent material found in here.

Better, though (and exclusive to this Blu-ray,) is a discussion with the director from 2007 found under Regis Dialogue with Bela Tarr at the Walker Art Center. This 80-minute piece, moderated by critic Howard Feinstein has the two go through some of Tarr’s work while Feinstein asks questions or offers his own insights into his work, with Tarr questioning some of these. The two also talk about his style and the technical aspects of his work. There are moments that can be painful and it can get a bit heavy but I was surprised by Tarr, who again can be a little playful but still willing to discuss his work. In all another engaging piece.

The disc then closes with the film’s theatrical trailer and then a nice, short piece on the film by film critic J. Hoberman found in the insert.

In all Cinema Guild has delivered a solid set of supplements. They are engaging and insightful, though admittedly more about the director than this film itself, which actually receives very little coverage when one actually thinks about it. But that supplements are no less fascinating and all of them are worth working through.

8/10

CLOSING

Tarr’s final film receives a splendid edition from Cinema Guild, who deliver to us a stunning transfer and wonderful bonus content. Easily one of the best Blu-ray releases I’ve gone through this year and it comes with a very high recommendation.




Share: 



Purchase From:
amazon.com  amazon.ca  




Join our Facebook Group (requires Facebook account)

This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection