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Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Turin Horse by 'Bela Tarr'

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The introduction must be interestingly told in a way that evokes interest in you to watch. Writer Charu Nivedita in one of the articles mentioned about "The Turin Horse" movie and praised for its making. He wrote about the introduction scene of the movie and that was compelling enough to watch "The Turin Horse". If you see the opening scene of this movie, you will realize why this movie is celebrated for its making.

The movie starts with an old man riding his horse cart - a long shot that runs for more than 5mins. Bela Tarr's close up shots in this movie are really enjoyable. The scenes don't require any dialogues; just the camera angle, the wind, dry land with dirt, the moments that are captured and the music are enough to keep you engaged in the movie.

Throughout the movie, there are only two characters: A father and the daughter. They are doing the same activities every day; yet, you will not feel bored watching them. I think it is possible only if the movie is made interesting in every frame with a poetic touch just by using the articles in a countryside household. The articles include clothes drying on a rope, a wood burning stove and a cooking pot on it, eating plates, dining table and the bed. One will wonder how these normal household articles can be interestingly shown throughout the movie with little light and a great sense of camera angle. A movie like this doesn't require extravaganza sets, expensive computer graphics, and not even a story!
Light is all for a great cinematography. In this movie, light excites you to the fullest extent. For instance, the transition from Day 1 to Day 2 is beautifully shown: at first it is complete darkness, then the light comes through window and it spreads into the room slowly, the objects are shown as the light spreads through - There can't another poetic way of showing this transition!
The following pictures show the sequence of the Day 2 scene in few seconds interval. It looks to me that just the presence and absence of light can give you a great experience of movie watching. I couldn't remember seeing any movie that has a scene like this. It just feels that Bela Tarr wanted to paint every frame in the best possible way. As a result, the movie gives you a great painting in every frame. 

I am a novice, but I think this movie has a lot to teach such as camera angle, music, and lighting. Watch the camera as it moves when a man enters the house to buy Palinka (a drink). This is one of the lengthiest scenes in the movie. As you watch, you will be able to realize the camera has movements: a slow and unnoticeable movement. When the monologue finishes and the man walk out, the camera moves closer to the window and show him through the window. I am not sure if they found a house opposite to the single tree or the house was built opposite to the single tree for this movie, but I must say this single tree standing opposite to the house has a lot to excite you throughout the movie.

The wind plays an important role throughout this film. Right from the introduction scene, all the scenes in which the daughter goes to bring water from the well or the gypsies scene: as the father character comes to rescue with the right hand close to the body and one hand raised with the axe - the wind has completely transformed this scene. Bela Tarr's "The Turin Horse" has given me a whole new experience of cinema and it cannot be explained in few words. I believe the rest can't be told, but only to be experienced!

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