Béla Tarr & Ágnes Hranitzky, Hungary 2011. 146mins.
Hungarian with English subtitles. Certificate 15
Béla Tarr’s extraordinary meditation on ‘the heaviness of existence’ was inspired by the tale of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who, on seeing an old horse being cruelly whipped, flung his arms around the animal and collapsed into madness.
This film imagines what happened to the man who whipped the horse. The unnamed man lives with his adult daughter in an isolated cottage, ekeing out a biblically lonely existence. Amid the desolate windswept landscapes, they wordlessly fetch water from the well, eat potatoes and tend the ailing horse.
Tarr’s long, mobile, unbroken takes (there are just 30 cuts in the entire film) create a weighty sense of time that will either leave you trembling with awe, or enfuriated with boredom. We were blown away when we saw it at the cinema earlier this year.
When: 7.30pm Wednesday 21 November 2012
Where: Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Road, London SE14 6TY
Cost: £5 on the door (£3 members)
★★★★★ “A magnificent, towering achievement.” LITTLE WHITE LIES
★★★★★ “A film that drills into the core of your soul.“ TIME OUT
★★★★★ “The atmosphere of existential enervation… suggests the bleak and barren topography of a late Samuel Beckett play as filmed by Andrei Tarkovsky.” SLANT