In 1889, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessed the whipping of a horse while traveling in Turin, Italy. He tossed his arms around the horse's neck to protect it and then collapsed to the ground. In less than a month, Nietzsche would be diagnosed with a serious mental illness that would render him bedridden and speechless until his death 11 years later. But whatever happened to the horse?
This film, which the great Hungarian director Béla Tarr (whose Sátántangó screened at the MFAH in 2007)) claims is his last, is a speculative response.
A farmer and his daughter proceed through their daily routine with minimal dialogue, frustrated that the horse they depend on has become obstinate. Tarr's customary style of shooting in long takes — critics have counted a total of 30 comprising this film — was achieved by cinematographer Fred Kelemen and Steadicam operator Tilman Büttner, known for his work on the single take feature, Russian Ark.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005
$7 general admission; $6 MFAH members and seniors; $5 Film Buff members.
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