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Béla Tarr. THE TURIN HORSE AND FILM FACTORY OF THOUGHT

Gorgona, Sunday, 05 11 2014, 19:00

SERIES FOR INVISIBLE CINEMA

Panel-conversation and screening of The Turin Horse with Béla Tarr, film artist and founder of film.factory programme, an international postgraduate film studies and workshop of film thought.

“While there are more and more images everywhere around us, paradoxically, we perceive the increasing devaluation of this beautiful language every day. It is in this context that we are seeking to demonstrate, emphatically and convincingly, the importance of visual culture and the dignity of the image to the coming generation of filmmakers. Our aspiration is to educate mature filmmakers who think responsibly, with the spirit of humanism, artists who have an individual outlook, an individual form of expression and who use their creative powers in the defense of the dignity of man within the reality that surrounds us. Probing questions concerning our outlook on the world and the state of our civilization must impact the work of the new programme of doctoral studies in Sarajevo.” Béla Tarr

Participants: Béla Tarr, Karin Harrasser, Hrvoje Hribar, Goran Sergej Pristaš, Petar Milat, Tomislav Medak and Tanja Vrvilo.

20:15 The Turin Horse | A torinói ló, Béla Tarr, 2011, 35-mm, b/w, 146’

Directed by: Béla Tarr; co-director: Agnes Hranitzky; screenplay: Béla Tarr, László Krasznahorkai; director of photography: Fred Kelemen; film editing: Agnes Hranitzky; original music: Mihaly Vig; cast: Janos Derzsi (Ohlsdorfer), Erika Bók (Ohlsdorfer’s daughter), Mihaly Kormos (Bernhard), Rosci (horse);

Produced by: Gabor Teni; executive producers: Elizabeth Redleaf, Christine K. Walker; a co-production of: Martin Hagemann, Juliete Lepoutre, Marie-Pierre Macia, Ruth Waldburger;

Croatian distributors: Continental Film, Croatian Film Archive;

Recalling the incident in Turin that reportedly occasioned Friedrich Nietzsche’s final breakdown into madness — his weeping and embracing a cab horse that was being beaten by its driver for refusing to budge — Béla Tarr’s regular screenwriter, novelist László Krasznahorkai, has noted that no one seems to know or ask what happened to the horse. But The Turin Horseis only nominally concerned with this riddle. It’s more concerned with the horse’s driver and his grown daughter, who live in a remote stone hut without electricity, subsisting on an exclusive diet of potatoes and palinka (Hungarian fruit brandy) while a perpetual storm rages outside, then arbitrarily subsides, over a carefully delineated six days. Their abject life remains fixed by a few infernal routines, such as dressing, undressing, drawing water from a well, or looking out the window. (One exterior shot of the daughter doing just that towards the end of the film will haunt me the rest of my life). What passes for plot gradually becomes even more minimal by the driver’s horse first refusing to pull the wagon, then refusing to eat. Eventually father and daughter also become immobilized, confirming one of Tarr’s helpful statements — that this is simply a film about the inescapable fact of death. And Tarr is so unconcerned with the usual rules of consistency that he can show us the father and daughter (the latter played by Erika Bók, the little girl in Tarr’s Sátántangó and Henriette in The Man from London) theatrically lit while she refuses to eat, even though the previous scene, ending in total darkness, has shown the lantern repeatedly burning out while it’s still full of fuel. So “What is this darkness, Papa?” is a question that goes unanswered. (...)

Ever since his 1982, 72-minute video production of Macbeth in two shots for Hungarian TV, Tarr’s universe has operated according to some sort of demonic anti-theology that’s more a matter of feeling than one of principle; it can’t even be counted on to confirm the triumph of evil or pestilence or futility. If this proves to be Tarr’s last film, as he now maintains, this may be because it goes beyond any necessity to reach final conclusions about anything but extinction.

(Jonathan Rosenbaum, a fragment from Deep in the Tarr Pit from Film Comment, September-October 2011.)

***

The first part of programme, on Saturday, 10. 05. 2014. at 20:00 at Gallery Nova:

Remediation: MAKAVEJEV’S DREAM FILM EXPERIMENT

Levan Lomjaria, Marta Hernaiz, Gonzalo Escobar Mora, Emma Rozanski, Fernando Nogari, Graeme Cole;

after a script by Makavejev’s assistant Matthew Duda

2014, 3-channel video projection

b/w + color, 59’ 11’’

In the presence of film.factory filmmakers and Béla Tarr.

In 1978, Dušan Makavejev made a Dream Film Experiment using the film medium, by copying and re-editing chosen non-verbal sequences of eleven Ingmar Bergman’s 16-mm film prints, that he “found” at the Harvard Film Archive, for juxtaposition of three 16-mm film reels. He presented his dream film collage only once, as triple-screen 16-mm film performance at “Bergman and Dreams”, International Film Conference on the relations between the processes of dreaming and the experience of film viewing, at the Harvard University in January, 1978. After the Film century’s persistent archival strategy marked with the first political “found-footage” of Dreyfus affair re-edited by Doublier in 1898, soviet revolutionary scarcity montage of compiled films, surrealists’ films as found objects, Debord’s detournement of stolen films, further ideologies of appropriating and sampling, the memory of FILM is stolen by digitization.

The remediation will present concepts on the materiality of film and digital art, politics of film and digital archives, and weapons of subversion in Makavejev’s work-in-progress. The digital presentation is based on a workshop on experimental film that Tanja Vrvilo held with a group of international filmmakers, MA students at Béla Tarr Film Factory programme in Sarajevo, where the first reconstruction was made in 2013.

Concept: Tanja Vrvilo

Production: Film-protufilm in collaboration with film.factory.

With thanks to Dušan Makavejev and Béla Tarr.

Presentation at Gallery Nova is realized in collaboration with WHW.

Programme is produced in the frameworks of Film-protufilm’s interdisciplinary project Series for invisible cinema, for reflections on the strategies of transmission of images, knowledge and memory of cinematic dispositive in digital era.

MAKAVEJEV’S DREAM FILM EXPERIMENT is presented as part of symposium and artistic program “Art, Institutional ‘Dead Labor’ and Limits of Valorization”, organized by BADco.

This event is a part in the framework of “TIMeSCAPES, Images and performances of time in late capitalism”, a partner project of BADco. (Zagreb), Maska (Ljubljana), Science Communications Research (Vienna), Walking Theory (Belgrade) and Film-protufilm (Zagreb). With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.

35-mm film print courtesy of Béla Tarr, Continental Film, Croatian State Archives and Croatian Film Archive (Zagreb), screening at Gorgona MSU in partnership with The Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb.

Programme Series for Invisible Cinema is supported by Ministry of Culture RH, Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC) and Zagreb City Office for Education, Culture and Sport.


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