Today is the final day for humanity. As such, it seemed appropriate to let Christmas have a day off and share with you two of my favourite apocalypse films. These are great recommendations any day of the week – but tonight may be, literally, your last chance to share in this…
The Road (2009)
John Hillcoat, 111 mins
Adapted from a best selling novel, The Road is an endearing story of a man, played by Viggo Mortensen, struggling to survive in the end of days along with his son. Never before has a film managed to capture the bleak reality of what it would be like, and heed my warning – this is not the kind of film to make you feel good about yourself. Struggle and horror are metered with some devastating twists that render the entire experience exhausting. But incredible.
Now I know what some of you are saying – “it”s Christmas, I can”t watch The Road! I need something far more bleak” well if that”s the case, then I have the perfect
thing for you…
Turin Horse (2011)
Bela Tarr, 146 mins
This was the final film of the superb director Bela Tarr, a real legend in world cinema, and a very dark, nihilist piece of cinema to end on. Strangely set up off the back of a possibly apocryphal story of Nietzsche”s demise, Tarr”s vision shares the life of the horse of the tale. Taken back to the farm, the inhabitants of the countryside are forced to encounter horrendous conditions that match their unfortunate mundane existence. Beautifully shot, the role of repetition and slow, powerful shots mean that you will experience every minute of this like it is 10 times its length – and for good reason. Not for everyone, as very little is explained, but wow. I guarantee few artists in any medium will ever express the reality of bleakness as powerfully as this masterpiece. I do not dare watch it again.
You can check out my original review of this on freshair.org.uk when it was part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2011.