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Archive for April 23rd, 2010

© 2010 by James Clark

There is a shocking moment, near the beginning of Il Grido (1957), which, like a lightning storm, briefly clears the air and allows a promising foothold for proceeding through its pervasive cloud. “Aldo” has been informed by “Irma” that, “One of us has drifted apart…I love you still, but not like before…Everything was fine until a few months ago.” (And, conversely, “It’s been coming for a long time.”) He finds this to be a monstrous reversal, coming from a woman he has lived with for seven years, during which they have had a daughter and awaited compliance from her husband living in Australia, and only now unobstructive due to having suddenly died. After a talk with his mother—“People have always gossiped…A pretty woman is one thing, a bad woman something else”—he confronts her on a street in their Po Valley town and slaps her face repeatedly while a crowd gathers. “And now come home!” he growls. “Now, Aldo, it’s really finished!” (more…)

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Uzak (no 88)

by Allan Fish

(Turkey 2002 110m) DVD1/2

Aka. Distant

Snow on the Bosphorus

p  Nuri Bilge Ceylan  d/w  Nuri Bilge Ceylan  ph  Nuri Bilge Ceylan  ed  Eyhan Ergürsel  art  Ebru Yapici

Muzaffer Ozdemir (Mahmut), Emin Toprak (Yusuf), Zuhal Gencer Erkaya (Nazan), Nazan Kirilmis (lover), Feridun Koc (janitor), Fatma Ceylan (mother),

It had been twenty years since Yilmaz Güney’s Yol.  Two decades in the wilderness for Turkish cinema, at least through the eyes of the west.  There were rumours of greatness in the seventies, not just from Güney but from Ertem Egilmez’s Hababam Sinifi, Kartal Tibet’s Tosin Pasa and Zeki Okten’s The Herd.  But who could see them now?  Out of that western indifference came the reaction to Ceylan’s film at Cannes in 2003.  He was a new name, but those in the know recognised his cinema. 

            It’s winter in Istanbul where we find Mahmut, a solitary, fussy middle-aged man, working as a freelance photographer.  Into his world he gets a visitor, Yusuf, his younger cousin, from his old home town, who has come here to find work after the local business that employed over a thousand locals shut down due to a financial recession.  He expects to only be there a week, but he ends up staying much longer, much to the chagrin of his host.  Reluctantly, however, he agrees to let Yusuf come with him on a work trip, photographing the exteriors and interiors of mosques. (more…)

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