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Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates (Turkey-Fra / 2006)

PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:48 pm
by arsaib4
[moved from the Turkish/Central Asian journal / OP 02/12/07]

*A 2006 U.S. Release*

It takes most films nearly the full-duration of their running time to create and establish emotionally and psychologically complex characters. Climates (Iklimler) accomplishes the task with a handful of shots during the pre-credits sequence. This masterful new film from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan opens amid the Greco-Roman ruins near the Mediterranean resort town of Kas, where Isa (played by Ceylan himself), an Istanbul-based architecture professor still working on his thesis, and his girlfriend, Bahar (Ebru Ceylan, his real-life wife), an art-director for a low-budget television series, are vacationing. The meticulously composed and richly detailed images that greet us subtly tell a story about this couple which no words could possibly describe. And when a shot is long-held on Bahars face going through a kaleidoscope of emotions, it manages to excavate a sorrow which permeates throughout the film. That perhaps wouldnt have been possible without Ceylans astonishing use of high-definition video. Every nuance and shift of emotion is captured with the depth and clarity splendid enough to dazzle both Michael Mann and Jia Zhang-ke -- two other major filmmakers who tested the boundaries of HD in 2006 with Miami Vice and Still Life, respectively -- even though their own films never lingered on peoples faces as much as Climates does. (I didnt mention David Lynch because his claustrophobically shot Inland Empire [2006] transpired on low-grade DV.)

"Im a bit of a control freak," Ceylan recently stated in an interview. Besides acting and directing, he also wrote and edited the film. And if that fact, along with the casting of his wife (not to mention a few other family members), hints towards self-indulgence, then that couldnt be farther from the truth. If anything, Climates is poignantly self-reflexive; it explores a terrain previously mined by such filmmakers as John Cassavetes and Atom Egoyan.

This structurally and thematically resonant effort is full of intriguing contrasts, especially those related to form: long shots and close-ups mostly occupy the mise-en-scne which also cogently adheres to the seasonal (and thus behavioral as it pertains to the narrative) changes. (Its also interesting to examine the two "sex scenes" in the film: one rough, the other poetic. Which begs the question: has A History of Violence [2005] forever altered our perceptions about sex in films?)

If Ceylans previous four films -- Cocoon (1995), Kasaba (1998), Clouds of May (2000) and Distant (2002) -- displayed an affection for Kiarostami, Tsai and Tarkovsky, then Climates primarily shows an affinity for Antonioni. The existential ennui conjured up by the themes and images of the Turk harks back to the likes of L'Avventura (1960) and L'Eclisse (1962). And much like those masterpieces, Climates navigates through the prism of a relationship to pursue an eternal and universal truth about men and women, one which deals with love, loss, and everything in between.

Grade: A

*CLIMATES premiered at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival (in-competition). It won the FIPRESCI prize.

*Zeitgeist Video (U.S.) will release the film on DVD on June 26th.

Re: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates (Turkey-Fra / 2006)

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 1:14 am
by justindeimen
Climates (2006)

What sticks to me as I recall the film is how incredibly well sentiments were mined from the actors. I haven't seen such a harrowing portrayal of human desires and emotions in a long time. The pre-credits scene, the longtake of Bahar's face showed how complex the relationship is. It's that feeling I got from that, which really sets the tone for the entire film. Also you can't help feeling you're in (or perhaps walking in) on something personal when the director and his wife (who looks hauntingly beautiful) star in the film as the troubled couple. I think the director was trying to address and own up to his and possibly the male species' failings, in being selfish and being non-committal, preferring isolation in many cases. It just unsettled me to see how the worst breakups can be the ones that are mutual, when there's not even love loss between two people. Zooming out, its gorgeous in how it equates space and environment to its character's emotional states and you get the feeling that you can pretty much write pages about a single frame captured at any time. Perhaps, I was just in the right melancholic mood watching it but if I had to watch it again now, I think I might have to prepare myself.

Re: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates (Turkey-Fra / 2006)

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:27 am
by trevor826
Climates - Iklimler (2006)

Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

A masterpiece.

A couple, Isa and Bahar face the chill winter of discontent in their relationship but find it tough to let go, a stalemate, a wall that neither can or are willing to break through told with the minimum of dialogue but expressed with deep resonance by the oft shown close-ups of their faces.

Magnificently shot from the first frame to the last, beautifully composed and paced, this will be without doubt one of the cinematic highlights of the year. From the initial break up of the relationship in sweltering heat of Kas, through Isa's furtive affair in the thunder, lightning and incessant rain of Istanbul, to the snow covered city of Doubeyazit where several chances of some sort of reconciliation or at least to clear the air between the couple are snubbed by each in turn.

This is a truly impressive piece of work that burrows deep into your soul, recognisable and utterly agonizing. Beautiful to behold but emotionally painful.

If one of the signs of a good film is wishing it could have gone for longer then Climates is truly a masterpiece, I felt as though we were around half way through the running time and it was suddenly over, leaving me wanting so much more.

There is a question Id like to raise though, I noticed both in Climates and in the German production Krisana, the constant barking of unseen dogs during most stages of the film, is there some oblique and/or metaphorical reasoning behind this?

A definite must see film in my opinion.

Cheers Trev.

R2 dvd will be released by Artificial Eye in May.

Re: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates (Turkey-Fra / 2006)

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:51 pm
by trevor826
Dvd update: R2 released by Artificial Eye.

The film was shot in Hi def digital and was visually sumptuous on the large screen, despite the constraints of dvd, compared to Hi Def or Blu-ray the transfer is still gorgeous, certainly good enough for a standard TV. A slight let down in the sound department with only a stereo option, DTS or even 5.1 would have really broadened the experience, certainly clear enough though.

In terms of extras, Artificial Eye have included:

The making of doc, approx 39 mins,

An interview with Nuri Bilge Ceylan which is very interesting though feels drawn out, he answers somewhat uncomfortably in English whereas he would have been far more confident speaking in his native Turkish. approx 25 mins.

An interview with Ebru Ceylan covering some of the same ground but also being more pertinent to her role, approx 15 mins.

It is annoying that the interviewer remains unheard as it is obvious that specific questions are raised.

Trailers for Climates and Clouds of May.

Turkey Cinemasope, a series of photos from Nuri Bilge Ceylan taken over a four year period, excellent work.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan filmography,

Ebru Ceylan biography.

All in all an excellent package.

Cheers Trev.

Re: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates (Turkey-Fra / 2006)

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:07 pm
by arsaib4
Sounds good. Thanks for the info.

Special features for the U.S. DVD:

- Stunning new anamorphic transfer, created from hi-def elements
- "The Making of Climates"
- Climates at Cannes
- U.S. theatrical trailer
- Manohla Dargis' The New York Times review

Re: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates (Turkey-Fra / 2006)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:41 am
by hengcs
hmmm ... dont think it is on Singapore screen yet ...
but i will try to catch it ...

Re: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates (Turkey-Fra / 2006)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:29 pm
by jcdavies
This may be his best film yet (not seen Cocoon). I certainly agree Kiarostami and Tarkovsky are clear influences on the others- though they are still very much his own creations, with quiet visual poetry, interest in nature, the elements (even a tortoise on its back a la Wind will Carry Us in one, and rippilng grasses etc)- and yes, Climates does seem to move into Antonioni territory. He may now be among the top rank of current directors.