Sunday, May 31, 2009

Climates (2007)

“Climates” is a Turkish-French co-production, shot on digital video with a very small crew. So small, in fact, that writer-director-videographer-star Nuri Bilge Ceylan did just about everything. And his wife, co-star Ebru Ceylan, apparently did everything else.

Their cottage industry approach to dramatic filmmaking is not only inspirational; it makes their extraordinary results all the more impressive. This is a delicate, slow and thought provoking film. In many scenes the only audio is the sound of a character breathing, the only action an intense stare. Yet out of this minimalism (or perhaps because of it) a story emerges that will haunt you for days.

The Ceylans are totally credible on-screen as a dysfunctional couple who discover that the only thing worse than being separated is being together. Or perhaps it is the other way around, each viewer must decide for himself. If you like your movies all tied up into neat little bundles this is not the film for you.

A reviewer on Netflix accurately described this as “old school Art House cinema”. So bear that in mind and all it implies, as this is the type of picture folks seem to either love or hate. The bonus material is interesting as well. The Ceylans appear to have had a wonderful time at Cannes. They certainly deserve it.

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