October 14th, 2007 - Sunday - 5:00pm - Rich Theatre @ High Museum
Turkey, 2006, Drama, 101 minutes, Color
In Turkish with English Subtitles
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Nuri Bilge Ceylan,
“A terrific movie in the Antonioni tradition, Climates confirms
47-year-old Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan as one of the
world’s most accomplished filmmakers – handling the end of a
relationship and the cloud of human confusion rising from its
wreckage as if the subject had never before been attempted.”
J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
"Man was made to be happy for simple reasons and unhappy for even
simpler ones – just as he is born for simple reasons and dies for
even simpler ones... Isa and Bahar are two lonely figures dragged
through the ever-changing climate of their inner selves in pursuit
of a happiness that no longer belongs to them."
This emotionally complex , visually sublime drama from
multi-award-winning director Nuri Bilge Ceylan opens on the Aegean
coast, where a middle aged professor Isa, (Ceylan) and his younger
girlfriend, Bahar, a television producer (a luminous Ebru Ceylan,
the director’s wife) are vacationing. Under the brilliant Mediterranean
sun, their strained relationship implodes and they return separately
to Istanbul. There Isa re-connects with a one-time lover, but when
he learns that Bahar has left for a job in the snowy East, he
follows her to win her back.
from New York Post - by V.A. MUSETTO
- Cannes Film Festival, 2006, Iklimler/Climates, FIPRESCI Award
- Cannes Film Festival, 2006, Iklimler/Climates, Nomination for Golden Palm
- International Istanbul Film Festival, 2006, Iklimler/Climates, Best Turkish Film
- International Istanbul Film Festival, 2006, Iklimler/Climates, People's Choice Award
- International Antalya Film Festival, 2006, Iklimler/Climates, Best Director
With the ailing Michelangelo Antonioni long past his filmmaking prime,
his mantle has been picked up by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Turkish
director/writer/actor who established himself as a critics' darling in 2002 with "Distant."
Ceylan's follow-up, "Climates," will do little to diminish his popularity among cineastes.
It is the story of the unraveling of the marriage between a middle-age college lecturer
(Ceylan himself) and his younger TV-producer wife (played by Ceylan's real-life wife, Ebru Ceylan).
The film opens in the sun, with the two enjoying, or at least trying to enjoy, a beachfront
vacation, and ends in the snowy rural clime to which the husband has followed his wife in
hope of reconciliation.
As with "Distant," the dialogue is minimal, the takes are long, the narrative is laconic
(too much so for many viewers, I imagine) and the cinematography is painterly.
from The Village Voice - by J. Hoberman,
A terrific movie in the Antonioni tradition, Climates confirms 47-year-old Turkish
director Nuri Bilge Ceylan as one of the world's most accomplished filmmakers—handling
the end of a relationship and the cloud of human confusion rising from its wreckage as
if the subject had never before been attempted.
Urban professionals on vacation: Bahar is a sullen twentysomething TV art director;
Isa, 20 years older, is an overbearing university instructor. The opening sequence
alternates between mega close-ups of bored Bahar in the summer sun and long shots of Isa,
glimpsed between the pillars of the Roman ruins that he's photographing for his still
unfinished dissertation. What is she looking at and what is he looking for?
The imperfect not-quite-disengagement of these two isolated figures makes for a more
emotionally complex tale than Ceylan's 2003 Distant, in which a country bumpkin moves in
with his massively indifferent city cousin. The tone is pensive and the narrative fluid.
(Sitting on the beach, Isa wants to end the affair; he rehearses a line that segues into
his actual conversation with Bahar.) A symbolic motorbike mishap notwithstanding, the
couple's breakup is more mediocre than bad. The situation is rendered extraordinary
through Ceylan's use of landscape as objective correlative—the action, such as it is,
moving from Black Sea resort to Istanbul to wintry province in eastern Turkey.
Superbly crafted on high-definition video, Climates is a movie of intimate, unbalanced
compositions. Ceylan specializes in human microbehavior. Were it not for the studied
sound mix (so crisp you can hear the cigarettes sizzle), he might be directing a silent
movie. Climates' best moments chart the reactions of one character to another when the
second unexpectedly appears. The default mode is a watchful look at once sheepish and
challenging. Alienation is palpable and ambivalence universal. (The sense of the human
condition is that expressed by Marilyn Monroe in There's No Business Like Show Business:
"After you get what you want you don't want it.") When the newly single Isa drops in on
his ex, she can't decide whether to be hostile or hysterical. After a few preliminaries,
he pins her on the floor.
Climates is filled with unforced metaphors— the tacky music box Isa gives Bahar,
the televised earthquake he watches—many of them meteorological. Isa tells a colleague
that he's going south for his vacation: "I need some decent weather." He next appears in
a snowy dump where he's heard Bahar has gone on location. (In one of the movie's several
extraordinary one-on-ones, Isa corners her as she waits in a van, the film crew loading
equipment behind them, and proposes.)
Knowledge that Isa is played by the director and Bahar by his wife, Ebru Ceylan,
inflects Climates less toward confessional psychodrama than ultra-professional acting
exercise. Ceylan wants to make certain that his character is understood as a mildly odious,
self-pitying passive-aggressive type; his wife's character has the monopoly on inner life,
expressed not only by her mood-flickering close-ups but two dreams. The wonderful ending
ponders her face once more. The falling snow substitutes for unshed tears.
from The List - interview by Tom Dawson,
The Changing Man
Nuri Bilge Ceylan the great Turkish filmmaker of Uzak and now Climates speaks about marital discord and the movies
‘I was on holiday with my wife Ebru, and we were discussing ideas
over lunch for a film about a marriage. We went to the beach and did
some test shots with ourselves playing the parts of a husband and wife.
I liked our performances so much in these tests that I decided that we
should take the lead roles, and I went away and wrote the Climates
script for the two of us.
‘Ebru didn’t need much persuading to be in the film. She
knows the kind of minimalist acting that I prefer. I’d tell her
the general guidelines - “Don’t act big, keep things
small!” - and that was enough for her. People in Turkey were
surprised that I wanted to direct and act at the same time, but I
thought “why not?” And I decided that I would act the part
of Isa by relying on my intuition.
‘Climates is the first film on which I’ve used a director
of photography, because I usually operate the camera myself. Now I
think it’s better to work with a cinematographer, because as the
director I can use the monitor to concentrate on the acting and the
framing. And this was also the first time that I’d used digital
video. I really like the sharpness of the images you can get from
high-definition cameras. Celluloid is like vinyl: after several
showings there are already scratches. You can try out far more things
on digital, and the editing is more creative. I shot seven times more
footage for Climates than I did for my last feature Uzak.
‘With Isa, I wanted to show the weak side of man. To me, though,
women are more stable emotionally and more content than men. In my
films the landscapes connect the characters to a sense of something
cosmic. I try to recapture those moments in life where you suddenly
feel that connection to a wider universe. Sound too is very important
to the way I create a particular atmosphere, more so than music. The
sound, for instance, of dogs barking in the distance at night creates
lots of feelings for the viewer. Of course our ears are very selective
- we don’t hear everything. That’s why in the
post-production process I add whatever I want to the sound mix.’