6 items from 2013
★★☆☆☆ Existential malaise has long been a tenet of contemplative European cinema, and Turkish filmmaker Muzaffer Özdemir has embraced the tradition in his first feature as director, Home (Yurt, 2011). In this instance, the reflection is seemingly brought on by a mid-life crisis, but soon extends to frustration with the apathy exhibited in the direction of the destruction of once-pristine scenery. Glacially-paced, it's a film perhaps a little too concerned with its style rather than its substance, meaning that although the landscapes and visuals can be admired, there's precious little to enthral an audience beneath surface level.
The aforementioned existential funk is being experienced by architect Dogan (Kanbolat Gorkem Arslan) who suffers a breakdown whilst on a camping trip and is unable to shake the ensuing mental sickness. A doctor suggests that a countryside sabbatical may prove the key to recovery, so the maudlin Dogan arranges a trip home to the land »
- CineVue UK
Spring Breakers (18)
The new American dream/nightmare of the endless beach party is both celebrated and satirised in Korine's woozy Florida tale. The story is fittingly loose – four naive teens turn to criminal means to fund their hedonism – but it's more of an experience: a dubstep-tracked collage of neon, Day-Glo and tanned flesh, all facilitated by Franco's fantastically watchable gangsta rapper.
A Late Quartet (15)
A respected New York string quartet is struck by an excess of issues here: terminal illness, infidelity, professional jealousy, you name it. Without the distinguished cast, its highbrow melodramas would seem ludicrous.
The Expatriate (15)
- Steve Rose
A quiet and reflective drama from the Turkish actor-turned-writer-director, Muzaffer Özdemir, but the overal effect is inertia
Muzaffer Özdemir is the award-winning Turkish actor who had the lead role in Uzak, the 2002 movie by Nuri Bilge Ceylan a director whose ascent to world-cinema greatness was made complete by his recent austere drama Once Upon a Time In Anatolia. Özdemir now makes his debut as writer and director of this quiet and reflective drama. An architect, suffering pangs of ill-health on a camping holiday that almost amounts to a breakdown, seeks solace by revisiting the countryside of his childhood, but he is – predictably – disturbed to find that it is changing, and his unease is greater than ever. Perhaps his own profession is part of the forces that are contributing to the change.
Home is a movie indebted to Ceylan: it is slow, calm, thoughtful and well shot, but I'm bound to »
- Peter Bradshaw
In an excerpt from this week's Guardian Film Show Henry Barnes, Peter Bradshaw and Catherine Shoard review the first film from Muzaffer Özdemir, who won the best actor prize at Cannes in 2003 for his performance in Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Uzak. Yurt (Home) tells the story of a depressed architect who returns to his home town to find the local countryside threatened by a giant mining corporation Continue reading »
- Henry Barnes, Peter Bradshaw, Catherine Shoard, Richard Sprenger, Irene Baqué and Phil Maynard
★★☆☆☆ Best known for his Palme d'Or-winning turn in Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Uzak (Distant, 2002), actor-turned-director Muzaffer Özdemir's debut film Home (Yurt, 2011) is an introspective examination into the sustained cultural shift within modern Turkey, and the issues this raises for its people. Returning from Istanbul to his childhood village in the province of Gumushane, downhearted architect Doğan (Kanbolat Gorkem Arslan) is under doctor's orders to take a brief sabbatical from his high-pressure job. It's the perfect opportunity for Doğan to go back to his roots and hopefully find the origins of his existential funk.
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
Whereas westerns reflect a longing for a vanished past, Turkish cinema is examining and lamenting modernisation as it happens
By the time Sergio Leone got to Monument Valley in 1968 to film exteriors for Once Upon a Time in the West, its sandstone buttes – engrained in the popular consciousness by their presence in John Ford's westerns – had already assumed the hulking mythic grandeur the great Italian director needed for his story of American beginnings. Nuri Bilge Ceylan was surely hoping for a little of the same when he had his night convoy of murder investigators sweep their headlights across the vast prairie in last year's Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. The auburn-grey hills around Keskin, near the capital Ankara, might not be as singular a location as the Utah valley, but they've got their own mute, unknowable magnificence – a suitable backdrop for Ceylan's gloomy night of the Turkish soul. »
- Phil Hoad
6 items from 2013
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