This is a movie within movie, which is almost recursive, i.e., the movie inside looks like director Ceylan's previous movie, Kasaba. It is about the movie director, Muzaffer, going back to ...
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This is a movie within movie, which is almost recursive, i.e., the movie inside looks like director Ceylan's previous movie, Kasaba. It is about the movie director, Muzaffer, going back to his hometown to make a movie using a cast of local people. While Muzaffer is around, his mother complains about simple health problems, his father is in a legal fight against the government for his land, his cousin gets out of his job to help Muzaffer who promises him to find a job in Istanbul, and his little cousin Ali tries to carry an egg in his pocket for 40 days so that he'll get the watch of his dreams. In the meantime, they get to form the cast for Muzaffer's movie as well. Written by
This film will not go down in film history annals as another Citizen Kane or Seven Samurai, but I have no doubt that scattered connoisseurs will still be watching this film long after most big-time Hollywood watermelons meet their deserved oblivion. This is a quiet, unpretentious film that manages, with the sparsest materials, to wind its way into your heart and mind forever. A film director returns to his provincial home town to shoot a film with amateurs (his parents and friends) as the stars. This is therefore a "metafilm," or a film within a film. The director doesn't make a big deal out of this minor post-modern conceit, he doesn't wear his learning on his sleeve--he just uses it as a source of humor and self-deprecation. The pivot of the film is the director's relationship with his father, a stubborn yet gentle idealist who simply wants to keep his modest grove, which he has tended for over fifty years, from being cut down by the land authorities. The ties between parents and children, the forces of encroaching modernity, the paradoxical beauty and desperation of provincial life, and man's ties to nature are all themes the director handles with deft, light touches. The story is reminiscent of Chekhov (to whom the film is dedicated) and the Iranian masters, but at the same time seems very plain and artless. There are, however, deep springs of art behind that seeming artlessness, "unheard melodies" that only time and repeated viewing can fully drag into the consciousness of the average viewer: but they are there, and they soar.
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