A dowdy university instructor Isa is an inattentive husband to his younger, TV-business wife Bahar. Self-absorbed and selfish, Isa only communicates in the most rudimentary way, while she, similarly, detaches into crying jags and juvenile behavior.
Aydin, a former actor, runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal with whom he has a stormy relationship and his sister Necla who is suffering from her recent divorce.... See full summary »
Musa, who works as a bookkeeper in the customs office, believes in the emptiness and absurdity of life. He doesn't struggle to change his life; he lets himself flow along with events ... See full summary »
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 ... See full summary »
Mahmut, a 40 year old independent photographer, is a "village boy made good" at least professionally in the big city - Istanbul in this case. After his wife leaves him, he falls into an existential crisis. Then comes his cousin Yusuf, who left his native village after a local factory closed down, effectively unemploying over half the local men. He looks to Istanbul for salvation: a job on board a ship sailing abroad, at once exciting and crucial to supporting his family in the desperately poor village. The distance between the two men is apparent at once, and becomes increasingly pronounced. Whereas Mahmut is adusted to big city life and suffers from many of its neuroses, Yusuf is a lonely, excentric country worker with annoying nervous and hygienic habits, and a sick mother back home he must somehow support. This intimate drama was filmed in the director's apartment in Istanbul, using all his furniture, appliances, rooms, car and so on as the film's props. The actor playing Yusuf is ... Written by
It has taken me about a year now after seeing this film to write about it. Lord knows I have wanted to, after witnessing it I knew I saw something I hadn't seen before but wasn't sure why. Now after reflecting for quite some time I know, it's these characters that even now I still can't stop thinking about.
Distant briefly and slowly tells the story of a relative (Yusuf) who comes from the rurals to live briefly with a well off to do photographer (Mahmut) in the city in hopes to find employment. However it becomes clear that after Yusuf hypothesizes the idea of being a sailor and his employment prospects dim, that he's really searching for something else, some sort of purpose in his life.
Through all this soul searching we are taken through seasonal surroundings that are filmed exquisitely. The context in which they happen makes the scenes more powerful in 2 particular ones when a girl Yusuf has been following suddenly meets up with her significant other, and the look of Yusuf's face as he looks into a basket of fish and the shot and light that reflects off his tortured face. That scene in itself has to be one of the most gorgeously filmed pieces I have witness in I don't know how long.
In the end Mahmut has his own demons too, but ends up confronting his relative that he is not really trying to find a job and is forced to ask him to leave, in a scene that is very simple but has the feeling of true heartbreak.
What the viewer is left with is lots of reflecting and pondering for these 2 people who everyone can see a piece of themselves in. You should not be put off by the pace of this film it is truly worth every single breathtaking second.
Rating 10 out of 10.
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