Saturday, May 9, 2009

Iklimer - Seasons

Iklimer; Drama, Turkey, 2006; D: Nuri Bilge Ceylan, S: Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan, Nazan Kirilmiş, Mehmet Eryilmaz, Arif Asçi

The couple Isa and Bahar are in Kaş for a summer vacation. Suddenly, while on the beach, he tells her they should separate for a while. While driving on the motorcycle, she covers his eyes and they fall on the road and start to argue. Back in Istanbul, alone, Isa returns to his job as a lecture. Out of loneliness, he goes to his former girlfriend Serap and sleeps with her. Finally, he visits Bahar in a snowy town where she is filming a TV show. She rejects him, but eventually goes to his hotel room.

The 4th film by actor and director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, nominated for a Golden Palm in Cannes, "Seasons" are a meditative, minimalistic drama about relationships filmed in the best manner of Antonioni, which means it demands some attention from the viewers. Elements for creating a real masterwork are evasive, yet they are all around us, around our life, and certain events, situations, movements and style of the characters in a film can somehow manage to capture the frequency of it and and transmit it to the screen. "Seasons" managed to capture some of them, to a certain extent, and not even it's slow style seems slow, but naturally elegant, yet it didn't contain it to such an extent that it would stimulate on all levels. The director's (autobiographical?) story is thin, yet some of his shot compositions are amazing, while some scenes draw praise, like the one where the camera only shows him in a close up watching a woman - who seems to be his girlfriend Bahar - going to swim in the distant sea, while he "talks" with from afar: "I think we should break up". Yet the camera then turns around and shows that Bahar is actually right by his right side, and really does hear all what he says. The 5 minute long sequence where Isa is "wrestling" with his female friend Serap until they have intercourse on the floor is unpleasantly sharp, but the most amazing ingredient is the finale where he and Bahar are in bed - nothing is shown, except the close ups of their heads, yet everything is said through those images, which are such a inspiration it's real poetry.


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