Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Film Capsule: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Clouds of May (1999)


Clouds of May (1999)
Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

This deceptively modest feature, the second by Turkish master Ceylan, interrogates two of its director’s primary thematic interests, cinematic and familial concomitance, as parallel properties of inherently duplicitous origin. Returning home to a shoot a film featuring town locals, Muzaffer (Muzaffer Özdemir) finds himself caught up in the daily trials of extended family. His father battles town surveyors over land ownership while his mother fights health problems and his two cousins each learn the consequences of responsibility in their own way, the eldest by ignoring professional responsibilities to take part in the production, and the youngest by carrying an egg in his pocket for 40 days to earn a new watch. Never one to forsake his forebears, Ceylan nods to both Chekov and Kiarostami, the former via onscreen dedication, the latter in the film’s self-reflexive conceit, proposing a continuum suggesting the chasm between Through the Olive Trees (1994) and Winter Sleep (2014) to be not as wide as initially appears. (Nov 2, 4:30pm; Nov 4, 4pm at MoMA’s Ceylan series) [The L]

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