The International Writers Magazine: Film

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan/ with Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan, Nazan Kesal/ Turkey 2006/ 101 mins
Carly McClain

It was Time Out's Critics Choice for this years 50th Film Festival and I was lucky enough to attend a screening at London’s West End Odeon. The screening was also attended by the writer and director, both answering audiences questions at the end of the screening.

It was Times Out's Critics Choice for this years 50th Film Festival and I was lucky enough to attend a screening at London’s West End Odeon, the screening was also attended by the writer and Director himself, to my excitement answering audiences questions at the end of the screening, the film in question, Climates, by Turkish writer and Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who has been haled as the new male Soffia Coppola, with his devastatingly subtle approach to film making.

I immediately warmed to the director’s point of view of life and love, which is evidently what this film is about. It takes us through a scenic portryal of Isa, a university lecturer and his younger wife Bahar, an Art Director; we see the devastating effects the break-up has on his wife and her reaction to it. The film is beautifully set in parts of Turkey and Istanbul; the scenes almost subtly reflect the harsh emotions of the film. In the beginning we see beautiful streaks of bright orange and yellow and as the mood rapidly develops into heartache and pain the films scenes depict snow storms in Istanbul and the depressing grayness of constant rain. His latest film attempt to blend raw emotion and self destruction, throughout the film you start to realise the devastating effects of the break up, and how we deal with it in a completely complex way. A tale of self-destruction and loneliness prevails throughout. Isa has no idea of how complex his wife feelings are and evidently falls into the arms of another woman.

His first film Urzak (Distant), which was screened at the Film Festival in 2003. Has the same quiet style of storytelling, his passion for his home town of Istanbul never strays from the film and we come to realise the intense stubbornness the character has in this relationship. We can see ourselves through the eyes of this character and the potential of all the raw emotions within all of us. Neylan successfully brings a moving, naturalistic attitude towards the relationship in the film.

After the film he explained in great detail, that his films are projects of the self, personal projects in the best sense, Neylan effectively explores raw human emotion throughout the film, with brutal honesty and openness, his character is realistic in his reactions to the split, reactions which Neylan, the director, is familiar with.

His wife in the film is also his wife in real life which gives this film that sense of authenticity. Both of his films portray realistic characters, which the viewer can relate to both emotionally and physically, this tale of turmoil is only too familiar in Neylan’s films. One character in particular, Sejab, Isa’s mistress, the woman he runs back to when they finally break up, provides sophistication and naivety, a mood that’s evident in both of his films. The director has an acute understanding that we all have the potential within us all for such devastation and loneliness.

I was clearly left feeling drained of all my senses, this film has every bit of sophistication, and possibly a subtle insight into the males perspective of break ups, leading us towards a path of uncertentainty for both characters, the film left me with a feeling of wanting more from this Director, a successful step towards film making, his efforts to combine the complex mixture of pain and humor throughout this film, gives the film that edge and sincere ness, a bittersweet tale, set in the picturesque costal roads of Turkey and the harsh, conflicting snow storms of Istanbul, clearly reflecting the characters and narratives of this tale perfectly. A real moving piece of storytelling portrayed through the eyes of the director and his wife.

© Carly McClain December 2006

Carly is studying Creative Arts at the University of Portsmouth
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