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Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

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Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

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Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby sparky on Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:28 pm

Trusting a local cinema's programme on a rainy afternoon I just saw this and have been bewitched. Not Crap. I think it is a great film and am very happy to have seen it without knowing anything about it beforehand. I love the light, flow of event, conversation and the faces.

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I'm not sure if the director meant this, but the men in the first half came across as travellers in a kind of purgatory.
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby Dave//Eksvplot on Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:13 am

You should definitely trust your local cinema if they're screening a film like this. I haven't seen it yet and probably won't until it comes out on DVD, but Nuri Bilge Ceylan is a very good director. Distant is a favorite and Climates is also an accomplished, worthwhile film. That's all I've seen by him but it's more than enough to earn Ceylan eternal Not Crap status.

No spoilers please.
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby Cranius on Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:22 am




I'll will be watching this. It got a cracking write-up from Phillip French in The Guardian:

Nuri Bilge Ceylan's latest film, a thriller as challenging as Antonioni's Blow-Up, is his finest work to date.

I presume it's on at the Rio, Mark?
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby sparky on Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:32 am

Dave//Eksvplot wrote:No spoilers please.


All, hear. My first-time view benefitted massively from not knowing what to expect at all. It's a quite mysterious film and knowing what to expect would undermine the initial trapdoors and spooks given by the perfect way in which it is filmed and the sound which disorientates, also mysteriously.

A mutual friend of Cranius and I raved about Uzak/Distance, so I've had the dvd lying in my I'm-a-useless-sod pile for over a year.

I might watch it again.

Cranius wrote:I presume it's on at the Rio, Mark?


That's the badger. Let me know if you're going to see it and fancy additional company. Am away next weekend, mind.
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby Adrian on Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:38 pm

Saw this a couple of weeks back. Fantastic film. Great performances. Wonderful photography, and the plot is as humorous as it is enigmatic. Not to be missed.
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby Dave//Eksvplot on Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:57 pm

Picked this up on bluray disc right when it came out and watched it twice within the span of three days. I think it's a fine movie, one that plays especially well late at night (wouldn't recommend watching it while the sun is still out). The film has been billed as a police procedural, but to me it has more in common with what's often called "contemplative cinema" (love it or hate it as a term) than it does a conventional cop/murder movie. It feels vaguely similar to an Abbas Kiarostami effort, in some ways, but the tone and stylization of Once Upon a Time in Anatolia are very much in keeping with Ceylan's previous work. The film involves a lot of characters but the casting is perfect. This was probably made with Ceylan's largest budget yet, but clearly he handled it well and did not drop the ball.

*spoliers*

During the first half, while it's still night in the film, I fell into a trance while watching it. This hypnotic feeling is replaced with a sense of fatigue (though not an unpleasant one) when the film shifts to day and the weariness of all the main characters becomes more and more apparent. Once the body is found the searching and longing and listlessness of the middle of the night give way to a larger sense of obligation, and then it's only in little moments, sometimes within the margins of different scenes, when the quiet desperation comes to the surface (though the film has it's share of humorous moments as well).

I like that the film follows the doctor during the last portion of the film and we get a sense of how lonely he is (or can be). We first get a taste of his depression during the part of the film in which the caravan stops at the mayor's house in the small village: when the mayor's lovely daughter brings everyone their drinks by lantern-light, as soon as the doctor sees her, he looks uncomfortable. This reminds me of the Bob Dylan line, "behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain." Of course later on the viewer learns that the girl looks similar to the doctor's ex-wife, so there's that, but in general I rate a film highly when it shows that something as innocent as the presence of a young pretty woman, rather than having a purely positive effect, can make a man feel crummy and alone when he's moody and tired and wants to be somewhere else, doing something else.


According to the video essay included in the home release, the filmmaker's name is pronounced NUR-EEE BILL-JAY JAY-LON. Did not know that.
madmanmunt wrote:You think Michelangelo Antonioni popped out of the womb with Monica Vitti in one hand and the reels of L'Avventura in the other?
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby Clyde on Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:36 pm

By far my favorite film of the year so far.


Sorry or using "far" twice in one sentence. Tonight I'm going to rock you tonight.
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby dabrasha on Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:42 pm

Great movie. That scene where the daughter served the guests and cops tea could have been maudlin crap, but it was done perfect. That was the moment it turned from good to great.
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby scott on Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:04 am

According to the video essay included in the home release, the filmmaker's name is pronounced NUR-EEE BILL-JAY JAY-LON. Did not know that.


Yeah Turkish is weird like that. The letter C either sounds like a J, like in this case, or if it has the little accent mark under it then it becomes a "ch". So that's where you get a word like piç, which looks like pic but sound like "peach". And means "bastard".

Also I would add that the "BILL" part of his name is sorta in between "BILL" and "BEEL". The i is another interesting one, if it has the dot on it then it sounds like that, but an i without a dot sounds like a schwa.

It's not actually too tricky to get Turkish pronunciation down, except for the guttural vowels with umlauts on em, those are hard for me anyway. There aren't all kinda weird arbitrary pronunciation rules like in English. It's straightforward enough that if you showed me written Turkish I could read it out loud and a Turkish-speaking person could understand me, and also if you say something to me in Turkish I can spell it pretty well, and I really don't know shit, maybe 15 or 20 words or something. It's a cool sounding language too, I think.

Ok sorry for getting off-topic, I'm just a sucker for Turkish is all
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby sparky on Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:51 am

I am happy that others here also like this film. Five or ten minutes in, when the cars first move off along one of those dark, winding roads I had this apprehension, like they were about to be ambushed and this was an action thriller. But whilst apprehension was appropriate, it was for something rather different.

Dave//Eksvplot wrote:*spoliers*


I'm stealing this typo, it is magnificent. So, *spoliers*:

Like the rest of you, the tea scene with the lamps and the young woman was a turn in the film for me. When the mayor called for his daughter I realised that no women had appeared in this film up until then. Would this be a film without women, would the director hide the daughter's face from us? Of course, when she turns up she is beautiful and the prosecutor, the doctor and the suspect all feel pain due to the different fates of their respective loves, all held secret: suicide, estrangement/exile and, most recently, separation due to an irrevocable crime. It's nice as it shows how one can turn a stranger into an icon for the desperate in disparate circumstances. When the prisoner cries I realised the serving of the tea might be the last moment of tenderness that he would ever encounter.

Dave, I only saw it once in a soggy daze, so your recollection and feel for the film will be much stronger, but I am sure that the first section at night was genuinely and intentionally purgatorial. The lighting and colours felt religious. As you point out, the daylight is exhausting and you suddenly see how wan and deeply tired the group is.

The film is adept in revelation: containing plenty, it chooses quietness. The doctor's decision to excise mention of soil in the victim's lungs is the perfect conclusion to the perverse odyssey of a group of men who spend a whole night looking for a buried body whilst choosing to keep their own secrets underground.
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby Haydon on Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:28 am

I have thought about this movie every day since around a month ago when I saw it.

I had beer. I took more during the film. Not too many. Enough.

I was teary in moments and with little knowledge as to why. The whole thing just took me.

Upon it's finishing I was moved to talk down the older group beside me who had solely focused on the apparent crime narrative contained within. I was not harsh. I genuinely hoped for them to get something out of what must have been a real effort to get involved.
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Re: Film: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Postby Dave//Eksvplot on Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:10 pm

Clyde wrote:Tonight I'm going to rock you tonight.


Fair enough!

dabrasha wrote:That scene where the daughter served the guests and cops tea could have been maudlin crap, but it was done perfect. That was the moment it turned from good to great.


I agree. In the hands of a hack, the film would've gone downhill from there. But Ceylan is no hack.

sparky wrote:
Dave//Eksvplot wrote:*spoliers*


I'm stealing this typo, it is magnificent.


Whoops!

sparky wrote: So, *spoliers*:

Like the rest of you, the tea scene with the lamps and the young woman was a turn in the film for me. When the mayor called for his daughter I realised that no women had appeared in this film up until then. Would this be a film without women, would the director hide the daughter's face from us? Of course, when she turns up she is beautiful and the prosecutor, the doctor and the suspect all feel pain due to the different fates of their respective loves, all held secret: suicide, estrangement/exile and, most recently, separation due to an irrevocable crime. It's nice as it shows how one can turn a stranger into an icon for the desperate in disparate circumstances. When the prisoner cries I realised the serving of the tea might be the last moment of tenderness that he would ever encounter.


Spot-on.

scott wrote:The letter C either sounds like a J, like in this case, or...


This is good to know!


Haydon wrote:Upon it's finishing I was moved to talk down the older group beside me who had solely focused on the apparent crime narrative contained within.


If that's one's approach to the film, he's missing out on a lot, I agree.
madmanmunt wrote:You think Michelangelo Antonioni popped out of the womb with Monica Vitti in one hand and the reels of L'Avventura in the other?
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