Behind the Tinsel

Gorvett, Jon; Cengiz, N. Buket
June 2003
Middle East;Jun2003, Issue 335, p62
The article focuses on achievements of Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Ceylan began commiting his personal observations to celluloid in 1995 with the short film 'Cocoon,' which was screened at the 48th Cannes Film Festival. Encouraged by its reception in France, he started work on a full-length movie, 'The Small Town' in 1997. The quality of naturalness is a central feature of Ceylan's work. As cinematic influences, he cites Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu and French director Robert Bresson. Ceylan captures the ordinariness and naturalness of daily life as few directors can. "The idea of adapting for cinema a life that is seemingly colorless, without passion, even monotonous has always excited me more," Ceylan says. 'Distant,' is Ceylan's most autobiographical film. Set in Istanbul, it follows the arrival in town of Yusuf, played by Mehmet Emin Toprak, from the 'small town' in Anatolia portrayed in Ceylan's previous movies. Although the conflict between urban and rural Turks is woven into the fabric of the film, it is by no means a political movie.


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