Monday, Jan 14, 2008
By STEPHEN HOLDEN
Published: January 11, 2008
Livestock far outnumber humans in Times and Winds, Reha Erdems transporting vision of life in a mountain village in northwest Turkey as seen through the eyes of three children on the verge of adolescence. Make no mistake: The movie, for all its majestic shots of the rocky landscape and of the moon skittering behind clouds, is not a lump-in-your-throat portrait of the noble poor living in harmony with the elements.
Even in this remote hamlet untouched by television, human nature is what it is. The two boys, the best friends Ömer (Özkan Özen) and Yakup (Ali Bey Kayaly), and one girl, Yyldyz (Elit Y?can), whose day-to-day lives the movie observes with an affectionate detachment, giggle and point at the spectacle of animals mating.
Within their families there is an ugly heritage of generational strife. Because Ömers strict, ailing father (Bülent Emin Yarar), the village imam, prefers Ömers younger brother, Ömer devoutly wishes his father dead.
While his parents are asleep, he steals into their room and opens a window over their bed, hoping the night air will aggravate his fathers severe respiratory problems. He surreptitiously pulls apart and empties the capsules prescribed for his fathers condition. He even traps a poisonous scorpion he intends to unleash on his father, but it dies.
There is a scene of a frustrated farmer beating a horse and another of an old man attacking his son for stealing nuts from a tree. Yyldyz is treated like a servant by her mother. Yakup has a secret infatuation with the village teacher (Selma Ergeç), a beautiful young woman whom the villagers reward with regular deliveries of milk and bread. The boy is crushed when he comes upon his father peeping at her through a window of her house. The scene of the son spying on the father spying on the woman rubs in the fact that this is no Garden of Eden.
The teachers lessons about the Earths rotation, light, heat and the water cycle reflect the films focus on the intersection of daily life with the laws of nature. Its absence of high drama allows such primary forces to become its main subject. The film is organized around the five daily calls to Islamic prayer, chronologically reversed so that night is followed by evening, then afternoon, noon and dawn. As the sun rises at the end of the movie, this rearrangement of time simultaneously evokes the villages unchanging way of life and the blind expectations of preadolescent children facing adulthood.
As in Iranian films that focus on childhood, the soundtrack of Times and Winds is filled with the stirrings of nature the wind rushing through trees, animal sounds and bird song from near and far. Augmenting this pastoral symphony are excerpts from several pieces by Arvo Pärt (including the Te Deum) that add texture and gravity to the film. The music lush but emotionally neutral and at times static conjures eternal things.
For all its beauty, though, you couldnt describe Times and Winds as uplifting, and its attitude toward childhood is not sentimental in the manner of similarly minimalist Iranian movies. Its vision of people in thrall to religious ritual and living at the mercy of nature may be poetic, but it is no idyll. The serpent has done its dirty work.
TIMES AND WINDS
Opens in Manhattan on Friday.
Written (in Turkish, with English subtitles), directed and edited by Reha Erdem
director of photography, Florent Herry
art director, Ömer Atay
produced by Mr. Atay
released by Kino International.
At the Anthology Film Archives, 32-34 Second Avenue, at Second Street, East Village.
Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes. This film is not rated.
WITH: Özkan Özen (Ömer), Ali Bey Kayaly (Yakup), Elit Y?can (Yyldyz), Bülent Emin Yarar (Ymam), Taner Birsel (Zekeriya), Yi?it Özsener (Yusuf) and Selma Ergeç (Teacher).
Saturday, Jun 23, 2012
The Second "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival" launches at the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in Los Angeles on Aug. 3 for a one-week celebration of Kazakh cinema and culture, including musicians.
The festival is a stellar opportunity for directors, producers, location scouts, and the general public to get an understanding and appreciation of this exotic locale without leaving home.
Sweeping from the Caspian Sea on its Russian border to the Altai Mountain range on the Chinese border, Kazakhstan has a rich nomadic history as well as a powerful current tapestry of cultures. Since gaining independence in 1991, the Central Asian Republic has embraced its remarkable filmmaking past that dates back to the 1930's, when Sergei Eisenstein made his classic Ivan the Terrible in this mystic land, and has even given rise to several "New Wave" movements.
Opening night on Aug. 3rd begins with a reception at 7 pm, and includes a program of live entertainment until 11 pm, at the DGA Theater.
Sponsored by Kazakh Geographic Society (KazGeo.kz ), helixfilmsinc.com , the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan in Los Angeles, the festival includes Advisory Board Members Steven-Charles Jaffe (GHOST, K19), David Marconi (Screenwriter, ENEMY OF THE STATE), and Ambassador Erlan Idrissov.
Tickets cost $10 (including free parking) can be purchased from the festivals website. "Kazakhstan Montage of Cinemas: Film & Cultural Festival 2012" will be held Aug. 3 - 9 at the Directors Guild of America on 7920 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles, California
For more information, please see www.kazakhfestival.com - KazakhFilmFestLA@gmail.com
Source : HelixFilmsInc.com
Sunday, May 27, 2012
The 65th Festival de Cannes drew to a close tonight with the closing awards ceremony hosted by Academy Award nominated actress Berenice Bejo.
The top prize was captured yet again by Michael Haneke for his portrait of an elderly couple Amour. This is the second time he has bested Jacques Audiard who was also in competition with De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone). Haneke becomes one of the few two-time Palme d'Or winners alongside Alf Sjoberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Bille August, Emir Kusturica, Shohei Imamura, and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne and only the second after August to win with consecutive films his previous Palme d'Or was for his 2009 film Das weiße Band (The White Ribbon).
Matteo Garrone picked up his second Grand Prix for his film Reality. Previously, he had won in 2008 for Gomorrah.
The surprise winner for the Jury Prize was Ken Loach with The Angels' Share. He previously won the Palme d'Or in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes the Barley.
Another previous Palme d'Or winner won Best Screenplay. Cristian Mungiu who made 4 luni, 3 săptămâni ?i 2 zile (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) returned with După dealuri (Beyond the Hills), and it also shared the Best Actress for its stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur.
In spite of the heavy American representation in the selection, the only American film to win a prize was Benh Zeitlin's Un Certain Regard entry Beasts of the Southern Wild which won the Camera d'Or for first film. Last night, it had won the FIPRESCI international critics' prize.
Complete list of winners for the 65th Festival de Cannes
Amour, Michael Haneke (France-Germany-Austria)
Reality, Matteo Garrone (Italy-France)
The Angels' Share, Ken Loach (U.K.-France-Belgium-Italy)
Carlos Reygadas, Post tenebras lux (Light After Darkness) (Mexico-France-Germany-Netherlands)
Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Mads Mikkelsen, Jagten (The Hunt) (Denmark-Sweden)
Cristian Mungiu, După dealuri (Beyond the Hills) (Romania-France-Belgium)
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (U.S.)
PALME D'OR FOR BEST SHORT FILM
SESSYZ-BE DENG (SILENCE), REZAN YE?YLBA?
Source : www.ensonhaber.com