Climates' strong emotional flow is real and honest

PUBLISHED: 13:39 14 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:27 07 September 2010

Climates (Iklimler) (15) Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Starring Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan, Nazan Kesal, Mehmet Eryilmaz. Turkish with English subtitles. 97 mins. Three star rating Sometimes critical appreciation can leap ahead of artistic achievemen

Climates (Iklimler) (15) Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Starring Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan, Nazan Kesal, Mehmet Eryilmaz. Turkish with English subtitles. 97 mins.

Three star rating

Sometimes critical appreciation can leap ahead of artistic achievement and it seems to me that with Iklimler, Turkish director Ceylan is earning the plaudits he gained for his breakthrough effort Uzak.

Where that film seemed to clump around a wintry Istanbul in a rather self-satisfied haze of alienation and despair, Iklimler is a spare and telling account of the breakdown in a relationship and a man's failure to connect.

The climates of the title are a summer holiday in Kas, a perpetually thundery

autumn in Istanbul and the snowbound mountain region in the east of Turkey in winter.

In the opening section we see the final disintegration of the relationship between lecturer Isa and the younger Bahar, an art director for TV. After the break up, the film follows Isa's attempt to look for something or someone to engage with.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan likes to use things that are to hand and most of Uzak was filmed in his own apartment.

The decision though to cast himself and his wife as the two leads ought to have been a step too far but they pull it off. I watched the film without knowing and I thought the acting was one of the film's strengths. The emotional flow in the scenes always felt absolutely real and honest. A simple line like "what time do you have to be on set in the morning," is turned into a devastating betrayal.

Interestingly the film's only sex scene happens between Isa and another woman - I imagine Nuri had to make frequent mentions of the Grand Jury Prize he won at Cannes when explaining that artistic necessity to the wife.

There's nothing here that you haven't seen before in a European art movie but Ceylan pulls off some old familiar moves - isolated figures set against striking locations, long unbroken takes - with considerable freshness. After directing, starring, writing, editing and co-producing the movie it's reasonable to assume that Ceylan has some issues with the collaborative nature of film-making but he must know he is indebted to his director of photography Gokhan Tiryaki who's come up with some stunning images shooting on digital HD.


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