CLIMATES (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2006)

I admire Turkish writer-director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Uzak (2002), and I love his earlier Clouds of May (1999), but his latest film, Climates (Iklimler), leaves me cold. It is impersonal. Ceylan and his actual wife, Ebru Ceylan, play a couple that falls apart, prompting the man, who ended the relationship, to stalk the woman and try to rekindle it. The filmmaker assures us that Isa and Bahar do not refer to Nuri Bilge and Ebru, and I believe him.
     Of course, the film is punctuated by brilliant shots, including an amazing “double” one at the finish, with one shot imperceptibly dissolving into another amidst falling snow. But Climates relentlessly lacks humor. Moreover, it fails to characterize the couple as a couple, albeit a failing and a failed couple.
     This film is touched with Bergmaniacal cruelty, and a sailboat sailing in the far distance across the water in a scene at the beach—later on, it is transformed into a lazily flapping bird—whispers Angelopoulos.

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