The Wild Pear Tree (Ahlat Agaci)
Cert: 15 Year: 2018 Length: 188 mins Language: Turkish
Cinema Handout (PDF 148KB)
Score: 58.8% Attendance: 92
We have another classic Nuri Bilge Ceylan film for you this week. It will be no surprise to his fans to know it is as long as usual, nor that it is as beautiful as ever. If there is a surprise it is that the usual thought-provoking dialogue contains much humour this time around: "I never thought I'd laugh this much during a Nuri Bilge Ceylan film...Ceylan delivers what might be his funniest, most politically poignant work yet. It also happens to be achingly personal" - Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice.
The story follows a young, would-be writer, Sinan, as he moves back and forth between the big city and his father's small village, always arguing and probing for answers in "a series of extended, tense, and often hilarious conversations about literature, popularity, love, modernity - issues central to the role of an artist today, especially in a place like Turkey" - Ebiri again. He blames his failure to achieve success as a writer on his father, but gradually begins to realise he has more in common with him than he thought.
All this is done with Ceylan's incredible attention to detail, alongside Gökhan Tiryaki, his regular cinematographer, whose flair for beauty stands out: "'The Wild Pear Tree' maintains a visual sophistication unparalleled in international cinema. Ceylan intersperses talky exposition with poetic imagery that deep-ens the story's thematic concerns, from a majestic swing of the camera that goes up and into a tree - the better to watch the leaves blowing in the breeze - to the slow tracking shot toward the edge of a well at the movie's taut and remarkable climax. In each case, the images reflect a broader quest for answers in a world that only reveals itself in piecemeal' - Eric Kohn, IndieWire. I hope all you other Ceylan fans are looking forward to this as much as I am...
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