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Distant-Movie Review 05/25/2013

Posted by dbinder in Ankara International Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Drama, Emotional Drama, Istanbul International Film Festival, Movies, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkish language film.
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Distant (Turkish) 2002

Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Starring Muzaffer Özdemir, Emin Toprak, and Zuhal Gencer

Among other awards and nominations:
WINNER, Best Cinematography; Best Director; Best Editing; Best Film-National Competition (all Ceylan); WINNER, Best Supporting Actress (Gencer), Ankara International Film Festival
WINNER, France Culture Award, Foreign Cineaste of the Year and also Grand Prize of the Jury (Ceylan); WINNER, Best Actor (Özdemir and Toprak); NOMINATED, Palme d’Or (Ceylan), Cannes Film Festival
WINNER, Silver Hugo-Special Jury Prize (Ceylan), Chicago International Film Festival
WINNER, Best Turkish Director of the Year; Best Turkish Film of the Year; FIPRESCI Prize Turkish Competition (all Ceylan), Istanbul International Film Festival

Yusuf (Toprak) travels to the big city of Istanbul to look for work after the factory he worked in closes down. He stays with his distant relative, semi-successful photographer Mahmut (Özdemir), who is still recovering from his divorce from Nazan (Gencer). The visitor was not expected, and he does nothing to make himself more welcome.

A moody, poetical film portraying the separateness and loneliness of the lives of the two men. There are a few light moments, mostly having to do with Mahmut’s friends and Yusuf’s awkward attempts to meet a woman. I found the movie a little low key and slow-moving, although the cinematography was outstanding. I liked director Ceylan’s 2006 Climates (Iklimler) more. Distant was highly acclaimed (see above).

105 min. Not rated. Adult themes.


The Accompanist-Movie Review 11/06/2012

Posted by Films to consider in César Awards, Drama, FIPRESCI Award, Istanbul International Film Festival, National Board of Review, World War II.
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The Accompanist (French) 1992

Directed by Claude Miller
Starring Richard Bohringer, Elena Safonova, and Romane Bohringer

NOMINATED, Best Cinematography; Best Sound; Most Promising Actor (Julien Rassam), César Awards, France
WINNER, FIPRESCI Prize; also Special Prize of the Jury (both Claude Miller), Istanbul International Film Festival
WINNER, NBR Award – Top Foreign Films, National Board of Review, USA

During the winter of 1942-43 in wartime France, while some people are starving, the musical crowd still indulges. Sophie (Romane Bohringer), a young woman who is a skilled pianist, is hired to accompany Irène Brice, a famed opera singer. Brice’s husband Charles (Richard Bohringer) is a businessman who collaborates with the Germans. Spending so much time in the company of the kind and caring Irène, the reserved, somewhat naive, but observant Sophie learns about love.

Notice that there are two Bohringers–father and daughter in real life–listed in starring roles; I just found that Richard Bohringer, who was also a director and singer, passed away two days before this post on Nov. 4, 2012. Romane Bohringer was especially suited for the role of Sophie, who has much in the way of talent herself, but is so understated in her personality compared to the crowd she becomes exposed to.

This film is from the early 1990s and I happened to watch it on a VHS tape, but the DVD is available (both are listed below). The music is absolutely outstanding; I believe there is an accompanying CD, but I couldn’t find a link to it.

102 min. Rated PG.