Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

The vibe one gets from the conversation around Kedi – not least because there are obvious economic advantages to the distributor in letting this vibe happen – is that it’s basically a feature-length version of a cute cat video on YouTube. To be entirely fair, if you’re the kind of person prone to spending 80 […]

There us a great deal to admire around the largely French-made Turkish-language film Mustang. It scores two major coups even before you start watching it: it’s a study of adolescent female psychology and sexuality in a cloistered Turkish family, which is rare enough; and it was directed and co-written by a Turkish woman, Deniz Gamze […]

There’s no good in hiding the obvious: director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s seventh feature Winter Sleep, winner of the 2014 Palme d’Or, is three hours and sixteen minutes long, with most of that time given to people talking. This is a shallow observation, but the film emphasises the weight of its running time to an extreme […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/17 & 10/20 & 10/21 World premiere: 26 September, 2012, San Sebastian International Film Festival If you look at at the normal sources – IMDb, Wikipedia – you’ll find (at least as of this writing) that Rhino Season is described as an Iranian film, which is an incredibly, specifically wrong statement. Rhino […]

Screens at CIFF: 10/11 & 10/13 World premiere: 21 May, 2011, Cannes Film Festival To date, Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan has directed six features, only two of which have made any particularly huge impression in the English-speaking world – huge by the standards of Turkish imports, at any rate: Distant and Climates. They’re fairly […]

We’re accustomed to saying that a “contrived” story is necessarily unsatisfying, but Fatih Akin’s fascinating and brilliant The Edge of Heaven puts that notion to the test: the movie presents a tangled network connecting six people that could hardly be more contrived, and to add insult to injury, most of those contrivances don’t end up […]

A film that looks and plays like a long-lost collaboration between Michelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky ought to be the biggest slam dunk of an art-house masterpiece that ever was, and last summer, when the French/Turkish co-production Climates [Iklimler] by Nuri Bilge Ceylan was rounding the European festival circuit, that was pretty much […]