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Uzak (Distant) [DVD] 
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Translated into English as 'Distant', this bleak and poignant drama directed by Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan reflects on the loneliness and neuroses of modern urban life. Mahmut (Muzaffer Özdemir) is a middle-aged photographer living and working in Istanbul, whose tidy habits and cool demeanour are tried when his young cousin Yusuf (Emin Toprak, who was tragically killed in a car crash shortly after the film was completed) comes to stay with him while he looks for work. Yusuf is a good-natured but insensitive country boy from a poor village background, while Mahmut is a modern professional who is on the verge of a mid-life crisis since his ex-wife's announcement that she is leaving for Canada with her new husband. The two men form an awkward relationship, which is reflected in their inability to communicate with others around them.
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Top Customer Reviews
Distinctly and acutely directed by Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, this rhythmic and somewhat autobiographical fictional tale which is narrated from the two main character`s viewpoints, draws a quiet and moving portrayal of a relationship between two Turkish relatives from different generations. While notable for its naturalistic milieu depictions, sterling production design by Turkish production designer Ebru Ceylan, cinematography by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and use of sound and music, this character-driven, narrative-driven and colorful story depicts two internal and interrelated studies of character.
This naturally humorous and incisive drama which is set during a winter in the capital of Turkey, is impelled and reinforced by its fleeting narrative structure, subtle character development and the remarkable acting performances by Turkish actors Muzaffer Ödemir and Mehmet Emin Toprak (1974-2002). A genuinely compassionate and singular character piece which gained, among several other awards, the Grand Prix Nuri Bilge Ceylan at the 56th Cannes Film Festival in 2003.
On the one hand there is the breathtaking cinematography - for example the scene in which Yusuf runs along the quayside in the snow and passes a ship leaning crookedly towards the shore.
On the other there is the understated dialogue, the way in which so much is said through faces and through absences.
The storyline is quietly compelling and the underlying issues are (i hate this word) relevant: migration, urbanisation, modernisation, globalisation... all the "ations" you can eat.
You will have to watch the film at least twice (I did) The first time you watch it you will be thinking "This film is awful" "The sound quality is terrible" "The acting is awful" It is only when you watch it for a second time that you start to appreciate it.
For a start the character Mahmut was not chosen because of his acting ability he was chosen due to his facial expressions and how well he fitted the character, the quality of sound reflects the realism of the film there is no background music (apart from those coming from chimes blown by the wind) There is a lack of light in the apartment again, to add to the realism of the film.
Turkey was going through a tough time when this film was made, the economic crisis made thousands jobless and those already without jobs even more desperate, everyone was looking for work and using whatever connections they had to find employment.
This film is no east V west or modern V traditional but rather the life of 2 ordinary Turks on screen. On the one hand we have Mahmut, from rural Turkey (as most of the population is) who had came to Istanbul many years before, made it good largely through his own hard work and made a decent life for himself. Sadly, his personal life has not been so fortunate. Divorced from his wife in spite of his numerous friends he is a lonely character seemingly finding solace in prostitutes and alcohol.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A gentle,moving and sad film portraying mundane aspects of it's lonely main characters.Using a cast of mostly amateur actors "Uzak" was a deserving winner of best film at... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mark R.
The country cousin goes to Istanbul to seek work while staying with his professional photographer cousin with artistic pretensions. Read morePublished 11 months ago by abkq
I have seen this film on youtube once in low resolution (now removed), otherwise I would probably never had known about it - and I can't forget it. Read morePublished 17 months ago by CK
Nuri Bilge Ceylan is better known for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, which (to be fair) is a more compelling film. Read morePublished on 6 May 2014 by N. E. M. Goulder
An acquaintance comes in from the country and stays in a small apartment in Istanbul, but like fish after 3 days it goes off! Read morePublished on 6 Dec. 2013 by RONAN R OSULLIVAN
About a young, newly unemployed mans migration from his family and home town village to look for job in the metropolis city of Istanbul, where he first stay with his unmarried... Read morePublished on 5 Dec. 2013 by Else Marie Johansen