distant

distant

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Country: Turkey
Year: 2002
Running time: 110 min
In Turkish with English subtitles

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DISTANT

Mahmut is a relatively successful commercial photographer who has been struggling to come to terms with the growing gap between his artistic ideals and his professional obligations. His tedious workload, coupled with the lingering loss he still feels for his ex-wife (newly married and on the verge of leaving Istanbul for Canada), leaves Mahmut clinging to the melancholic and obsessive routines of his solitary life. 

Without warning, Mahmut’s distant relative Yusuf arrives in Istanbul determined to find a job aboard a ship so that he may fulfill his dream of traveling around the world. In need of a place to stay as he searches for work, Yusuf imposes himself on Mahmut, who resents the sudden intrusion, but nonetheless feels obliged to help his family. It doesn’t take long for Yusuf to discover that the work he is looking for isn’t available, but he manages to prolong his stay with Mahmut by formulating stories that would suggest otherwise. His hope waning, Yusuf resorts to spending his days drifting through the streets of Istanbul, slowly coming to the realization that without work he may soon need to return home. Mahmut tries to help by offering him a job as his assistant during a photography shoot, but the fix is temporary. As the two men struggle to make a connection, communication is slowly reduced to the bare minimum; and their time together must come to an end. 

Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan wrote, directed, photographed, produced and co-edited this profoundly beautiful picture about detachment and isolation without allowing the austerity of his story to overwhelm the heartwarming, often comic, moments that permeate this award-winning film. Set in a wintry, contemporary Istanbul, the stunning cinematography was clearly instrumental in procuring the Grand Prix at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, where Muzaffer Özdemir and Mehmet Emin Toprak also shared best actor honors for their remarkable performances.

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PHOTOS

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PLAYDATES

3/18/22 Dryden Theatre at George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY

5/20-6/9/22 Film Forum, New York, NY

5/20-26/22 Laemmle's Royal, West Hollywood, CA

5/20-26/22 Laemmle's Playhouse, Pasadena, CA

5/20-26/22 The Clairidge, Montclair, NJ

6/3-16/22 Lumiere Cinema, Beverly Hills, CA

6/8-15/22 American Cinematheque, Los Feliz, CA - On 35mm film!

6/17-18/22 Cleveland Cinematheque, Cleveland, OH

6/17-23/22 New Plaza Cinema @the West End Theatre, New York, NY

6/24-30/22 Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL- On 35mm film!

6/25/22 Roxie, San Francisco, CA - ONE SHOW ONLY!

7/1,8/22 AFI Silver, Silver Spring, MD

7/6-8/22 Munson Cinema, Utica, NY

7/16-19/22 FilmScene, Iowa City, IA

7/22/22 Lightbox Film Center, Philadelphia, PA - On 35mm film!

7/29-8/1/22 Brattle Theatre, Boston, MA - On 35mm film!

7/28-31/22 Boedecker Theater in the Dairy Arts Center, Boulder, CO

9/3-4/22 Detroit Film Theatre @ the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI

10/21/22 UW Madison Cinematheque, Madison, WI

11/14-16/22 Austin Film Society, Austin, TX

 

REVIEWS

FOUR STARS!  Smart [and] observant. Ceylan’s spare, sly style has echoes of Kieslowski,Tsai Ming-Liang and Aki Kaurismäki, yet feels fresh.”-Jason Anderson, eye WEEKLY

Close to Perfect. A movie of powerful accumulation.
Ceylan…is part of the exclusive circle of global cinematic visionaries….Everything blends into one touching experience.”
-Desson Thomson, WASHINGTON POST

“this visually sumptuous movie ...[has a] wonderfully droll sense of humor.”-Mike D’Angelo, TIME OUT NEW YORK

FOUR STARS! A Chekhovian tale of major artistic power.”
-Michael Wilmington, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Grade A. Haunting. Ceylan…frames the affecting, unstudied performances in gorgeously chosen shots…that sometimes teeter on the edge of comedy before knocking us breathless with their emotional power.”
-Lisa Schwarzbaum, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

 Distant gets (and stays) under the skin.”
-Ed Gonzalez, SLANT MAGAZINE

“The first auteur of the 21st century…
Ceylan is out to accumulate the weight of emotion through precision.
And he succeeds in the most masterful way.”
-Mark Peranson, CITY PAGES

FOUR STARS
-David Sterritt, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

“A movie like this touches everyday life in a way that we can recognize as if Turkey were Peoria.”-Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TMES

“One of the top ten films of the year.”
-James Quandt, ART FORUM

“An arthouse film par excellence … “Distant” is in the best tradition of serious, elegantly made Euro cinema.”-David Stratton, VARIETY

“"Hypnotic. The central performances are riveting,
the direction exact, and the tale as universal as
a perfectly constructed haiku.
This is one of those few films that have genuine poetry."”
-Leonard Klady, LOS ANGELES CITY BEAT

 “FIVE STARS.
This profoundly touching, comic and beautiful film from Turkey is
one of the best films of the new decade.”
-Peter Bradshaw, GUARDIAN

“A movie of quiet revelations…thoughtfully orchestrated and filled with visual wit. Working in the tradition of Michelangelo Antonioni’s early-‘60s (and Abbas Kiarostami’s early-‘90s) modernism, Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan should secure his reputation here…” -J. Hoberman, THE VILLAGE VOICE

“Highly impressive...meditative...beautifully shot...
one of those films you immediately want to see again:
moody and haunting. It has a beautiful poker-faced sense of humour too.”
-Jonathan Romney, THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

 “Straightforward, droll, brutally honest and arresting!”
-Stephen Hunter, WASHINGTON POST

“"MARVELOUS."”
-Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, SPIRITUALITY & HEALTH

“Has strange adhesive powers. 
As startling as anything Tarkovsky devised…”
-Anthony Lane, THE NEW YORKER

“With its laconic, faintly elliptical narrative style, its subtle but striking compositions, and its superb performances, the film speaks volumes both about masculinity and about modern life in the Western(ised) world….
The blend of warm affection and wry scepticism...distinguishes the movie. [Ceylan] may be the most promising new filmmaker to emerge in years.”
-Geoff Andrew, TIME OUT LONDON

 

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