THE FILMS OF NURI BILGE CEYLAN (May 15-25, 2004)

Co-presented by the Turkish American Cultural Society of New England and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


 

COCOON

“Koza”


Directed and written by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Cast: Fatma Ceylan, Mehmet Emin Ceylan, Turgut Toprak

1995, 20 minutes. No dialogue.

Due to some painful experiences of their past, an old couple at their seventies live separately. One day they come together again. But the meeting which they hope will heal the lingering pain doesn't give the expected results.

The first film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Cocoon, had its world premiere in the short film competition of the 48th Cannes International Film Festival in May 1995.


THE SMALL TOWN

“Kasaba”


Directed and written by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Cast: Mehmet Emin Toprak, Fatma Ceylan, Mehmet Emin Ceylan, Muzaffer Ozdemir

1997, 82 minutes. In Turkish with English subtitles.



Told from the perspective of two children, and in four parts which run parallel to seasons, KASABA describes relationships between members of a Turkish family in a small town. The first part is in a primary school where the family's 11 year-old daughter faces feeling of shame and some merciless clues of life as she tries to adapt to the social life and its difficulties… The second part is in spring. We see the girl with her brother, and their journey to the corn field where their family are waiting for them. As they pass through the countryside, they encounter the mysteries of nature and wildlife... In the third part the brother and sister witness the complexities and darkness of the adult world... The fourth part takes place at home. This is a tranquil sequence moving between reality and dream.

Based on an autobiographical story (Cornfield) by the director's sister, Emine Ceylan, the film is “A remarkable first feature. . . a strikingly original, vibrantly sensitive portrait of an extended family living in a remote Aegean village” (Variety). One of the most evocative films about childhood memories ever made, Ceylan’s first feature shows both his remarkable craftsmanship and exquisite ability to create atmosphere. Ceylan acted as cinematographer as well as director, and the film’s nostalgic black-and-white images seem to spring from his own memory, making The Small Town a magnificently intimate debut (Toronto Film Festival).

Festivals and Awards:

Caligari Prize, 1998 Berlin Film Festival

Tokyo Silver Prize, 1998 Tokyo Film Festival

Special Jury Prize, 1998 Nantes Film Festival

Fipresci and Special Jury Prize, 1998 Istanbul Film Festival 

Special Jury Prize, 1999 Premier Plans Film Festival

Best Film, Best Cinematography, 1999 Cologne Film Festival