Nuri Bilge Ceylan's THREE MONKEYS

The fifth long-feature movie by Bilge Ceylan (pronounced Bilgueh Jeelan, where "gu" is like in "guitar") is not only his grimmest to date but also his most sophisticated. After exploring a dysfunctional couple in Climates, he's approaching a small dysfunctional family here. Again, whoever is looking for a complex twisted plot has to look somewhere else since Three Monkeys' main plot is as simple as Distant's and Climates'. Having said that you can throw away more than half of reviews trashing the work because of its narrative.

Ceylan made a giant leap -technically- in this work, he is more confident (something he even mentioned in a recent interview) and not looking to please or even to accommodate to his viewers: his camera gave up almost any tracking movement, he uses very unusual framing angles, his camera is low and oblique (almost recalling Ozu's tatami's view yet with more esthetically) and his characters are not centered, not focused, and sometimes not even in-frame i.e. they enter and leave the field of the static camera.

The over-contrasted image (like an over-exposed film, feasible because of his use of HDR Digicam instead of the classical, more expansive 35 mm) adds a darker aspect to the movie, it's like the contrasted B&W (even Black and Grey) of Tarr's Damnation but in colors (though these two differ radically in movie making otherwise).

Ceylan proves again that he's experienced in translating complex human states, in one scene the half-asleep young protagonist experiences a hypnogogic state that recalls the lamp scene in Distant, yet in Three Monkeys it serves a sub-conscious release and reveal a deeper layer to the plot (will refrain from giving any spoilers). His use of elliptical narrative style is -as always- remarkable.

The DVD I got is a 2-DVD set (Region 2 ) from a Turkish website with affordable prices that delivers in the States (www.tulumba.com), the subtitles are OK and the transfer quality is very good. The supplement DVD has a behind-the-scene featurette, Cannes, but most importantly more than 90-minute-interview for a Turkish program. If you can ignore the pretentious attention-seeker ignorant interviewer you'll enjoy Ceylan's modesty, and most importantly his clear descriptive process while approaching his work.

Dan I'm really looking forward to hear (read) from you in the future when you watch this it.

This is the trailer, the super-fast editing of the trailer does NOT reflect at all the pace of the movie, being as slow as Ceylan's previous work.

some stills