258 Great Directors: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

“Actually, when I was a child, there was no art at all around me. I was living in a small town and the only art form around was maybe folk music, and maybe film. But there were no art exhibitions or anything like that. I sometimes wonder myself how I inclined to art. I think maybe it started when I was in high school, when I was living in Istanbul. I really don’t know, but me, my sister and my cousin all somehow inclined towards art. I remember someone gave me a present of a book about photography. Maybe that started it. So you should be very careful when you buy presents for a small child. I think that book changed my life – it made photography seem a very enjoyable game. I made a darkroom and printed photographs, and with time I began to realize that it’s an art. And it grew somehow.”

What Got This Director Here?
: He has a strong, definitive aesthetic that is very appealing to festival goers.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, which took me two long viewings to get.

What Did I Watch: His most acclaimed work, Distant.

Where Does He Fit: Distant has a plot, I suppose, featuring a man who takes in a boarder for some reason or another and they wind up driving each other slowly crazy. That’s not the point, though. The point is in the tedium of their day to day lives, the tactics they use to take advantage of each other, the stunning photography that makes the interiors claustrophobic and the exteriors wild and free. It was arguably one of the first films to make digital look stunning, and it features a great Tarkovsky joke. What’s not to love? Would very much want to see this on a big screen to fully appreciate the sounds and sights.


Most Valuable Asset: The sky is super pretty.
Most Excited For: It all looks good, but I’ll say Climates.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Very modern meta-man, Steven Soderbergh.


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