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THREE MONKEYS

Director: NURI BILGE CEYLAN

TURKEY-FRANCE-ITALY • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • DIGITAL • 109 MIN


GIFTED TURKISH FILMMAKER NURI BILGE CEYLAN WON BEST DIRECTOR AT CANNES FOR THIS BROODING DRAMA OF GUILT, CORRUPTION AND INFIDELITY.
While his acclaimed Uzak (Distant, 2002) and Climates (2006) were exquisitely pitched, intimate explorations of personal issues (strained friendship, a tested marriage), this latest offering marks a departure: it’s still constructed on a chamber scale, but the film looks outwards towards wider questions in Turkish society to powerfully ruminative effect. We begin in the darkness of a country road at night, where an abandoned dead body indicates the nefarious handiwork of a politician, who later pays off his loyal driver to accept a prison term. While the latter’s inside however, his layabout son begins to suspect that his mother has begun an affair with said sleazy ex-MP (who’s just lost the election to the conservative AK party) — setting the scene for confrontation when the husband and father is eventually released.
Ceylan’s mastery of the visual image (he’s also a noted stills photographer) is evident both in the atmospherically graded sepia tones of the digital camerawork, and his Antonioni-like way of framing claustrophobic interiors and unlovely exteriors to reflect the dramatic temperature. Under a baking summer sun, we feel gnawing anxiety at the narrowing options the characters create for themselves, all of which hints at a deeper social malaise where evasion of responsibility filters down from the political classes. The ships on the Bosporus seen from the family’s apartment suggest wider horizons, but Ceylan insists that Turkey still needs to take a long, hard look at itself. This is an engrossing new chapter for one of today’s cinematic vanguard. — Trevor Johnston.

Irish Shorts @ IFI: This screening includes the IFB funded short It’s Some Kind of Voodoo – Nicky Phelan’s dark and gothic fairytale of one man’s obsession gone too far… told with string puppets. (Ireland, 2005, 3 min).

Book Tickets

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