Unfolding over the course of three seasons – summer at an Aegean resort, autumn in rainy Istanbul and winter in a remote, snow-covered region of Eastern Turkey – Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s moody latest charts the dissolution of a relationship between a middle-aged university professor Isa (Bilge Ceylan himself) and his considerably younger girlfriend Bahar (the director’s real-life wife Ebru Ceylan).
Anyone who saw Distant, the director’s superb study of alienated masculinity, will be familiar with his contemplative, pared-down style. Dialogue is secondary here to the high-def video images and soundtrack, with Ceylan focusing on his characters’ faces, gestures and silence. The emotional estrangement between Isa and Bahar is conveyed through precise compositions, while their protean states of mind are reflected by the surrounding landscapes and ever-changing weather conditions. Recommended.