February 13 – February 27

FIGURATIVE LANDSCAPES AND SOCRATIC CONVERSATIONS: THE VISIONARY CINEMA OF NURI BILGE CEYLAN

Nuri Bilge Ceylan (1959-) is one of the most critically lauded directors in contemporary cinema and it’s easy to see why: his style frequently and openly evokes the sensibilities of some of the cinema’s most highly revered auteurs like Ingmar Bergman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Andrei Tarkovsky and Abbas Kiarostami.

Despite the gravity of these influences, Ceylan’s vision remains intensely personal and the meditative, poetic and circuitous style he adapts from his forebears is entirely appropriate to his films’ explorations of contemporary Turkish experience. Yet, like his predecessors, his politics haunt the films from off-screen. Ceylan’s primary focus remains unreservedly direct and largely confined to the quotidian, psychological and philosophical realms of experience. In this respect, Ceylan is indebted not only to cinema but photography and literature – in particular, the plays and stories of Anton Chekhov.

Emboldened by the success of his first short film at Cannes, Ceylan embarked upon a series of low-budget features set in the countryside of his youth, with cast and crew largely comprised of immediate friends and family. He worked with minimal crews, offsetting shortages by working multiple key roles himself, including as cinematographer, producer and editor.

The third film in this loose trilogy, Uzak, was awarded the Cannes Grand Jury Prize in 2003 and cemented Ceylan’s reputation as a filmmaker of international renown. Each subsequent film – beautifully shot by Gökhan Tiryaki and often scripted or co-scripted by his wife (and co-star in Climates) Ebru Ceylan – has consistently built upon this success, leading to the creation of several of the greatest films of the past decade including his enigmatic masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.

February 13

7:00pm – ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA
Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2011) 157 mins M

With this expressively forensic and beautifully detailed police procedural, Ceylan fully emerged as one of the great contemporary filmmakers. Although focusing on the search for a body in the vast and unforthcoming Anatolian landscape, the film touches profoundly on human nature, society, everyday life and the philosophical underpinnings of existence. Its subtle and nuanced rhythm, taste for Socratic conversation, and exploration of landscape are reminiscent of Kiarostami, but Ceylan forges a uniquely literary and cinematic sensibility to be further explored in Winter Sleep and The Wild Pear Tree.

35mm print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Preceded by

COCOON
Nuri Bilge Ceylan (1995) 20 mins – Unclassified 15+*

February 20


7:00pm – THREE MONKEYS
Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2008) 109 mins M

A businessman accidentally kills a pedestrian when driving late at night and bargains with his chauffeur to take the blame so that he can continue to contest a forthcoming election. Ceylan’s boldly novelistic tale of social inequality, family conflict and the exchange of guilt is a significant change of pace exploring and eulogising the spectres and possessive labyrinths of Istanbul through a formally experimental and expressionistic palette of manipulated images and sounds.

Winner of the Best Director award at Cannes, it is the first of his films to be co-written by Ebru Ceylan.

9:00pm – CLIMATES
Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2006) 101 mins Unclassified 15+*

This chilly, poetic and deeply melancholy portrait of the deteriorating relationship between an academic (Isa) and an art director (Bahar), played by the director and his wife (Ebru Ceylan), is “the work of a film-maker who” had, by this point in his career, “established absolute mastery over his cinematic idiom” (Peter Bradshaw). Journeying across various evocative and haunting landscapes from Istanbul to the snowy eastern provinces of Turkey, this forensic pursuit of the end of a love affair is a typically family concern with Isa’s parents played by those of the director.

February 27

7:00pm – WINTER SLEEP
Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2014) 194 mins M

Ceylan’s exquisite but divisive Palme d’Or winner is a “huge, sombre and compelling tragicomedy” (Peter Bradshaw) set against the indifferent grandeur of Turkey’s Anatolian steppe. Inspired by a Chekhov short story, “The Wife”, the narrative centres on a conceited retired actor and the people he comes into contact with while running the provincial hotel he has inherited. Isolated by snow, the claustrophobic location allows Ceylan to mount a philosophical disquisition on alienation and emotional disappointment. The director’s terrifically alert camerawork, brilliantly lensed by Gökhan Tiryaki, and editing facilitate a deeply empathetic film that is both epic and intimate in it’s scope.

February 5
OPENING NIGHT

February 12 – February 26
VITTORIO DE SICA: CINEMA, ITALIAN STYLE

March 4 – March 18
LIGHT AND SHADOW: THE MERCURIAL STARDOM OF MARLENE DIETRICH

March 23 – April 6
CAST A DARK SHADOW: THE BEAUTIFUL SADNESS OF DIRK BOGARDE

April 13 – April 29
THE BIG CARNIVAL: THE FILMS OF BILLY WILDER

May 6 – May 20
“LIFE’S PARADE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS”: DOUGLAS SIRK

May 27 – June 10
WILDFLOWERS: DANCING, DESIRE AND FREEDOM IN THE FILMS OF GILLIAN ARMSTRONG

June 17 – July 1
DRIFTING STATES: THE FILMS OF APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL

July 8
AT HOME IN THE WORLD: CECIL HOLMES, ACTIVIST FILMMAKER

July 15 – July 29
HIROSHI SHIMIZU: FORGOTTEN MASTER

September 2 – September 16
JEAN COCTEAU: THE POETRY OF DREAMS

September 23 – September 30
QUEERING THE ARCHIVE: THE CINEMA OF BARBARA HAMMER

October 7 – October 14
GALLOWS BACCHANALIAS, FRACTIOUS FAIRY-TALES AND THE RULE OF THREE: THE CINEMA OF JURAJ JAKUBISKO

October 21 – November 4
REACHING BEYOND THE FRAME: THE POETIC CINEMA OF ABBAS KIAROSTAMI

November 11 – November 25
BORSCHT, SAUERKRAUT, GOULASH AND LEMONADE: AN INTRODUCTION TO OSTERNS AND RED WESTERNS

December 2 – December 16
THE LAND IS OURS: YOUSSEF CHAHINE