Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Review | Egg by Derek Elley

Egg (Turkey-Greece)By DEREK ELLEY

A Kaplan Film (Turkey)/Inkas Film (Greece) production. (International sales: Coach 14, Paris.) Produced by Semih Kaplanoglu, Lilette Botassi. Directed by Semih Kaplanoglu. Screenplay, Kaplanoglu, Orcun Koksal.

With: Nejat Isler, Saadet Isil Aksoy, Ufuk Bayraktar, Tulin Ozen, Gulcin Santircioglu, Kaan Karabacak, Semra Kaplanoglu.

After his Nuri Bilge Ceylan Lite exercise, "Angel's Fall," Turkish writer-helmer Semih Kaplanoglu retreats into a far less elegaic universe with third feature "Egg." Faux metaphysical snoozeroo, centered on a poet returning to his village after his mother's death, is pure fest fare for the long-take, minimalist crowd.

Reaching his family home, Yusuf (Nejat Isler) meets his brother's granddaughter, Ayla (Saadet Isil Aksoy), who'd looked after his mom, Zehra (Semra Kaplanoglu). Ayla asks Yusuf to perform the sacrifice of a ram his mom had never been able to, so at the hour mark, the pair set off in his jalopy, overnighting at a hotel where a wedding reception is taking place. On the way back, Yusuf asks Ayla why his mother wanted the sacrifice. "I don't know," she replies. That night, Yusuf is prevented from leaving the village by a huge, slobbering, ornery mutt. Technically O.K. pic is the first in a trilogy, "Honey, Milk and Egg," which the helmer is (natch) presenting in reverse order. "For me, filmmaking is an entirely metaphysical and philosophical endeavor," writes Kaplanoglu in the pic's press notes. Some content would be nice, too.

Camera (Fujicolor), Ozgur Eken; editor, Ayhan Ergursel, Kaplanoglu, Suzan Hande Guneri; art director, Naz Erayda. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Directors' Fortnight), May 22, 2007. Original Turkish title: Yumurta. Turkish dialogue. Running time: 98 MIN.

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