Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Times and Winds | Bes Vakit by Reha Erdem

Times and Winds | Bes Vakit | Turkey, 2006, 110 min, 35mm
In Turkish with English subtitles

Directed By: Reha ErdemPROD: Ömer Atay
SCR/ED: Reha Erdem
CAM: Florent Henry
Cast: Özkan Özen, Ali Bey Kayali, Elit Iscan, Bülent Emin Yarar, Taner Birsel
This magical film is a haunting portrait of the tensions that lie beneath the seemingly placid surface of a remote, beautiful and rugged mountain village perched between sea and sky, untouched by the modern world. The director's fourth feature recounts the dreams and desires of villagers whose simple lives are regulated by the calls to prayer that divide the day (and the film) into five sections (the Turkish title literally translates as "five times"). The main characters are three youngsters, two boys and a girl living in this harsh, strictly disciplined culture, where both animals and children are frequently beaten. In subtle touches, the picture deals with the early sexual awakening of the three, their communion with nature and revolt against their parents. Omar, the imam's son, fantasizes about killing his father. He collects scorpions, hoping they will do the job for him. Omar's best friend Yakup has fallen in love with the beautiful schoolteacher and turns against his own father when he discovers that his dad is a Peeping Tom who has been spying on the young woman Yakup worships. The girl, Yildiz, is obliged to mother her baby brother, while her budding sexuality is troubled after she witnesses her parents making love. Erdem's lyrical and meditative film is visually stunning, shot by his talented regular director of photography Florent Henry and with an extraordinary score by Arvo Pärt. Times and Winds walked off with the two main prizes at the 25th Istanbul International Film Festival--Best Turkish Film and FIPRESCI awards.”--Elliot Stein, Tribeca Film Festival

With a remarkable attention to the vicissitudes of life in a remote Turkish village; director Reha Erdem captures the delicate transition between childhood and adulthood, as three young friends explore the fraught territory of love, lust and death. A humanist-pastoral epic in the tradition of Pudovkin.--LA Weekly

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