Cannes 2008: Thunder rolls in Three Monkeys
Uc Maymun (Three Monkeys)In competition at the Cannes Film Festival for the third time in six years, Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan presented Three Monkeys to the press yesterday evening. The work explores in greater depth the aesthetic and social issues that inspired his four previous features.
With his dazzling settings, sense of framing and direction, the director – whose film was co-produced by France and Italy – has delved even deeper in his analysis of the contradictions of human feelings.
Punctuated by four series of thunder rolls which turn the characters’ lives upside down, Three Monkeys unravels the story of a family destroyed by power and money. A chauffeur agrees to go to prison – in return for money – instead of his boss, a communist politician who runs over a passer-by the day before an election (which he loses).
The chauffeur’s wife demands an advance on the sum of money for her 20-year-old son who takes refuge in sleep. But this move leads her straight into the arms of the boss, who then abandons her. The adultery is discovered by her son and then suspected by the father upon his release from prison, creating a stormy and passionate atmosphere in which the protagonists choose not to see, speak or listen, just like the three monkeys in the well-known fable.
The dramatic spiral of love and hate is haunted by fatality, the ghost of a child, and the enslavement of social, sentimental and family ties. This cursed (and very human) situation is examined in fine detail by a director who uses the brilliance of his art to explore darkness.
The film was produced on a budget of €1.8m by Turkish companies Zeynofilm and NBC Film (65%), and co-produced by French-based Pyramide (25%) and Italy’s Bim (10%). The latter two companies will release the film in their respective countries.
Three Monkeys received backing from Eurimages and the National Film Centre (CNC).
The title has been pre-bought by UK company New Wave from Pyramide, who are also handling international sales.
(Fabien Lemercier for cineuropa)