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THE WILD PEAR TREE

12:30   4:00   7:30

Wednesday, January 30 – Tuesday, February 12      

DIRECTED AND EDITED BY NURI BILGE CEYLAN

Famed Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA) has made a leisurely, expansive, often humorous movie, essentially about a dysfunctional father-son relationship, that posits conflicting personalities against one another: a sybaritic father and his earnest son, a struggling young writer and a popular middle-aged novelist, a literary wanna-be and a would-be corporate patron, two religious figures who parse fate and causality, myth and reality – in what amounts to “a mesmerizing verbal fugue” (Jay Weissberg, Variety). These alternatingly funny and poignant engagements are set within a dream-like world of lush natural settings and disturbing encounters (a vampire-like kiss) and images (a sleeping infant, its face covered with ants).

TURKEY/FRANCE/GERMANY/BULGARIA   2018    188  MINS.  IN TURKISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES    CINEMA GUILD

Reviews

“MASTERFUL. Ceylan and his fellow scriptwriters (wife Ebru Ceylan along with Akin Aksu, also acting) develop astonishingly complex spoken recitatives that weave philosophy, religious tradition, and ethics together into a mesmerizing verbal fugue.”
– Jay Weissberg, Variety

“The director of ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA and Palme d’Or –winner WINTER SLEEP tends to construct grim, serious character studies that dwell on pregnant pauses and stern exchanges, but that’s far from the case here. By Ceylan standards, THE WILD PEAR TREE is brisk. The narrative’s gradual pace remains an acquired taste, but anyone willing to engage with Ceylan’s slow-burn approach will find his variation on an accessible formula — it stretches and magnifies the details of its character’s dilemma while pushing him along an impactful journey at a leisurely pace. Rise to the challenge, and payoff awaits on the other side: a formulaic story transformed into something more perceptive and profound. If only more family dramas took such care to get the details right… (The film) maintains a visual sophistication unparalleled in international cinema. Ceylan intersperses talky exposition with poetic imagery that deepens the story’s thematic concerns, from a majestic swing of the camera that goes up and into a tree — the better to watch the leaves blowing in the breeze — to the slow tracking shot toward the edge of a well at the movie’s taut and remarkable climax. And in another brilliant sequence, he sees a body in the field from far away, and remains frozen for several seconds, unsure whether to advanceor retreat. In each case, the images reflect a broader quest for answers in a world that only reveals itself in piecemeal.”
– Eric Kohn, IndieWire

“Ceylan presses his fondness for dialogue and debate in new directions, effectively structuring the first half of this expansive film as a series of extended, tense, and often hilarious conversations about literature, popularity, love, modernity — issues central to the role of an artist today, especially in a place like Turkey.”
– Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

Trailer