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PIX: Winter Sleep, and more at Cannes 2014

May 22, 2014 16:50 IST

PIX: Winter Sleep, and more at Cannes 2014

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Gerson Da Cunha/Rediff.com in Cannes

Will Winter Sleep win the top award at the Cannes film festival?

With the screening of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep, the claimants for the Palme d’Or reach the maddening last lap of Le Festival de Cannes.

It’s anybody’s race among three athletes.

The other two are Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner and Abdurahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu -- with Two Days And One Night from the brothers Dardennes yet to come. But the duo will have to come up with something scorching to best the field.

Ceylan’s film is three hours and 16 minutes long. A Cannes reviewer says it must surely qualify ‘as the least boring 196-minute movie ever made.’

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Image: Cast members Melisa Sozen and Demet Akbag attend the Winter Sleep photocall
Photographs: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

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PIX: Winter Sleep, and more at Cannes 2014

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Gerson Da Cunha/Rediff.com in Cannes

The audience of 2,000 odd persons in the cavernous Theatre Lumiere watched the single screening enraptured.

Painterly camerawork and superbly chiseled performances adorn the film like gems. Masterwork is a word that springs to mind about this film.
Director Ceylan has co-written the script with wife Ebru.

Unwillingly at first, Ceylan has used as main location an eco-hotel built into, rather than on, a group of hillocks in a remote region of Anatolia.

The film runs mostly from one urbanised cave to another, a metaphor for what is enacted there.


Image: Actress Demet Akbag (center) poses with director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and his wife and the film's co-writer Ebru Ceylan attend the Winter Sleep photocall
Photographs: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

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PIX: Winter Sleep, and more at Cannes 2014

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Gerson Da Cunha/Rediff.com in Cannes

The protagonist, Aydin (Haluk Bilinger), is a landed gentlemen with pretensions to being a literateur.

He lives with a much younger wife Nihal (Melisa Sozen), involved with a charity project, and a sister grieving over a lost husband but with a tongue that frequently lashes out at Aydin.

These three are at each other but with glorious conversations, brilliantly shaped and shot.

At the end of the 196 minutes, Aydin accepts his vanity and essential weakness and Nihal realises that she needs her husband emotionally and in her work.

The film won a standing ovation from an audience that is normally particular about its applause.


Image: Cast members Demet Akbag, Haluk Bilginer and Melisa Soezen with director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (second from left) attend the Winter Sleep photocall
Photographs: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

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PIX: Winter Sleep, and more at Cannes 2014

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Gerson Da Cunha/Rediff.com in Cannes

Meanwhile, a partnership has been announced between Bollywood network B4U and production-distribution biggie Relativity.

Ishan Saxena of B4U and Ryan Cavanaugh of Relativity spoke of the creation of a US$100 million fund that will build content for the US and India and access each other’s distribution channels to exploit properties across both markets.

They also plan to launch a pay-TV channel in India and RelaTV, a platform targeted at the Indian market.

Interestingly, the plan will result in an Indian language film with US actors in minor roles and a US feature with minor roles for Bollywood actors.


Image: Cast members Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sozen and Demet Akbag (extreme right) with director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and his wife Ebru attend the Winter Sleep premiere
Photographs: Ian Langsdon - Pool/Getty Images

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