Not up for the American Reunion of the Pie-pals of the sex-comedy series? There’s plenty of alternatives arriving this week, including Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s mesmerizing Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Joseph Cedar’s Oscar-nominated Footnote from Israel, and revivals of the classics Laura and North by Northwest.
“The best films I saw during my week at the Vancouver Film Festival were Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia and Béla Tarr’s incomparable The Turin Horse,” wrote Kathleen Murphy a few months ago. “Both ran two hours plus. The storytelling in the former unreels slowly, cumulatively, so mysteriously that if you don’t watch with intense concentration, you’ll miss moments when everything racks focus. The narrative in Tarr’s masterpiece is terrifyingly repetitive and monotonous, in the Beckettian sense, like a great engine grinding itself ever deeper into a hole, in circular slow motion that you fear might go on forever.”
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia arrives in Seattle this week for a week-long run at Northwest Film Forum (followed in a couple of weeks by The Turin Horse) and it is a mesmerizing film where, by Hollywood standards, nothing happens, and yet everything happens along the way of this hyper-real and dreamily surreal take on the police procedural in the middle of nowhere. In the words of Ms. Murphy: “as this strange, tedious drive toward a hole in the ground continues, Anatolia drifts out of the mundane into the mystical, invisibly morphing from police procedural into existential fairy tale.” Read her complete review on Parallax View here, and for more, read Robert Horton’s review at The Herald here.
Expect Anatolia to be a topic of conversation in this month’s round of “Framing Pictures” at NWFF this Friday, April 6. Join Seattle film critics and Parallax View contributors Robert Horton, Richard T. Jameson, and Kathleen Murphy for a discussion of the movies of the moment and of the ages. According to the website, “On April 6, we talk about current Northwest Film Forum screenings including Laura and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, and also the wider critical response to The Hunger Games.” Richard Jameson describes it into his own inimitable way at Straight Shooting. Starts at 5pm at NWFF, and it’s free.