Distant | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Clouds of May, the second feature of Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, struck some viewers as belonging to the school of Kiarostami, a mistake they wouldn't make with his masterful third feature. An industrial photographer in Istanbul (Muzaffer Ozdemir), who hasn't recovered from his busted marriage, finds himself the reluctant host of a country cousin (Mehmet Emin Toprak) looking for work. Ceylan uses this slim premise to build a psychologically nuanced relationship between the men as an uncomfortable domestic arrangement leads to irrational spats. The narrative, capped by a brief bad dream and the capture of a mouse, isn't always legible, but it feeds into a monumental, luminous visual style like no other. The nonprofessional leads won top honors at Cannes in 2003; shortly afterward Toprak died in an auto accident. In Turkish with subtitles. 110 min. Music Box.

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