I’ve decided to once again blow off Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s Winter Sleep, which screens today at the Salle du Soixantieme at 2:30 pm. I’ll get to it one of these days or weeks, but the dispiriting reviews (reactions from Hitfix‘s Guy Lodge and Indiewire‘s Jessica Kiang) that came out of yesterday’s debut showing are enough to persuade me to wait and see it down the road. I will always respect and admire Ceylan, but currently other obligations are opportunities are elbowing his latest aside.
My plan for today is to see the much-buzzed-about Wild Tales at 11:45 am, followed by the 2 pm Salle Debussy screening of Ned Benson‘s The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, the 6:30 pm showing of the 150-minute-long Saint Laurent (perhaps only an hour or 90 minutes’ worth…we’ll see) and then, finally, Abel Ferrara‘s Welcome to New York at 9 pm, which will be followed at 11 pm by some kind of press schmoozer with Gerard Depardieu and Jacqueline Bisset.
“I’ll say this much (and plenty of people today are saying far more) for Nuri Bilge Ceylan: it takes a brazen kind of confidence to build a 196-minute film from wall-to-wall conversation on such matters as intellectualism, altruism and class politics on the Turkish steppes, and then to go ahead and title it Winter Sleep. Like The Milk of Sorrow or An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, it’s the kind of willfully austere art-house moniker that dyed-in-the-wool populists might invent in a fit of dismissive satire.” — from Guy Lodge‘s Hitfix review.
“The unpleasantness of being constantly trapped in the middle of conversations of increasing resentment and bitterness starts to take its toll less than halfway through this marathon-length film as we start to realize that just as the characters all seem defined by the overweening desire to have the last word in every discussion, it’s a foible of Ceylan’s too. The overwriting of every single discussion smacks less of realistic debate than of a writer/director in the throes of a fit of didacticism who simply never trusts his audience to get his meaning without it being iterated and reiterated to the point of white noise.” — from Kiang’s Indiewire review.