Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (15)
Starring: Muhammet Uzuner, Taner Birsel
Can a film be achingly slow yet completely gripping? Yes, if it's Nuri Bilge Ceylan's astonishing crime procedural, which takes its own sweet time revealing not much about the crime but a great deal about male regret and melancholy.
From its long opening take of three police cars in convoy, just as dusk falls over the rolling hills, you know you're about to witness something extraordinary, though you have to wait for it. In the party are a doctor (Muhammet Uzuner) and prosecutor (Taner Birsel) taking a police suspect (Firat Tanis) to a murder site, if only he could remember where it was. The light dims, thunder rolls in, the police and their cohorts shelter for the night at the remote farm of the mayor, where they eat, talk and doze. Then the mayor's daughter comes in to serve coffee, and her appearance feels as momentous and life-changing as a goddess's in a classical myth: she's the sort of beauty to make men think of death. The girl is gone in minutes, and yet she haunts the rest of the film like a moral hangover, in which both doctor and prosecutor confront a truth about themselves that was previously hidden. Ceylan's storytelling is so enigmatic you can't be sure you've "got" it even when you have: much of its meaning is locked within the silences and dark-eyed gazes of these middle-aged men. Its length seems immaterial. It could go on for another two-and-a-half hours and you'd still be sitting there, mesmerised.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove