Saturday, June 27, 2009

Süt (Milk)

The most incredible visual voyage that I have taken lately with many images that recall other master filmmakers, but that tell us that Semih Kaplanoğlu is very close to be a master in his own right. I was totally mesmerized by the still camera with long shots, the outstanding use of light, the magnificent compositions, the sounds and the very dramatic outdoor and indoor cinematography. Bravo!

The film opens with a long scene that is shocking and sets the mood for mythology and rural traditions that will contrast with a few scenes that tell about the transition to modern life, not only with images shown but also with characters attitudes in the story.

I was really looking forward to the second installment of the Yusuf trilogy, still recall the story and my great experience with the first installment Yumurta (Egg). Then perhaps some of you remember that Kaplanoğlu is telling the story in reverse order, so from the older Yusuf of Yumurta we now have a young Yusuf living with his mother, trying to get his poems published and being disconcerted when he finds that his mother is having an affair. The story told in this movie allows us to understand why Yusuf left Tire and does it with a mother/son drama that evolves at a very slow pace.

With very little and inconsequential dialogue plus marvelous silences, Kaplanoğlu really plays with us viewers with the very simple –yet complex- story, but does it so beautifully that you really have a hard time not getting lost inside the images and pay attention to the multiple metaphors, images and little details to follow the story. In this sense I had a harder time following the story in Süt than in Yumurta, as I had to pull me out of the magic of the images several times and tell me that there was a story that I’m supposed to be following!

I truly enjoyed the performances by both leads; but not surprisingly I see them as part of the image compositions… it was like watching one painting after another, but this is no classic painting. These are mundane paintings that you will not see in museums. Great! Then you have the amazing use of light to make indoor and outdoor takes really dramatic and perhaps the best was the use of sound that made me feel I was inside the picture, that I was there in the place, that everything was real, especially in the hunting scenes. Absolutely amazing!

Definitively this is a movie that I’ll watch more than once. Obviously to follow better the story, but hoping to get lost in the images again! Now the wait for the third installment, Bal (Honey) will be hardly endurable, as if Süt was such an experience, Bal probably will have a more mature Semih Kaplanoğlu and who knows what he’s going to do with images. Bal will tell about Yusuf as a kid and will definitively explain many things that happen in Süt. I know that eventually I will play with the filmmaker and will see the three installments in chronological order. That will be my revenge to understand better the story.

I love this movie and I strongly recommend it to those that enjoyed Yumurta and appreciate cinema as a true art form.

Big Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

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