(aka "Distant" )

 

directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Turkey 2002

 

Leaving his village in search of something to do, both with his hands in form of a job and with his life, Yusuf travels to Istanbul, where he gets border from his older cousin Mahmut. Mahmut is a man who is alienated by distancing himself from both people and emotions and Yusuf is a man alienated by being a stranger and thus being distant to people and his own emotions. Hence they don’t really talk to each other, but just go about doing their own business as time passes by them.

While Ceylan pays homage to Tarkovsky by Mahmut watching both “Solaris” and “Stalker”, he seems more influenced by Tsai, in the observing quality of his mise-en-scene and the way he lets time be an entity. His characters always look towards the horizont, towards a distant object, not visible to the eye, as they long for what is missing, just like they rarely speak. Thoreau once said, “We all live our life in quiet desperation”. This have never been more true than in “Uzak”.

Apart from being an existential text, “Uzak” is also political, as Turkey is a country in transition. It is too democratic to belong to the Muslim middle-east, it is not democratic enough for Europe. Everyone is fleeing the country. Mahmut’s ex-wife is moving to Canada and Yusuf is eventual leaving himself by ship. Thus Mahmut appears like a personification of contemporary Turkey, looking back on its past (by him revisiting Anatolia), isolated by national identity and longing for what out of ones reach.

But where the main text virtually screams out in desperation, the final scene is full of hope. Having “survived” his unwelcome visitor, Mahmut sits watching the ships pass by him and smokes a cigarette. Mahmut is a non smoker, but as Yusuf has left some behind, Mahmut chooses to smoke one, thereby stepping out of character, and any change suggests hope.

Awarded the Grand Prix at Cannes, “Uzak” is a rare masterpiece of cinema, both in text and in texture. Profound, quirky and haunting.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 20, 2002 (Istanbul)

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DVD Comparison:

Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Henrik Sylow and Gary Tooze for the Screen Caps!

(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

New Yorker
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:45:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:44:52
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.40 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.81:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.57 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Artificial Eye

 

Bitrate:

 

New Yorker

 

Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital Turkish, 5.1 Dolby Digital Turkish

2.0 Dolby Digital Turkish, 5.1 Dolby Digital Turkish

Subtitles English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artificial Eye

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Nuri Bilge Ceylan (30:42)
• Koza - debut short feature (17:41)
• Behind the Scenes (42:21)
• Filmographies

DVD Release Date: September 27, 2004
Keep case

Chapters 13

Release Information:
Studio: New Yorker

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.81:1

Edition Details:
• Interview with Nuri Bilge Ceylan (30:42)
• Koza - debut short feature (17:41)
• Behind the Scenes (42:21)
• Trailer (2:18)

 

DVD Release Date: March 22, 2005
Keep case

Chapters 16

 

 

Comments New Yorker once again is taken from a PAL source and not converted to NTSC before transferring. Notice ghosting (last capture) and scene "trails". Extras look exact. New Yorker is squeezed approx 1% horizontally, reducing the 1.85:1 AR to 1.81:1.

Bets are New Yorker received the transfer from Artificial Eye, but did not convert. Its not as noticeable on a  tube, but blown up on a large screen or progressive system, it will become more prevalent. The Artificial Eye is sharper but has some edge enhancement. Excellent film!

 - Gary Tooze

 

 



DVD Menus
(
Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

 

 


 

Screen Captures

(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Artificial Eye - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC - BOTTOM)
NOTE: Ghosting in New Yorker edition

 

 


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Distribution

Artificial Eye

Region 2 - PAL

New Yorker
Region 1 - NTSC

 




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