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Nuri Bilge Ceylan About Dry Grasses

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Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s About Dry Grasses – 2023 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 3

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s About Dry Grasses – 2023 Cannes Critics’ Panel: Day 3

A lengthy shoot, a lengthy post-production process and a lengthy runtime mean it’s business as usual for our favorite Turkish auteur. A mainstay on the Croisette, Nuri Bilge Ceylan has been very fortunate in the South of France landing several prizes over the years. After his first pair of films premiered at the Berlinale, he has been here with Uzak (Distant) which was awarded the Grand Prix and Best Actor prize in 2003, 2006’s Climates, 2008’s Three Monkeys, Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (2011), Palme d’Or winner Winter Sleep and finally The Wild Pear Tree in 2018. About Dry Grasses (aka Les herbes sèches) is the second film in two days it hover around the three-hour mark.

Co-written by Ebru and Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Akin Aksu, Samet (Deniz Celiloğlu), a young art teacher, is finishing his fourth year of compulsory service in a remote village in Anatolia. After a turn of events he can hardly make sense of, he loses his hopes of escaping the grim life he seems to be stuck in. Will his encounter with Nuray (Merve Dizdar of Snow and the Bear fame), herself a teacher, help him overcome his angst?

Current temp: Just over half of our jury (13/20) caught the film and it has quickly asserted itself as a contender to look out for in the prizing. The average of 3.5 could move up or down one notch by the time all the grades flood in.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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