If you’re into film studies by region, then TIFF’s City to City series might be a worthy sidebar initiative. It began last year with the country of Israel, which proved to be a basterdized first choice — as the selection was deemed a political one by the media and certain filmmakers from the other side of the “fence”. This year patrons can visit Istanbul, Turkey through cinema — ten feature-length films and seven short films and despite him not having made anything recently, they had no choice but to include a film from Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Here’s the selections:
10 to 11 Pelin Esmer, Turkey/France/Germany North American Premiere
An elderly man clashes with his neighbours as they try to remove him – and his elaborate collections of ephemera — from his
40 Emre Sahin, Turkey International Premiere
Capturing the dazzling intensity of Istanbul’s 12 million souls, Sahin’s groundbreaking feature crisscrosses the lives of a petty crook,
an ambitious nurse and an African migrant as they seek money, luck or just a way out.
Block-C Zeki Demirkubuz, Turkey Canadian Premiere
Zeki Demirkubuz’s career-launching debut feature dissects the melancholy and repression inherent in bourgeois life in dreary
Dark Cloud Theron Patterson, Turkey North American Premiere
A black comedy in the style of a lucid dream, Dark Cloud looks at a middle-aged man who can’t move on from the death of his wife,
and the teenaged son who needs him to wake up.
Distant Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey
Distant maps Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s signature exploration of existential heartache onto the wintry shores of Istanbul.
Hair Tayfun Pirselimoğlu, Turkey North American Premiere
An ailing Istanbul wig-maker becomes obsessed with a woman who enters his shop one day.
The Majority Seren Yüce, Turkey North American Premiere
A young middle-class man rebels against his father’s brutish authority and seeks a rough romance with a woman of ethnic minority.
Yüce’s moral tale draws from the example of today’s Turkish youth and the timeless shadow of fathers over sons.
My Only Sunshine Reha Erdem, Turkey/Greece/Bulgaria Toronto Premiere
In this potent, widescreen portrait of an Istanbul wild child, Hayat lives in a shack beside the Bosphorus sea with her criminal father
and wheezing grandfather. Life is harsh, but Hayat watches and learns.
September 12 Özlem Sulak, Turkey/Germany North American Premiere
In this meditative and monumental examination of the legacy of Turkey’s 1980 military coup, individual narrations of the tumultuous
event are juxtaposed with quotidian routines, 30 years on.
Somersault in a Coffin Dervis Zaim, Turkey
A thief with bizarre compulsions – and possibly good reasons – tries to get by in this essential Istanbul film.
CITY TO CITY – SHORTS
ascents in february Yoel Meranda, Turkey World Premiere
An abstract, impish spot of light leads the camera onto Istanbul’s streets.
not be or… Yoel Meranda, Turkey World Premiere
This whiplash montage of Istanbul’s urban imagery conveys a pure sense of speed and disorientation.
On Thin Ice Burcak Kaygun, Turkey Canadian Premiere
A painterly composition explores movement and sound in the abstract, as skaters on a winter ice rink swirl round and round.
rauscht Yoel Meranda, Turkey International Premiere
A politician’s televised speech is utterly transformed into stunning abstraction.
Science Lab Eytan Ipeker, Turkey International Premiere
This short is a visual compendium of experimental techniques, all uncannily mined from footage of the filmmaker’s piano keys.
straitscaping Yoel Meranda, Turkey World Premiere
Yoel Meranda completely transforms brief footage of a ferry trip across the Bosphorus.
Waves Belmin Soylemez, Turkey North American Premiere
This striking experimental documentary focuses on the boys and young men who jump into the Bosphorus to escape the city and the