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Interview: Turkish director Ceylan competing for Cannes sets literature at center of cinema

English.news.cn   2014-05-19 07:06:28

by Federico Grandesso, Yu Zhongwen

CANNES, France, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Nuri Bilge Ceylan, renowned Turkish director in competition at the 67th Cannes Film Festival with his movie "Winter Sleep" has said "literature is my first source of inspiration at this moment."

"Literature is my first source of inspiration, then I like many elements in movies and sometimes you can't avoid to use them; the problem is that if you use, films critics are immediately starting making comparisons," Ceylan said in an interview with Xinhua on Saturday.

The award winning Turkish director is back in Cannes with a movie full of intellectual references presenting the life of Aydin, a former cynical actor living a comfortable life in a remote area of Anatolia, Turkey. The male protagonist shares his life with her beautiful and frustrated wife and his brokenhearted and polemic sister.

His arrogance and superiority, not only in the family environment, will bring him at the end to reconsider his ruler's role especially vis-a-vis his wife who will be able to break a secular wall.

Ceylan recalls that the starting point was several (Anton) Cechov stories. He appreciated the Russian author because he writing, putting at the center of the life in general and not a single aspect.

He explained that "personally I don't like to make movies on specific subjects or genres, however I like to communicate a general feeling of life and investigate the human soul."

At the beginning of this project his wife played an important role, he said, "I wrote the script with my wife, most of times we fought during the writing but this is good to catch the right script. She is great."

Talking about other writers who inspired him, he said "There are then more quotations from other writers like Shakespeare, I had to put it in the movie because the male protagonist, Aydin (played by Haluk Bilginer), was a theater actor and the English old master is always very important in the life of theater actors."

The Turkish movie director confessed that "I think I'm not a good writer, while in the visual world I can reach better results, but if I could write I would prefer that world because I prefer loneliness."

Asked about his ways of working with the actors, Ceylan said that there is not a formula because every actor is different.

He continued "First I follow the script then when I think I finish it I give them a chance, maybe to create something better but mostly they can't even if sometimes they add something; I try everything, I'm like a monkey."

Questioned about the quality of the present Chinese cinema, he said "I think China has very good actors and directors that are famous at international level like Zhang Yimou, Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi."

The movie was well received in Cannes by both critics and public, actors are expected to play an important role in the closing awards ceremony, various international critics said.

Editor: Shen Qing
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