Winter Sleep (Kis Uykusu) (2014)

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Released 11-Mar-2015

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Director's Suite trailers x 4
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 188:38
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Haluk Bilginer
Melissa Sozen
Demet Akbag
Ayberk Pekcan
Serhat Mustafa Kilic
Nejat Isler
Tamer Levent


Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Winter is approaching a small town in Cappadocia, Turkey, where ex-actor turned landowner and local celebrity Aydin (Haluk Bilginer) owns and runs a small hotel with the help of his factor Hidayet (Ayberk Pekcan). Also living in the hotel are Aydin’s attractive young wife Nihal (Melissa Sozen) and his resentful divorced sister Necla (Demet Akbag). Aydin is wealthy, honest, intelligent and generous, although he is also self-centred, cynical, smug and sure of himself and he is stunned when a young boy throws a stone at him which breaks his car’s window. It turns out that the boy is the son of one of Aydin’s tenants, Ismail (Nejat Isler), who had been behind on his rent so bailiffs, instructed by Hidayet, had repossessed some of his family’s furniture. When Aydin and Hidayet return the boy to his home Ismail is hostile although his brother Hamdi (Serhat Mustafa Kilic), an imam, is more conciliatory. Hamdi visits Aydin in his hotel a number of occasions to try to apologise and to pay for the damage to the car, visits which become the catalyst that starts to bring the frustrations and tensions between Aydin, Nihal and Necla to the surface.

     Winter Sleep (Kis Uykusu) is the new film by Turkish writer / director Nuri Bilge Ceylan that won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2014. Winter Sleep is a slow paced, beautiful, hypnotic film about frustrations, self-deception, lost opportunities and regret where everything is understated and repressed; this is a film where pauses and silences are often more eloquent than words and disagreements are intellectual and seldom result in raised voices. The three main characters all, in some way, feel trapped and regretful of lost opportunities: Aydin never achieved fame as an actor and has not started the book he wants to write about Turkish theatre, Necla has been divorced for some time and still feels as if she should have persevered with her abusive husband, Nihal married young and feels she has wasted her youth. Yet all seem unable to leave this hotel, this landscape and these relationships as the snows of winter set in.

     Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s films are unhurried, mesmerising character pieces and he takes his time to develop his themes. His previous film Once Upon a Time in Anatolia on PAL DVD ran 150 minutes while Winter Sleep, on this PAL DVD, clocks in at 188 minutes. Apparently the first cut of the film ran about 270 minutes and Ceylan struggled to cut it down. I feel that the character that suffered the most was Necla, for while she has some good scenes with Aydin, and one vital one with Nihal, her story arc, even given the 188 minutes, is not developed or resolved. As a result Winter Sleep is very much Aydin’s film, although Nihal is allowed a resolution of sorts.

     The acting throughout Winter Sleep is exceptional. As Aydin, Turkish theatre actor Haluk Bilginer, in a role that requires subtlety and gravitas, is powerful and compelling, winning Best Actor at the 2015 Turkish Cinema Awards for his performance. Melissa Sozen is also very good and she won Best Actress at the same awards while Winter Sleep, perhaps not surprisingly, won Best Film and Nuri Bilge Ceylan Best Director, while Ayberk Pekcan won Best Supporting Actor. Also worthy of mention is Tamer Levent as Suavi, the elderly widowed farmer who is just about Aydin’s only real friend and confidant.

     Winter Sleep is also a stunningly beautiful film. Cappadocia, as anyone who has visited the region can attest, is a spectacular area of colours, rock outcrops and rooms carved into living rock and Winter Sleep, shot by cinematographer Gokhan Tiryake, takes full benefit of this beautiful landscape and is replete with long, static widescreen visuals of autumn turning into winter, bringing the snow.

     Ceylan has noted that Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Voltaire and Shakespeare are influences while he was writing Winter Sleep and the film is indeed very literate and intelligent. It is slow moving, and very little seems to happen at least on the surface, but it is a beautiful, hypnotic, mesmerising film searching into the heart and soul of a man.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Winter Sleep is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     This is a beautiful print. Close-ups are crisp and the widescreen shots of the Cappadocian landscape, the rocky outcrops, the hills and the snow are stunning. Colours are dull and muted throughout; this is the winter after all with greys dominating. Interiors are dark and blacks are fine although shadow detail was occasionally indistinct, which may have been the way the film was shot. Skin tones are natural, contrast and brightness consistent.

     Other than some slight ghosting against broken surfaces and shimmer on the end titles I did not notice any obvious marks or artefacts.

    English subtitles are available in either yellow or white text. They are clear and easy to read and I did not notice any spelling or grammatical errors.

     The layer change was not noticeable on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kbps.

     The 5.1 track is hardly utilised as this is a film of dialogue and many silences as the camera tracks across the landscape. Dialogue was clear and the effects, such as they were, were natural and front oriented for as the film has little music the surrounds are mostly silent, except for a passing car or the one loud effect, the breaking of the car window by the rock. I did not notice any sub-woofer use, but nor was it needed.

     Lip synchronisation is fine.

    There is no original music, only a couple of pieces from Franz Schubert.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Theatrical Trailer (1:46)

Directors Suite Trailers

     Trailers for other Directors Suite films from Madman: Beyond the Hills (1:48), Certified Copy (2:01), Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (1:41) and Two Days, One Night (1:31).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     There is currently no release of Winter Sleep in Region 1. The Region 2 UK release is a two disc edition with the second disc containing an extensive, 139 minute, making of. The Region B UK Blu-ray also includes this extra. A win for the UK.

Summary

     Winter Sleep, the 2014 Palme d’Or winner, is a beautiful film set in Cappadocia about frustrations, self-deception, lost opportunities, regret and second chances. The film is well acted and gorgeous to look at, a must see for anyone even remotely interested in quality world cinema or the films of this important director.

     The DVD has stunning visuals, the audio is appropriate. A trailer, unfortunately, is the only relevant extra and we miss out on the quality extra available in the UK.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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