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Kino on Video presents
Times and Winds (2007)

ďI pray every night. For him to die.Ē
- Omer (÷zkan ÷zen)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: July 14, 2008

Stars: ÷zkan ÷zen, Ali Bey Kayali, Elit Iscan
Other Stars: Bulent Emin Yarar, Taner Birsel, Yigit Ozsener, Selma ErgeÁ
Director: Reha Erdem

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations)
Run Time: 01h:51m:35s
Release Date: July 15, 2008
UPC: 738329055929
Genre: foreign

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

When I hear that a movie is ďslow,Ē or ďtakes a while to get going,Ē I often fear the worst. I can usually stick with a film, regardless of its pacing, but when word gets out that itís a chore to sit through, thereís virtually no way that a wide, mainstream audience will give such a project a chance. Well, the Turkish 2007 piece, Times and Winds is certainly a languidly paced picture, but if even the most discriminating moviegoers give it an inkling of a chance, they will be greatly rewarded.

Omer (÷zkan ÷zen) is a teenage boy that isnít happy with his parents, but totally despises his father (Bulent Emin Yarar). While Omer is plotting to kill his father, his friend, Yakup (Ali Bey Kayali), is constantly thinking about sex, dreaming non-stop about his teacher (Selma ErgeÁ). The third member of this circle of friends is young girl, Yildiz (Elit Iscan), who has been burdened with babysitting her infant brother when she isnít overhearing what her parents are doing in their bedroom at night. These three youngsters must cope with their problems while living in a poor Turkish mountain village, among a society that is well-behind the times and struggling in more ways than one.

This is the kind of film that will likely have most audiences giving up on it about 10 minutes in. Thereís no opening action sequence to instantly grab our attention and our first impressions of the characters arenít ones that instantly endear us to them or, better yet, make them appealing villains. Yet, itís this slow, momentum-building approach employed by director Reha Erdem that is a major part of the movieís magic. She also uses symbolism quite liberally, with a prime example being the three friendsí witnessing of a pair of mating animals. This is the most primal occasion of her overriding themes of teenagers blossoming into adults, but itís a recurring subject throughout. Such subtleties as Omer and Yakup not realizing right away that the female Yildiz is witnessing this mating, and their subsequent reaction to the realization of her presence, are extremely powerful.

Everything is kept believable and compelling throughout thanks to some truly incredible performances. Three young, untrained actors are asked to carry an entire drama with mostly adult subject matter, and ÷zen, Kayali, and ErgeÁ pull it off like consummate professionals. Of the three, ÷zen gets the slight edge in screen time but Iscan practically steals the movie during a pivotal scene involving an accident with Yildiz and her infant brother. As this unfolds, weíre left to stare at the screen in shock, but itís her reaction at the end of the scene that is both heartbreaking and incredibly natural. The adult actors are also good, but this is the kidsí show and they handle themselves quite well.

Erdem really gives us the total package though, as the look of the film is simply breathtaking at times. Florent Henryís cinematography is as good as it gets, capturing the mountainous Turkish landscape in all of its splendor. Arvo Partís score is also a key component, practically breathing life into some of the slower-moving sequences. The music is never overbearing, fitting perfectly into every scene in the most realistic way. All of these aspects come together perfectly for Reha Erdem, in this, a true gem.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The film is presented in anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen, and Florent Henryís cinematography is the big winner thanks to this great transfer. The images of the Turkish landscape are a sight to behold, and there are plenty of sharp, detailed things to look at. Colors are bright and vivid, with natural fleshtones.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Turkishno

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is nothing exemplary, but it is a solid, well-mixed track that does allow the surrounds to spring to life at times. The dialogue is always crystal clear, and, most importantly, well-integrated into the overall mix.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Stills Gallery
Extras Review: The only extra feature is a stills gallery.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Turkish film Times and Winds is a borderline masterpiece. On the surface, it might not be for every audience, but there is, in fact, something here for everyone. Kinoís fine disc only helps the film.


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