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Once Upon a Time in Anatolia [Blu-ray] [Import]

 Unrated   Blu-ray
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 38.55 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Winner of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, Once Upon A Time In Anatolia is the new film from the celebrated director of Distant and Climates. In the dead of night, a group of men among them, a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor and a murder suspect drive through the Anatolian countryside, the serpentine roads and rolling hills lit only by the headlights of their cars. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder. The suspect, who claims he was drunk, can t remember where he buried the body. As night wears on, details about the murder emerge and the investigators own hidden secrets come to light. In the Anatolian steppes, nothing is what it seems; and when the body is found, the real questions begin. SPECIAL EDITION Blu-ray includes over 3 hours of bonus material! SPECIAL FEATURES: - BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE: The Making of Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (2011, 92 minutes) - Interview with the Director (24 minutes) - Anatolia in Cannes (48 minutes): Photocall, TVCannes Videos, Press Conference, Red Carpet Gala, Award Ceremony - Lost in Thought (2012, HD, 24 minutes), a visual essay by Haden Guest, Director of the Harvard Film Archive - Theatrical Trailer - Booklet featuring introduction to Nuri Bilge Ceylan "Anatolia is a cop movie and a road movie - but mostly it s GORGEOUS CINEMA." --Andrew O Hehir, Salon "A masterpiece. A police procedural that slowly gains the quality of a collective dream." --New York Magazine "Ravishingly atmospheric. A meditative masterpiece of a policier." --Ella Taylor, NPR

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5.0 out of 5 stars Anatolia what a beautifull place... Nov. 19 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Once upon a time in anatolia is the story of two men charged with murder but can't remember where they buried the body so the local police and a very pissed off detective and a judge set out in too vehicle's one a car the other a land-rover type to find out where the body is but we'er taken along for an incredible ride of hope and life and the human sprit.but i have to say I just Love this movie with it's long stand alone shots and beautifull scenery sometimes you think the movie is repeating itself because of the identical watering wells that is placed along their route..Once Upon a Time in Anatolia [Blu-ray]
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, deliberate meditation on crime, relationships, and truth April 16 2012
By D. Alban - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
[This is a review of the film, not the Blu-Ray itself, which has not yet been released.]

A beautifully shot, deliberately paced existentialist meditation on crime, relationships, and truth. Shot mostly in gorgeous long takes that take full advantage of the widescreen aspect ratio, the film requires (and rewards) patient viewing. The first half of the film, in which a late-night caravan of law enforcement officials drive two murder suspects to a series of nearly identical rural wells, looking for the location of a buried body, is brilliant. It echoes Waiting for Godot, as the seemingly endless search for the body fades into the background, and the focus turns to conversations about personal problems, petty bureaucracy, differing values, and the meaning of life. As the film continues, different members of the caravan wax and wane in importance, each offering a different perspective on life and one's place in the world. The final act of the film -- which occurs back in town the following day -- drags a bit, but contains powerful revelations.

Despite it's subtle metaphysical explorations, this film is also a highly realistic police procedural. It is very faint praise to say that this film is the anti-CSI, but it's cynical views of truth and justice contrast starkly with TV procedurals. A vain prosecutor basks in his role and makes up facts for convenience, no one has remembered to bring a body bag (or a hearse) for the corpse, the gendarmes are more concerned about where municipal boundaries fall than anything else, a critical medical discovery is fudged, there are rumors the murder victim has been seen alive in neighboring towns, and nothing is wrapped up in an hour, let alone 150 minutes...

This is a film for patient viewers who enjoy the liesurely-paced works of Malick, von Trier, Kiarostami, Tarkovsky or other auteurs of so-called Contemporary Contemplative Cinema.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a Time in Anatolia March 4 2012
By R. Godfrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
Anatolia is not an easy film, and those expecting a mystery will probably be disappointed. It is a dark, atmospheric movie--the night scenes are claustrophobic and spattered with little beauties; the dialog is at times funny (especially during a heated argument about yogurt), but as the story progress it becomes oppressive (intentionally, I think). The landscape, which is often mentioned in reviews, is not necessarily beautiful, but desolate and repeating, marked by landmarks which are almost indiscernible from one another, especially in the dark (this old bridge, or that one, this fountain or that one, this plowed field or that plowed field). In the end, I found the movie difficult to sit through, almost exhausting, and I think much of the meaning is to be found the critique of language, and its place in the process of law and order in this small Turkish community. I felt like I was supposed to understand what being a man or woman means in this narrative (gender seems important, and desire), but I come up without any surprising answers to that question. In fact, the film doesn't reach many conclusions, and outside of a scene where the search party is served tea, by the beautiful daughter of a local village head, there weren't many moments in Anatolia where it felt like there was something really glimmering below the surface. It is an interesting film, and all the performances are strong. It is less eventful, grittier, and more cerebral than I thought it would be. I will probably watch it again.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another slow-developing movie from director Ceylan May 20 2012
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
It is by complete coincidence that only 3 months ago, I watch one of director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's earlier movies, the beautiful "Climates" movie from 2007, on DVD (see my review posted here on Amazon). When I saw that his latest movie hit the theatre, I couldn't wait to see it (saw it the Landmark E Street theatre in Washington).

"Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" (2011 release from Turkey; 150 min.) bring the (apparently based on true events) story of a group of men trying to finish off a murder investigation by locating the body of the victim in the Anatolian region of Turkey. The movie starts at dusk and covers the next 24 hrs. The group (traveling in 3 cars) go from one geographic area to the next as the confessed killer tries to remember where exactly he buried the victim, but he has trouble recalling the exact setting, as he was drunk when he murdered the victim. But eventually, they come to the right spot. The body is taken to the village for a final autopsy. I am leaving some details out, but that is pretty much the main story of the movie. Generally, I don't post the entire plot of the movie in my reviews but I make an exception here, because the story line is not the main point of the movie. Indeed, the movie is instead a study of characters, and simply observes. Check out the scene where, when the group takes a break and has dinner in a local outpost, the beautiful teenage daughter of the houselord brings out tea for the group. That scene alone (which probably takes about 10 min. or so) is worth watching the movie for in and of itself, just outstanding.

I don't know how well this movie will translate onto DVD as seeing it in the theatre transfixes you on the incredible job that Ceylan does in bringing this character study into focus, and the Anatolian scenry plays a huge part in the movie and surely will get lost some on the small screen. With this movie, Ceylan takes "slow developing" to another level, but I thought it worked beautifully. This movie was a co-winner of the Grand Prix at the 2011 Cannes film festival (the other winner being Belgium's Le Gamin au Velo, check out that movie too!). Bottom line, this movie is MILES away from your standard Hollywood fare, and then some. But if you like a good slow-developing character study movie, by all means check this out!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The polar opposite of a Hollywood action thriller Feb. 7 2013
By cs211 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" (OUATIA) concerns itself with a murder, criminals, and officers of the law, but there ends all similarities with any Hollywood action thriller. Instead, OUATIA is a Turkish inaction mesmerizer.

Very little actually happens in the movie: a group of law officers drive through the nighttime countryside with two suspects, looking for a victim's body. I won't disclose any more about the specifics of the plot than that, but it suffices to say that by the end of the movie, not much has actually happened. Instead, OUATIA casts a spell over the viewer by slowing down time and inducing the state-of-mind that the human brain gets into at around 3am during an all-nighter. When one's tired body is pulling the mind towards sleep, and the mind is not quite sure if the thoughts it is experiencing are reality or a dream or a hallucination - that is the state that OUATIA induces in the viewer.

A key means of achieving this state is the cinematography of OUATIA, which beautifully captures the hauntingly spare countryside of Anatolia, Turkey at night. To allow the scenery to cast its spell, Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and his crew do not film the actors in harsh lighting, which would cause the background scenery to turn black by contrast. Rather, the lighting on the subjects is dim, and they somehow cast or capture enough light on the background scenery to have it show up as a rich moving canvas, with grasses and leaves moving in the breeze. The effect is truly mesmerizing.

OUATIA is mostly concerned with the relationships between the men who set out on this journey. Because of the setting, it almost seems as though this small band of men has embarked upon a journey together across the ocean, with no contact with the rest of humanity for an extended time. Yet a strict hierarchy of roles is maintained. There is also a major power shift between the police chief, the prosecutor and the doctor, as each in turn takes charge as the primary person leading the investigation. The law enforcement officials have different views of the crime and the criminals, and whose view is ultimately correct is a matter of debate. There is an interesting twist at the end which calls into doubt this entire quest for the truth. It is left as an exercise for the viewer to determine why this twist happens and what it means.

OUATIA casts a spell and expects the viewer to think and fill in the blanks. If you are up for the effort, you will likely enjoy this film.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The antithesis of the conventional crime movie April 17 2013
By Roland E. Zwick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Nuir Bilge Ceylon's "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" is the complete antithesis to the conventional American crime drama, which routinely features detectives with matinee-idol looks, an assortment of plot twists and red herrings, and a series of breath-bating car chases to keep the masses from bolting for the exits.

"Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" has none of these. In fact, it features a cast of balding, sagging, middle-aged men - a police chief, a prosecutor, a doctor and two murder suspects - who have gone on a night-long search, through the dour planes of Turkey, in search of a buried body. As the night drags on, the men engage in a series of long, angst-ridden conversations that reveal how their constant exposure to and intimate involvement with the sordid and depraved aspects of the human condition have made them pessimistic and cynical about life. Yet, in the end, at least one of the characters finds a way, through a bit of professional compromise, to bring a little less darkness into the world.

Meanwhile, at every step in the drama, the movie drains the process of crime detection of all its "glamour."

It's a long - 157-minutes long, in fact - methodical, and frequently ponderous journey into the heart of darkness, but fine performances and a complete lack of conventionality make it a trip worth taking.
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