More unnerving than the content of any of the VIFF films I saw, these people in the queue beforehand were discussing whether ‘Winter Sleep’ was either five or six hours long. They never resolved it, but the doom-laden words ‘What have I done?’ visualized in front of me. How could I possibly survive such a thing?
Fucking hell, though, it was only 196 minutes. I’ve had poos longer than that. And I watched that director’s cut of ‘Dances with Wolves’. What’s all the fuss about? So this just flew by, being the opposite of any experience I’ve had with poetry slams and open mic improv events, where I just want to crawl out my own face.
I love a long dialogue scene, and this has a load of them. Initially, I wasn’t keen on having the lead character as a landlord who we’re supposed to feel sorry for because of his troublesome tenants. But this initial surface analysis of what the story’s about got richer and denser as time went by. Just like landlords, yeah? Am I right? Fucking awesome opinions.
Aside from a couple of the smaller roles, everyone in this is a fully developed person, having to deal with other fully developed persons and often not enjoying it. It could be suggested that it’s because of the length of the story we get such detailed characterizations, but how many hours has ‘The Big Bang Theory’ been going on for now?
The scenery’s pretty amazing to look at, a wintry hotel seemingly cut out of bulbous rock formations, but the greatest moments are always just two people in a room. Top of them all being the extended brother-sister argument between Aydin and Necla. Whereas any number of verbal fights in cinema would typically lead to physical confrontation, the dialogue blocked by a third party, or the characters just walking away in annoyance, here we see unfold a relentlessly constant sniping of values from two individuals wearily over-familiar with the character of the other, with no escape for either one of them. So great. Best of VIFF.