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Filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan Spins a Melancholy Cocoon

The Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan broke out in 2003 with the slyly funny art-house hit Distant, which won a slew of awards all across the world. Next week, his gripping and beautiful family drama Three Monkeys, which won the Best Director prize at Cannes last year, opens in New York at Cinema Village and Lincoln Plaza. Seriously, it's one of the best films you'll see this year — a masterwork from a director at the top of his game. (If you don't believe us, believe Jeffrey Wells.) Ceylan originally started off as a photographer, and first ventured into filmmaking in 1995 at the age of 36 with this wordless, hauntingly beautiful short, Koza (Cocoon), which also played Cannes. It's more abstract than his later films, but it's still clearly his work, as evidenced by its evocative shots of nature, its glimpses at family life, and its lushly melancholy mood. If you can't wait until May 1 to see Three Monkeys, by the way, it will be streaming for free this Sunday, April 26, on website theauteurs. Ceylan's previous film, Climates (which is also awesome, by the way), will also be streaming there, from April 23 to May 3. Now you really have no excuses.