Last night I watched Gus Van Sant's Last Days. It is a movie with even less dialogue than Ceylan's Uzak- at least discernible dialogue since the main character played by Michael Pitt mumbles unintelligibly throughout much of the film. It clearly did not have the same effect that the Turkish film was able to achieve. In Van Sant's defense it was 3am when I started watching it and I was a little anxious so I might not have been able to let it wash over me or more accurately seep into me as such movies must do to be successful.
In Ceylan's film the characters don't do much on screen - a great deal of the film is spent by us watching them watch TV. In Last Days the rock-star character (largley based on Kurt Cobain) mumbles and stumbles as he tries to make Kraft Dinner. He sleeps on the floor as we watch the TV in the room displaying a nearly complete Boyz to Men music video (which I thought was a parody video for the first 2 minutes).
Ceylan's characters slowly grow on you and you begin to care for them. I simply couldn't bring myself to care for Van Sant's characters. They are largely spoiled, self-absorbed and drunk/stoned young people who are sleep-walking through a self-destrcutive haze. The Cobain character's predicament is completely self-inflicted and unnecessary. It's hard to feel for a millionaire who has every option in the world open to him and chooses to blow it and himself away.
The best part of the movie for me was when they played a Velvet Underground song on vinyl.
I'll watch it again when I'm in a more receptive mood. And I also intend on seeing Gerry.