Filmmaker Muzaffer returns from Istanbul to his small rural hometown with the intention of making a new film featuring his family. His father, Emin, isn't particularly interested in being in the film, mostly due to him being in the middle of a legal struggle with the government over his land His mother, also not very interested, complains about her health problems. It's clear that his parents do love him very much, but don't particularly grasp his passion for filmmaking. His family does eventually agree to help, with his cousin even quitting his job, with the promise of bigger and better things waiting for him in Istanbul, or so Muzaffer says. Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Clouds of May is a very subtle piece of filmmaking which explores the character relationships among this distant family construct. Shot in a very minimalistic style, the film shows us characters that are 100% genuine and real. These characters all have problems of their own and the film does a great job at giving them all an emotional center, while exploring the various dynamics that exist. Muzaffer is kinda a selfish character, who doesn't truly see the error of his ways when dealing with his family, but he is not a bad man by any means. He just never seems particularly concerned with his families problems, only worried about his craft. Ceylan may be trying to make a point about the sacrifices one makes to become a director, but maybe I am just reading into this too much. Personally, I found the cousins story to be the most engrossing - a man that is haunted by his inability to leave the small town life behind and feel like he has achieved something. He seems to view himself as a failure, and I really wish this would have been a more central part of the story. Visually the film is very artfully composed - an arresting piece of imagery early in the film (pictured above) involves the cousin sitting at the window, watching his son go off to school - a constant reminder of his own failures when it comes to being accepted into the university. Nuri Bilge Ceylan's films tend to have very tepid pacing, and Clouds of May is certainly no different. I would argue that this pacing is similar to how life really is, but understand that this is definitely not for everyone.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.