Review: ‘Nude’

"Nude," first film in six years by Turkish maverick Ali Ozgenturk, is a cheeky, mooning look at male-female relationships through the story of two wives liberated by becoming art-school models. Colorful, paper-thin yarn lacks the edge and depth of Ozgenturk's early pix ("Hazal," "The Horse") but just about goes the distance on invention and energy.

“Nude,” first film in six years by Turkish maverick Ali Ozgenturk, is a cheeky, mooning look at male-female relationships through the story of two wives liberated by becoming art-school models. Colorful, paper-thin yarn lacks the edge and depth of Ozgenturk’s early pix (“Hazal,” “The Horse”) but just about goes the distance on invention and energy.

Ayla and Seher are two housewives urged by a friend to try nude modeling at a fine arts academy on the picturesque banks of the Golden Horn. As they become more involved in the work and the artistry, their bozo hubbies become more screwed up and sexually inadequate. An offscreen, godlike voice (Ozgenturk himself) monitors and directs events.

Like Ozgenturk’s previous “Water Also Burns” (1987), still banned at home, “Nude” is partly about the act of creation, with a fragmented, ’60s-Godardian flavor that comes close to performance art. With plentiful music, ranging from jazz to “Turandot,” pic is at times almost a musical without songs.

Photography by Emir Kusturica’s regular lenser, Vilko Filac, is top-drawer, ranging from the rhapsodic to realistic. Cutting and performances are both lively, with a nice ensemble feel and only a slight dip in the third quarter. Nudity is natural throughout.

Nude

(TURKISH-FRENCH-GREEK)

Production

An Asya Film (Turkey)/Dream Factory (France)/Astria Film (Greece) production. (International sales: Asya Film, Istanbul.) Directed by Ali Ozgenturk. Screenplay, Ozgenturk, Sadik Karli. Camera (color), Vilko Filac; editor, Mevlut Kocak; music, various. Reviewed at Istanbul Intl. Film Festival, April 13, 1994. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

With: Sumru Yavrucuk, Meral Cetinkaya, Erdal Kucukkomurcu, Hulya Karakas, Adnan Tonel, Sami Hazinses, Kulay Kokturk, Ayten Uncuoglu.
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