Painterly visuals take precedence over psychology in Turkish auteur Tayfun Pirselimoglu's third feature, "Haze," whose obfuscation extends way beyond its title.

Painterly visuals take precedence over psychology in Turkish auteur Tayfun Pirselimoglu’s third feature, “Haze,” whose obfuscation extends way beyond its title. A resolutely interior drama — set in a gray outer suburb of Istanbul — about how poverty drives people to acts of desperation, this is Pirselimoglu’s toughest pic to date, likely to drive all but the most committed auds to their own act of desperation and seek the exit. Hardcore fest dates loom.

The helmer’s previous films (“Innowhereland,” “Riza”) have been rescued by strong female perfs, but “Haze” keeps its focus tight on main character Resat (Ruhi Sari), whose vacant stare does little except mirror the bleak, concrete ‘burb of Altinsehir in which he lives with his silent, chair-ridden mom. For reasons not entirely clear — dialogue is sparse throughout — Resat takes a job to kill the wife (Nurcan Ulger) of a slaughterhouse owner, Emin (Mehmet Avci), who tells him he doesn’t want her to suffer “because I love her too much.” Pic is striking to look at — a series of almost monochrome compositions, sourced on HD, by Ercan Ozkan (“The Storm”).

Haze

Turkey-Greece

Production

A Zuzi Film (Turkey)/Graal (Greece) production. (International sales: Graal, Athens.) Produced by Veysel Ipek, Katerina Ikonomou, Irini Vouyouklaki, Tayfun Pirselimoglu. Executive producers, Ilknur Akanlar, Nikos Moustakas. Directed, written by Tayfun Pirselimoglu.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Ercan Ozkan; editor, Erdinc Ozyurt; art director, Natali Yeres. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 17, 2010. Original title: Pus. Turkish dialogue. Running time: 108 MIN.

With

Ruhi Sari, Mehmet Avci, Nurcan Ulger, Bahar Yanilmaz, Birol Engler, Serkan Keskin.
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