Turkey’s biggest bad-luck magnet has trouble keeping his teenage son in check in “Dark Cloud,” the helming debut of U.S. expat Theron Patterson. Though this Turkish-language, Istanbul-set dramedy looks as though it were lensed on ’70s film stock with a pantyhose permanently attached to the lens (it was actually shot on DV), Patterson’s portrait of Turkish family dynamics often feels real. “Cloud” will travel to more fests.

A widower of five years, Adnan (Reha Ozcan), is fired from his parking-attendant job after the first of a series of bizarre (and chuckle-inducing) events results in him being sued. His rebellious son, Burak (Kamer Celenk), has already moved in with other family members (Haktan Pak, Yesim Ceren Bozoglu) who want to help Adnan and Burak, but are unsure where to start. Patterson quickly and convincingly sketches the supporting characters, and Celenk and especially Ozcan imbue the protags with real humanity. But the idea that father and son are still consumed by grief barely breaks the surface. Realistically portrayed familial bickering, however, is often entrancing, as in Abdellatif Kechiche’s “The Secret of the Grain.” Narrative chronology lacks clarity; other tech contributions are lo-fi.

Dark Cloud


  • Production: A Bulut Film production. Produced by Yamac Okur, Nadir Operli, Enis Kostepen. Co-producers, Mehmet Betil, Patricia Patterson. Directed, written by Theron Patterson.
  • Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-35mm), Shaune McDowell; editors, Patterson, Ozcan Vardar; music, Patterson; production designer, Nadide Argun. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (City to City), Sept. 11, 2010. (Also in Era New Horizons Film Festival.) Running time: 95 MIN.
  • With: With: Reha Ozcan, Haktan Pak, Yesim Ceren Bozoglu, Kamer Celenk, Tolga Saritas.
  • Music By: