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Dot (Nokta) – On The Press

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-We thought we had seen all there was to be seen, from the Avant-garde artists of the 1920s to Andy Warhol, from Maurice Lemaître’s Lettrist cinema to manifestoes of contemporary video art…Well, it turned out to be quite the opposite! There is a bright discovery in Derviş Zaim’s fifth feature. The film, where the duration of the events does not correspond to the duration of the film, seems to be shot in a single take. Dot appears as one fluid shot that does not follow linear chronology. Jean Roy. L’Humanite. June 11, 2008

-In Dot, Derviş Zaim continues his project of reconstructing Islamic aesthetics, which was started with Waiting for Heaven. This is truly a big and challenging mission, yet Zaim accomplishes it perfectly in his latest film Dot. A masterpiece where aesthetics meets Sufism… Hilmi Yavuz. Zaman, May 13, 2009.

-Dot is a film that successfully brings our traditional values and modernity together. The story of the film revolves around the art of calligraphy. The eternal whiteness of the calligrapher’s paper meets the timeless whiteness of the film’s setting (The Lake Tuz), creating two lines that overlap and intersect, the line of the reed pen and the line of moving life seen through the camera. Trying to create the impression that the film is shot in a single take, Derviş Zaim’s narrative style translates the “ihcam” technique of the ever-mysterious art of calligraphy, which composes motifs in one continuous stroke without lifting the hand, into cinematic language… Nokta presents an ideal balance of content and form… With its structure, the film exposes the nature of the system cinema and connects the dots. Telesiyej, Taraf, May 11, 2009

-The interesting thing is that even though the film moves away from standard narration and does not use means to facilitate the audience’s perception, we have no difficulty in following the narrative. Although the director does not prefer direct and usual expressions, we can easily trace the story. As Derviş Zaim combines the narrative with aesthetics, the significance he attaches to these centuries-old arts is revealed. By making these arts an essential element of the story, the plot and narration becomes inseparably intertwined. Erman Ata Uncu, Radikal Iki. May 10, 2009

-Derviş Zaim has a continually expanding list of successfully made original films… Dot merges the past with the present and the Ottoman calligraphy with cinema, using a minimalist setting that gives a sense of continuity. Well, what can we say, a truly challenging project worthy of praise. Alper Turgut, Cumhuriyet, May 11, 2009

-One of the bravest works in the history of Turkish cinema. Ali Murat GUven, Yeni Safak, May 9, 2009

-With the director’s passion for cinema, Dot is a significant work that deserves to be seen. Mehmet Açar, Haberturk, May 8, 2009

-For a while I thought I was in a therapy session, but I was actually in a movie theatre, watching Dot ….Now you know, sometimes the dot is life itself. Mustafa Ulusoy, Zaman Cuma, May 15, 2009

-(Unwillingly getting involved in crime, Ahmet, the protagonist of Derviş Zaim’s film starts torturing himself) Is this the divine justice, or is it because of the responsibility that an ethical individual of a secular world feels for the consequences of his actions; in other words, might the reason be self-respect or virtue? That we cannot decide at the first glance. One might think of the moralist judgment that says, “One gets the punishment he deserves”, a statement which does not involve the “truth of the subject”. Especially when the case is about stealing the Holy Koran! Derviş Zaim seems to be expressing some kind of a secular and mainly existentialist understanding of ethics according to which the individual “is responsible for everything s/he creates or causes.” That is why the protagonist (Ahmet), who does not have an obligation but only a guilty conscience, tortures himself… Here comes the most important question: Is torturing oneself Ahmet’s personal choice, or does he do that out of inescapable necessity? If we claim it to be “an inescapable necessity”, we remain within the realm of metaphysics. However, if we see it as “choice”, then we can pass beyond the metaphysical notions of good and bad to reach a true reading. Niyazi Kızılyurek,
Yeniduzen, May 17, 2009