Review by E.J. Wickes
A film by Shamil Aliyev
Image (above), Bahruz Vagifoghlu as “Steppe Man”
Our Film of the Month selection is Shamil Aliyev’s Steppe Man. It’s a story about a man with no name; one who exists and survives on the grassy plains in between Russia and northern Iran; away from civilization. A very unassuming and well crafted narrative feature from Azerbaijan written by Vidadi Hasanov. It features Bahruz Vagifoghlu and Salome Demuria. Although it was not nominated, the film was selected as the Azerbaijani entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards.The film opens with an approaching train coming across a rural plain. The camera pans off into the vast but peaceful desolation of the steppe lands. With a run time of about an hour and twenty minutes, the plot is developed as the young Steppe Man rouses his father from a deep sleep in the middle of a rainy night. Just a man and a young boy living in a plastered hut with a thatched roof and it is time for the young man’s favorite camel to give birth.The authenticity of the set design and the corral were well planned if not an actual homestead. This is a family of modest means with no female or matriarch. A reference is made toward a female presence from the past. A photo is seen of a woman who may have been the young steppe man’s mother, but she is no longer with them.Life on the steppe is simpler; and entertainment demands more imagination. Storytelling being a characteristic of the rural lifestyle, the father tells the young boy a story, almost foreshadowing a future encounter he will have later in life with a girl named “Shanapipick”, or Fluffy-comb.Young Steppe Man’s father has made a living and provided for him and his son through the care and stewardship of the camels in their possession. Even though it is a less than comfortable existence, the father maintains a well disciplined but nurturing dynamic in teaching his son the traditions and lore of the steppe life. After establishing the mundane repetition of their daily routine, the director makes a clever transition through time, as the adolescent “steppe man” reappears from around the corner as the man he was groomed to be.The man and his son are destined to be together until the father passes. The son’s right of passage comes with the inheritance of his father’s profession. Any acquaintances beyond the city’s limits are few and far between. Our nameless steppe man grows into the position of caretaker of the herd as he gets old enough to fill his father’s shoes. One day as expected, the young man returns from grazing the camels to find that his father has quietly passed away, while seated on the bench as he came to do every day; as his health waned. Our protagonist, left alone alone must face a “brave new world”.After the death of his father, Steppe Man ventures into the city. Accompanied by only a camel and what it can carry, he casually walks to civilization. A well considered perspective was inferred by the truck hauling material for road work. Steppe Man is literally coming from beyond the realm of an industrial society, even by the standards of their own technological curve. Those living on the steppe are considered to be of a lower standard, or not having the same moral and spiritual credibility as the rest of society. Almost like a “hick” by western standards. Even though entirely different skill sets are required, no less respectable than city folks’, he’s still from the sticks and biases seem to be the same the world over.Along the way a chance encounter with a fiery young woman ensues. He passes by an intimate breakup that’s not going well as the woman is literally walking out on her relationship. Directly in his path she storms, trying to get away from an obviously selfish and abusive boyfriend. The argument between her and her boyfriend provides more foreshadowing to the showdown yet to come.Inconvenient as it is, (for the moment) she shows up at Steppe Man’s place and he finds her asleep in the hay wagon behind his dwelling. Perplexed; he goes about his daily routine of grazing the camels. Upon his return he’s even more dumbfounded; seeing that she’s washed the dishes and “tidied” up the house. Feeling at the disadvantage he erupts angrily toward the audacity of her incursion into his sanctuary.With very little dialogue some intensity is seen to exist between the characters. Almost in a primitive sense, they coexist like animals on the veldt. Sharing very little verbally until later; and only then, brief and poignant stories shaping the narrative laid down by Steppe Man’s father from the beginning, are important enough to put into words. This is not a unique formula; a love story between a city girl and a country boy. However, it’s told or almost painted, in a very unique way.As they coexist both are drawn to the other’s determination. She sees in him a man who has learned to live with nature in harmony; who doesn’t need to depend on material luxuries, only necessities. He is a man of few words and there is a strength to his naivety toward modernity. In her, he begins to see someone who is determined to engage the pastoral life. She is unpampered and works hard to fulfill her end of the partnership as his compassion for her grows.Most of the film was shot in the rural countryside with very little need for dramatic production design. The countryside was magnificent in itself and the photography and cinematography brought its subtle beauty to the screen artfully and without pretension. The shots of camel herding off in the distance are compelling. The pace is slow, but just slow enough to let your mind’s eye become immersed in the expansive serenity that makes up the vast grasslands of the region. I think we’re left to worry a little about how the “intrusion” will pan out and if our female lead wakes up in time to get the herd home. But the performances were spot on. I could feel the apprehension, sexual tension and the dedication to their survival that goes beyond personal gratification or hurt feelings.It’s not surprising how well received this film has been. It’s an immersing and well performed drama that’s held together with great direction, lighting, camerawork and tight editing.
E. J. Wickes is a visual artist and the Managing Editor of Cult Critic Film Magazine, as well as the creator and publisher of The Metamodern Magazine. His aesthetics lie somewhere in the vortex between ne art painting and lmmaking. Eric has worked in the Art Department on a variety of Hollywood, TV and independent lm productions and as the Creative Director of HLC Studios, he oversees the company’s media and publishing division.
OPEC and the Joint Monitoring Committee of the OPEC + Ministerial Meeting (JMMC) will present “The 2018 OPEC World Oil Outlook (WOO)” at a press conference to be held in Algeria on September 23, according to the opec.org website.Algeria`s Minister of Energy, Mustapha Guitouni and OPEC`s Secretary General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, will provide opening remarks to the WOO launch. The Secretary General and senior members of OPEC management will then present the key messages from the publication, which provides an in-depth review and analysis of the global oil industry, and offers a thorough assessment of various sensitivity cases related to supply and demand trends in the medium- and long-term.For the first time, a Smart APP for the WOO will be made available, which will give increased access to the publication's vital analysis and energy data. And for the fourth year in a row, a comprehensive interactive version of the WOO will also be made available. More details on these will be provided when the publication is launched.First published in 2007, the WOO is one of OPEC’s flagship annual publications, providing expert analysis of the many challenges and opportunities facing the global oil industry. It serves as an important reference tool, providing insights into the upstream and downstream, as well as issues related to costs, investments, and the potential impact of policies and new technologies.
Azerbaijan`s Defense Ministry has said the Armenian armed forces continue to violate the ceasefire regime. "The Azerbaijani armed forces came under fire from large-caliber machine guns 92 times throughout the day," the ministry said in a statement."The Azerbaijani army`s positions came under fire from Armenian villages including Dovekh, Shavarshavan, Voskevan in Noyemberyan district, Aygeovit in Ijevan district, Chinari in Berd district and unnamed hills in Krasnoselsk district," the ministry said."The army`s positions also came under fire from the Armenia-occupied districts of Azerbaijan, including Namirli, Taghibayli, Yusifjanli villages in Aghdam, Kuropatkino village in Khojavand, Ashagi Veysalli, Gobu Dilagharda, Garakhanbayli, Gorgan, Horadiz villages in Fuzuli, Nuzgar villages in Jabrayil, as well as unnamed hills in Goranboy, Tartar, Khojavand and Jabrayil districts," the ministry added.
Azerbaijan`s Defense Ministry has said the Armenian armed forces continue to violate the ceasefire regime. "The Azerbaijani armed forces came under fire from large-caliber machine guns 95 times throughout the day," the ministry said in a statement."The Azerbaijani army`s positions came under fire from Armenian villages, including Dovekh village and unnamed hills, Aygeovit village in Ijevan district and Chinari village in Berd district," the ministry said."The army`s positions also came under fire from the Armenia-occupied districts of Azerbaijan, including Yarimja village in Tartar, Namirli, Bash Garvand, Sarijali, Novruzlu, Yusifjanli, Marzili villages in Aghdam, Kuropatkino village in Khojavand, Ashagi Veysalli, Garvand, Garakhanli, Gorgan, Kurdlar villages in Fuzuli, Nuzgar village in Jabrayil, as well as unnamed hills in Goranboy, Tartar, Aghdam, Khojavand and Fuzuli districts," the ministry added.
Milli Majlis is holding a special session to mark the 100th anniversary of the 31 March – the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis.Parliamentarians will adopt a draft resolution and also appeal to the world community in connection with the March genocide.
Price of a barrel of Azeri Light crude oil decreased $0.83 to trade at $70.03.On London ICE (Intercontinental Exchange Futures) cost of the Brent crude oil increased $0.58 to trade at $71.61 while the price of the Light crude oil at the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange) rose $0.53 to stand at $66.84.
The works on the first phase of the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) to Eskisehir in Turkey were completed by 99%. The announcement was made during the general meeting of TANAP Board of Directors in Ankara, said a message from Azerbaijan`s State Oil Company SOCAR.During the meeting, the Board members were informed about the works done on the first phase of TANAP.“About 80% of works up to Europe were completed. In general, TANAP was completed by over 93%. Currently, all the work is carried out in accordance with the schedule with high accuracy and quality,” said the message.“Starting the second half of the current year, TANAP will transport 6 bcm of gas to Turkey as planned. All sides must fulfil their duties for completion of project timely”, said SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev in his speech.TANAP project envisages transportation of gas from Azerbaijan`s Shah Deniz field to the western borders of Turkey. The gas will be delivered to Turkey in 2018 and after completion of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline`s construction the gas will be delivered to Europe in early 2020.The length of TANAP is 1,850 kilometers with an initial capacity of 16 billion cubic meters of gas. Around six billion cubic meters of this gas is meant to be delivered to Turkey, with the remaining volume to be supplied to Europe.
“Genocide-100” exhibition will be held in Baku to commemorate the Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis on March 29.The six-day exhibition will be co-organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Azerbaijan State Art Gallery.It will feature selected works from Azerbaijan State Art Gallery and personal collections of artists.
An unknown gunman has reportedly injured four people on Saturday evening at a basketball court in Chester, Pennsylvania, US, according to RT.The attacker opened fire from an elevated position at a 'good distance' from the court, the local branch of CBS reports, citing police. Assault rifle and handgun rounds were found at the spot where the shots were fired from. Police are currently looking for the shooter.
Azerbaijan`s Defense Ministry has said the Armenian armed forces continue to violate the ceasefire regime. "The Azerbaijani armed forces came under fire 132 times throughout the day," the ministry said in a statement."The Azerbaijani army`s positions came under fire from Armenian villages, including Shavarshavan in Noyemberyan district, Paravakar and unnamed hills in Ijevan, Mosesgekh, Chinari and Aygedzor in Berd district, and unnamed hills in Krasnoselsk districts," the ministry said."The army`s positions also came under fire from the Armenia-occupied districts of Azerbaijan, including Goyarkh, Chilaburt villages in Tartar, Taghibayli, Shikhlar, Bash Garvand, Javahirli, Abdinli, Garagashli, Ajarli, Yusifjanli and Marzili villages in Aghdam, Kuropatkino village in Khojavand, Ashaghi Veysalli, Gobu Dilagharda, Garvand, Garakhanbayli, Gorgan and Kurdlar villages in Fuzuli, Mehdili village in Jabrayil, as well as unnamed hills in Goranboy, Tartar, Aghdam, Khojavand and Fuzuli," the ministry added.
Slovenian President Borut Pahor has won his second five-year mandate by a wide margin as he secured about 56.2 percent of the vote, beating his closest opponent by more than 23 percent, TV Slovenia reported, citing exit poll results, according to RT.Pahor’s closest rival, the mayor of the city of Kamnik, Marjan Sarec, gained 22.5 percent in the presidential elections, in which a total of nine candidates took part.
On the New York Stock Exchange NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange), the cost of the US Light crude oil increased $ 0.26 to stand at $52.10. The price of Brent crude rose $0.14 to trade at $57.89 at the London ICE (Intercontinental Exchange Futures).
Five people died and four remain missing in the city of Ankang in northwest China's Shaanxi Province after heavy rain hit the city starting Tuesday, local authorities said Thursday, according to Xinhua.Around 150,000 people suffered losses, and the local government has evacuated more than 27,000 residents, according to the city's flood control headquarters.The rain also damaged at least 2,000 houses and more than 12,000 hectares of crops. The direct economic losses surpassed 540 million yuan (around 81 million U.S. dollars), it said.On Thursday, the provincial weather bureau has lifted a blue alert for heavy rain, but warned the city to take precautions against geological disasters including floods and mudslides.China has a four-tier color-coded weather warning system, with red the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved Japan's House of Representatives on Thursday, calling a general election in a bid to maintain his hold on power, while opposition parties rallied together in a major reorganization aimed at giving the administration a challenge at the polls, according to Kyodo.Abe dissolved the lower house and set an Oct. 22 election as soon as it convened at noon for an extraordinary session, without making a policy speech and without a plan to hold a press conference afterward.The timing of the election, official campaigning for which will start on Oct. 10, suggests the premier's primary goal is to take advantage of perceived weakness and lack of preparation in the opposition.The main opposition Democratic Party has recently been in disarray, while a new party with charismatic Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike at the helm was established just this week.
Azerbaijan`s Defense Ministry has said the Armenian armed forces continue to violate the ceasefire regime. "The Azerbaijani armed forces came under fire 139 times throughout the day," the ministry said in a statement."The Azerbaijani army`s positions came under fire from Armenian villages, including Chinari and Mosesgekh in Berd district, Vazashen and Paravakar in Ijevan distrct, Dovekh in Noyemberyan district, unnamed hills in Krasnoselsk district," the ministry said."The army`s positions also came under fire from the Armenia-occupied districts of Azerbaijan, including Chilaburt, Yarimja and Goyarkh villages in Tartar, Namirli, Taghibayli, Shikhlar, Bash Garvand, Abdinli, Garagashli, Kangarli, Sarijali, Ajarli, Novruzlu, Yusifjanli and Marzili villages in Aghdam, Kuropatkino village in Khojavand, Ashagi Veysalli, Gobu Dilagharda, Garvand, Garakhanbayli, Ashagi Seyidahmadli, Gorgan, Horadiz and Kurdlar villages in Fuzuli, Mehdili and Nuzgar villages in Jabrayil, as well as unnamed hills in Goranboy, Goygol, Tartar, Aghdam, Fuzuli and Kojavand,” the ministry added.
The 8th Russia-Azerbaijan Inter-regional Forum under the motto "Investments, innovations and tourism” has kicked off in Stavropol.A 120-man Azerbaijani delegation led by Economy Minister Shahin Mustafayev attends the event co-organized by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Azerbaijan's Ministry of Economy.The forum will feature round tables on a number of issues, including cooperation in industrial and humanitarian spheres, development of tourism, and innovations in the field of healthcare.Russia-Azerbaijan Inter-regional Forum has been held since 2010.More than 500 businessmen from more than 70 companies representing both countries attended the forum, which saw the signing of 12 bilateral documents in Baku last year.Russia is a key trade and economic partner of Azerbaijan. Russia has invested over $3 billion in Azerbaijan.More than half of the Russian regions have already signed bilateral agreements with Azerbaijan on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation.
Brazilian Pedro Henrique has scored Qarabağ's first ever goal in the UEFA Champions League group stage as the Azerbaijani football club lost 1-2 to Roma in their second match of Group C.Early strikes from Manolas and Džeko left Roma in control before Henrique pulled one back in the 28th minute.Despite the home side`s pressure in the second half Roma managed to win for the first time in seven attempts in the Champions League, and the first time away from home since 2010.
Azerbaijan`s Defense Ministry has said the Armenian armed forces continue to violate the ceasefire regime. "The Azerbaijani armed forces came under fire 122 times throughout the day", the ministry said in a statement."The Azerbaijani army`s positions came under fire from Armenian villages, including Dovekh, Shavarshavan villages and nameless hills in Noyemberyan district, Chinari, Mososgekh and Aygedzor in Berd district and unnamed hills in Krasnoselsk district," the ministry said."The army`s positions also came under fire from the Armenia-occupied districts of Azerbaijan, including Goyarkh and Chilaburt villages in Tartar, Bash Garvand, Javahirli, Garagashli, Shirvanli, Kangarli, Sarijali, Novruzlu and Merzili villages in Aghdam, Kuropatkino village in Khojavand, Ashagi Veyselli, Gobu Dilagharda, Garvand, Garakhanbayli, Gorgan, Kurdlar, Horadiz villages in Fuzuli, Nuzgar and Mehdili villages in Jabrayil, as well as unnamed hills in Goygol, Goranboy, Tartar, Aghdam, Khojavand and Fuzuli", the ministry added.
Turkish security forces have neutralized 34 PKK terrorists in a week of operations, according to the country's Interior Ministry on Monday, according to Anadolu Agency.During the operations, 22 terrorists were killed, two were captured and 10 surrendered, a statement issued by the ministry said.According to the statement, more than 2,849 arrests were made in 1,094 operations between Aug. 21-28.They include the arrest of 127 suspects for aiding the PKK, 44 for alleged ties to Daesh, 400 for potential links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), and 14 who allegedly joined leftist terrorist organizations, the statement added.Also last week, security forces destroyed nine shelters used by terrorists, and 27 mines and explosives in the southeastern provinces of Hakkari and Diyarbakir as well as in the eastern Bingol.They also seized 351 kilograms of explosive materials and heavy ammunition.During 639 anti-drug operations in 72 provinces, security forces arrested 2,258 suspects.The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of around 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians.
At least 54 early morning commuters were injured, one seriously, when a train failed to stop properly and collided against the end-of-line buffers at a station serving the downtown port area of the prosperous northeastern Spanish city of Barcelona, authorities said Friday, EFE news agency reports.The city's emergency medical service said 19 passengers suffering from less serious injuries, among whom was the train driver, had also been taken to several Barcelona hospitals while 34 had been treated for cuts and bruises, the agency said.
The Supreme Court on Friday disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding office in a landmark decision after a corruption probe into his family wealth, cutting short his third stint in power, according to The Express Tribune.The top court five-judge larger bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa has unanimously disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for not disclosing his employment in UAE based offshore company Capital FZE.“He [Nawaz] is no more eligible to be an honest member of the parliament, and he ceases to be holding the office of prime minister,” said Judge Ejaz Afzal Khan in court.
2017-2018-ci tədris ili üçün qəbul şərtləri və qaydaları…
Heydər Əliyev – 93
Без Шуша нет Карабаха, а без Карабаха нет Азербайджана…
“MİLLİ GEYİM GÜNÜ” layihəsinə start verildi
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Buraxılış imtahanları iyunun 21-də keçiriləcək
“Вниз по течению”…
Türkiyə Azərbaycana dəstək olduğunu qətiyyətlə ifadə edib