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Turkish Cinema

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beavis
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Turkish Cinema

#1

Post by beavis »

didn't find an already existing topic for this
hope we have some Turkish members or experts on the nation's cinema!

main reason for starting this off is a question I have about these two movies:

Gemide (On Board) 1998 Serdar Akar https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/gemide/
Azize: Bir Laleli hikayesi 1999 Kudret Sabanci https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/azi ... +hikayesi/

Both stories are talking place on a ship with the same group of actors/characters (I guess from two different viewpoints?)

When trying to find info on these movies there are a few odd things:
1. Both movies are credited to Serdar Akar in reviews I skimmed
2. Gemide is named as sequel to Azize

This seems not in accordance to Imdb info, but Imdb is often wrong
So, I would like to know when I'm watching them (hopefully this month) which one I need to see first and what the right director credits are for the movies
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#2

Post by tirefeet »

The 1999 film is called Laleli'de Bir Azize, as seen on its poster from the time of release, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... %C5%9F.jpg. The director credits are accurate, according to English wiki both films were shot concurrently based on the story by Akar, which is titled Azize: Bir Laleli hikayesi.
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#3

Post by beavis »

That clears up some of the confusion. Thanks!

Is there a specific order to watch them in?
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#4

Post by tirefeet »

I think Gemide should be seen as the main piece and the other one is complementary if the story draws you in.
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#5

Post by beavis »

Thanks again
Maybe a final question:
How would you describe Akar? When Gemide played at the IFFR in 2009 in a Turkish sidebar (without the companion piece I notice now) the movie and director were called very influential for young Turkish cinema. Some of his subjects seem to be a bit extreme and cult. He also did Valley of the Wolves which appears both commercial and nationalistic to me... but I haven't seen anything of this yet... so it is hard for me to place him at the moment and know what to expect...
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#6

Post by tirefeet »

He may have a following due to his film work for which he wrote and directed early in his career. The TV series and the spin-off movies of those settings were hugely popular but I don't think he had prime control over them and likely had a measly input at most regarding how their stories progress.
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#7

Post by beavis »

Time for something more general
a ranking! :)

I've rated 54 feature films from Turkey on MovieMeter. Letterboxd has me on 64 for the country (they count co-productions in a different way)
There are 17 I rate 4 stars or higher on MovieMeter:

1 - Kis Uykusu (2014) - 5 - 9,5 - Winter Sleep ( ceylan )
2 - Bulanti (2015) - 4,5 - 8,5 - Nausea ( demirkubuz )
3 - Iklimler (2006) - 4,5 - 8,5 - Climates ( ceylan )
4 - Sonbahar (2009) - 4 - 8,5 - Autumn
5 - Kasaba (1997) - 4 - 8,5 - The Small Town ( ceylan )
6 - Yeralti (2012) - 4 - 8,5 - Inside ( demirkubuz )
7 - Baskin (2015) - 4 - 8,5 -
8 - Kor (2016) - 4 - 8 - Ember ( demirkubuz )
9 - Mayis Sikintisi (1999) - 4 - 8 - Clouds of May ( ceylan )
10 - Yazgi (2001) - 4 - 8 - Fate ( demirkubuz )
11 - Itiraf (2001) - 4 - 8 - The Confession ( demirkubuz )
12 - Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da (2011) - 4 - 8 - Once upon a Time in Anatolia ( ceylan )
13 - Ahlat Agaci (2018) - 4 - 8 - The Wild Pear Tree ( ceylan )
14 - Kizilirmak-Karakoyun (1967) - 4 - 8 - Red River, Black Sheep
15 - Kiz Kardeşler (2019) - 4 - 7,5 - A Tale of Three Sisters
16 - Tabutta Rovasata (1996) - 4 - 7,5 - Somersault in a Coffin
17 - Sevmek Zamani (1965) - 4 - 7,5 - Time to Love

I included both my out of 5 and out of 10 ratings
There are 6 Ceylan and 5 Demirkubuz movies!!!... so there must be more out there to discover, right?
I will make a start with that this month
hoping to check out the two movies discussed in above posts and my first films from Ömer Kavur and Pelin Esmer

I like some of the Turkish "trash" movies like Lion Man, the Tarkan films and Altar... I hope to be able to check out the Kara Murat films sometimes (or any other adventure, peplum and sword and sorcery stuff that is out there! tips welcome). But they can never compete in the rankings with art house movies

On the art house front I did like Semih Kaplanoglu's trilogy Milk, Egg and Honey very much too... but they all have 3,5 stars from me (probably 7.5 each... so I could add them to make a top 20). Grain has not been released here, but I have it on a HD somewhere... probably not going to get to that this month yet.

a lot of Turkish movies have been watched in last months Middle Eastern challenge, so curious to read more thoughts on favorites, rankings and recommendations!!
Last edited by beavis on May 1st, 2021, 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#8

Post by beavis »

Another thing I might add. My local multiplex has some interesting "world" programming for local communities. Next to Bollywood they also show Turkish and Polish movies. This is all cinema of the popular variety. I must say I have been to a few of the Turkish screenings (from the looks of it being the only non Turkish person in a packed room each time) and these movies are some of the worse I've ever seen. Turkish comedy is very broad and Turkish action is very nationalistic, there was nothing for me to enjoy in those. I don't usually like negativity in threads... but these were in their own way very memorable experiences, so I wanted to share anyway.

A.R.O.G (2008) 1.5/5
Süper Ajan K9 (2008) 1.5/5
Çanakkale 1915 (2012) 0.5/5

That one must have been the last one I went to ;)
I guess Netflix has now also jumped in to fill these gaps in the market, for home viewing, but I hesitate to go back to the popular variety of Turkish cinema for obvious reasons...
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#9

Post by tirefeet »

5 Demirkubuz movies
What about Masumiyet, "Innocence"? The only one I saw from him and generally regarded as his best. If you haven't seen it yet and think highly of his work, you might be in for a treat.
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#10

Post by beavis »

tirefeet wrote: May 1st, 2021, 8:02 pm
5 Demirkubuz movies
What about Masumiyet, "Innocence"? The only one I saw from him and generally regarded as his best. If you haven't seen it yet and think highly of his work, you might be in for a treat.
I did see that one too, only a 7 for me I'm afraid...
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#11

Post by cinewest »

I haven’t seen much Turkish cinema- maybe fewer than 20 in total (film movement offers a couple) but I like what I have seen, including the top 5 and few others on your list.

My two personal favorites would be Once Upon A Time in Anatolia, which was pure magic for me at the cinema, and my favorite from Ceylan (who is one of my favorite contemporary filmmakers), and Yol (Yilmaz Guney, 1982), which is considered a seminal work in Turkish cinema, and seemed to be quite influential on the Iranian wave of cinema that followed.

I have noticed that IMDb seems to have a lot of Turkish (and Indian) users who have stuffed the ballot box, so to speak, and thereby inflated the scores of quite a few movies from those two countries (I might say the same about contemporary American stuff).

I actually put a few of those on my to see list, but as they are not easy for me to find , and I have other priorities, I’m not sure I’ll ever get to them.

I can list these “popular titles” for you if you would like, and am looking forward to further comments from others who might have delved into Turkish cinema.
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#12

Post by beavis »

Yeah Yol, got the Palme d'or which got it a lot of distribution (cinema, vhs and later re-release on dvd here in the Netherlands). And Guney is an important name for Turkish cinema. I still haven't seen his Umut (1970), which is number 1 on our official Turkish list btw! (but then I only gave 3 out of 5 stars to Yol way back when I saw it...). As an actor he is to be found in Kizilirmak-Karakoyun in my top17(or 20).

Besides Yol I did see https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/suru/ and https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/sey ... in+gelini/ where Guney was the director or involved in the direction, but rated them about the same as Yol, which is not that great for my taste... so his style or content might be not for me. Which is also why I don't see the link with Iranian cinema so much... besides Turkish and Persian people looking a bit similar ;)
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#13

Post by cinewest »

The link between Yol and the Iranian wave that followed soon after has to do with the mix of fiction and documentary, as well as actors and non-actors as part of “natural life cinema.’
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#14

Post by beavis »

But wasn't that already happening in Iranian cinema regardless?
This happened way before me getting into this kind of cinema, so you might be right, succes in Cannes should also not be underestimated...
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#15

Post by cinewest »

beavis wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 6:09 am But wasn't that already happening in Iranian cinema regardless?
This happened way before me getting into this kind of cinema, so you might be right, succes in Cannes should also not be underestimated...
I know that Iranian cinema always had a neorealist bent to it- real life cinema, some times using non-actors, but Yol fused real life and fiction in a way that seemed to foreshadow Kiarostami and Makmahlbaf, and in the case of the latter, politics and prison are part of the subtext.
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#16

Post by Fergenaprido »

I'm a sucker for a ranking.

I've seen far fewer Turkish films than you, Beavis, so I'll list all of them (so you also know which ones to avoid :P ). Quite possibly, though, you've seen all the ones I've seen. Here's my baker's dozen:
7.8 - Babam ve Oğlum [My Father and My Son] (2005) dir. Çağan Irmak
7.6 - Sivas (2014) dir. Kaan Müjdeci

7.4 - Vizontele [Visiontele] (2001) dir. Yılmaz Erdoğan & Ömer Faruk Sorak
7.4 - Tepenin Ardı [Beyond the Hill] (2012) dir. Emin Alper
7.2 - Tabutta Rövaşata [Somersault in a Coffin] (1996) dir. Derviş Zaim
7.0 - Eşkıya [The Bandit] (1996) dir. Yavuz Turgul

6.4 - Hudutların Kanunu [Law of the Border] (1966) dir. Lütfi Akad
6.2 - Hayat Var [My Only Sunshine] (2008) dir. Reha Erdem
6.0 - 3 Yol [Crossroads] (2013) dir. Faysal Soysal
5.8 - Seyyit Han - Toprağın Gelini [Seyyit Han - Bride of the Earth] (1968) dir. Yılmaz Güney
5.6 - Habababam Sınıfı [The Outrageous Class] (1975) dir. Ertem Eğilmez

4.4 - Bulantı [Nausea] (2015) dir. Zeki Demirkubuz
4.4 - G.O.R.A. (2004) - dir Ömer Faruk Sorak


I haven't had much luck with Turkish cinema, both the popular and the arthouse kind. The first two films are near the end of my favourites list, but I may drop them in the coming years. The next few were decent, but nothing special to me. Turkey is one of my most underseen countries (relative to output), so there's plenty more for me to explore. I keep meaning to watch a Ceylan film, but the length of his films generally put me off. Some of his earlier ones are shorter, though, so I'll likely catch one or two of them this year. Aside from him (and Yol and Bal), there's not much I'm eager to see, though I'll keep pushing myself to try more.

Also, you watched G.O.R.A. and still decided to see A.R.O.G.? Or did you not realize it was a sequel until it was too late?
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#17

Post by beavis »

Fergenaprido wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 1:24 am I've seen far fewer Turkish films than you, Beavis,
This topic is not about me, but about Turkish cinema. I don't care much about the quantity someone has seen, as long as there is something to say on interesting movies
Fergenaprido wrote: May 3rd, 2021, 1:24 am Also, you watched G.O.R.A. and still decided to see A.R.O.G.? Or did you not realize it was a sequel until it was too late?
I haven't seen G.O.R.A., so either I didn't know (which doesn't sound like me) or I decided it didn't matter much with this kind of film and I didn't want to skip the opportunity to watch a popular Turkish film in the cinema (this was my first time and I remember expecting to really like it... so that's probably it).


I am not certain if you'll like Ceylan's cinema... but you might. Kasaba (1997) would be my savest bet for you, or, if you like Chekhov, you could try my favorite (and golden palm winner) Kis Uykusu (2014). Another recommendation for you, although I didn't really like it much myself..., could be https://www.icheckmovies.com/movies/mustang-2015/

I haven't seen Sivas yet, but it was already "on my radar", going to bump it a few places up on my watchlists ;)
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#18

Post by Fergenaprido »

Oh, I know the topic wasn't about you, but I mentioned that because I was listing all my seen films, not just my top X like you did. :)

And yeah, you can skip G.O.R.A. It's abysmal. I know I rated it the same as a film you really like, but they're two different types of bad to me. Here's what I wrote about Nausea when I saw it for the World Cup (summary: bored and irritated by it). G.O.R.A., on the other hand, was just a shit show. Unfunny comedy that was utterly ridiculous, with few bright spots.

I caught Sivas on Mubi a while back; I don't think it's there anymore though (at least not for me).

I don't think I've ever read anything by Chekhov, and looking at his filmography on imdb the only adaptation of his I've seen is Paviljon VI (1978)), apparently. I did not like that one. Still, I think even if Ceylan is hit and miss with me, I'll still get around to watching a bunch of his films.
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#19

Post by Ivan0716 »

Not seen a lot, but liked almost everything.


Winter Sleep 2014 ★★★★★
Climates 2006 ★★★★½
Time to Love 1965 ★★★★½
Mustang 2015 ★★★★½
My Only Sunshine 2008 ★★★★
The Wild Pear Tree 2018 ★★★★
My Prostitute Love 1968 ★★★½
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia 2011 ★★★½
Three Monkeys 2008 ★★★½
The Herd 1979 ★★★½
Dry Summer 1963 ★★★½
Distant 2002 ★★★
Kosmos 2009 ★★★
The Small Town 1997 ★★★
Inside 2012 ★★★
Thou Gild’st the Even 2013 ★★½
Law of the Border 1966 ★★
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#20

Post by outdoorcats »

I second the love for Mustang and raise it by half. It's just outside my top 10 of the decade and an all-time favorite. As well as one of the best experiences I've had in a theater. I never felt it got a fraction of the praise/acclaim it deserved - perhaps it is too "mainstream" for the subtitles crowd. If the recent trend at the Oscars of regularly nominating one or two foreign films in major categories (Best Director/Screenplay) had started just a few years earlier, this easily would have been one of those films.

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#21

Post by Fergenaprido »

I think Mustang got a fair bit of praise... it was nominated for Best Foreign Film, after all. Plus, nominating foreign films for major categories isn't a new thing at all; just three years before Mustang, Amour was nominated in both those categories, among others.
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#22

Post by outdoorcats »

Yes, I'm aware, but that was a big deal back then because it was so rare. It's seemingly become a regular thing every year now (Cold War, Roma, Pain and Glory, Parasite, Another Round). IIRC, you'd have to go back to the '70s to see foreign films nominated in high places this consistently (from 1972 to 1976 for example, at least one foreign film was nominated for Best Director every year).

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