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Timeless Movies

 

11-13 May 2017

Istanbul Modern Cinema presents a program titled Timeless Movies, comprising a broad selection ranging from unforgettable classics of the Yeşilçam era to award-winning films from Turkey. The program gathers the existing wealth of cinema in Turkey, from all-time classics and productions that have become cult movies over time, to hidden treasures that were neglected or ignored, as well as award-winning contemporary films. 

TALK

NOSTALGIA AND MELODRAMA IN YEŞİLÇAM

Thursday, May 11, 19.00

GUESTS:  Academician Umut Tümay Arslan, Serpil Kırel

MODERATOR: Yeşim Tabak

 

NEW QUESTS IN TURKISH CINEMA

Saturday, May 13, 17.30

GUESTS: Director Yüksel Aksu, Nesimi Yetik, Mustafa Kara

MODERATOR: Barış Saydam

 

3 FRIENDS, 1958

Turkey | 35mm, Black & White, 88’ |Turkish

Director:Memduh Ün

Cast:Muhterem Nur, Fikret Hakan, Salih Tozan

 

The warm and loving story of three impoverished friends who meet a blind girl one night and their efforts to make her happy. Murat, Mıstık and Artin live in an abandoned old mansion and strive to make a living by doing mundane street work. One night, the three friends come upon a blind girl named Gül who works as a hawker and lives on the streets. They take her to their mansion as their guest and make her believe that they are very rich. From then on, their only goal is the happiness of Gül with whom Murat has fallen in love. A masterpiece by Memduh Ün, regarded by film critics of the time as the best Turkish movie made until then.

 

OH, BEAUTIFUL ISTANBUL, 1966

Turkey | DVD, Black & White, 97’ |Turkish

Director:Atıf Yılmaz

Cast:Sadri Alışık, Ayla Algan, Danyal Topatan

 

The story of Haşmet, an Istanbul gentleman, and Ayşe, a young working-class girl with a burning desire to move up the social ladder. A representative of a fallen era, Haşmet has sold the manor left him by his father and lives in its yard, in a shack that has a piano in it. As for Ayşe, her ignorant and sincere nature makes her a person one can easily befriend. On the one hand, the film lays bare our constantly debated values and judgments and the critique of Westernization, while on the other, it reflects the degeneration of music, the cruelty of life and how love can be our savior.

 

THOSE AWAKENING IN THE DARK, 1964

Turkey | DVD, Black & White, 114’ |Turkish

Director:Ertem Göreç

Cast:Fikret Hakan, Beklan Algan, Ayla Algan

 

Known as the first “strike film” in Turkish cinema, Those Awakening in The Dark is about the labor struggle by workers of a paint factory. Ekrem works as a welder in the factory. His best friend Turgut is the son of the factory owner Şeref Bey. The labor union goes on strike when three of the workers who complain about working conditions are faced with dismissal. But when Şeref Bey dies unexpectedly, the strike is suspended. Turgut assumes control of the factory but the managers take advantage of his inexperience. When there is not much change in working conditions, the workers go on strike again. They face many obstacles as they claim their rights.

 

THE DARK WORLD, 1952

Turkey | DVD, Black & White, 60’ |Turkish

Director:Metin Erksan

Cast:Aşık Veysel Şatıroğlu, Ayfer Feray, Kemal Bekir

 

In addition to being the debut film of veteran director Metin Erksan, The Dark World is also considered as the first realistic rural drama. The film gives an account of the life of the bard Âşık Veysel. Smallpox ravages the village of Sivrialan in the province of Sivas, taking the lives of many children and costing seven-year-old Veysel his eyes. One day his father brings him a saz that will eventually become his companion. Over time, Veysel grows into a young man, marries and has a child. Due to unexpected developments in his marital life, he is left alone with his saz and a little baby in his arms. Later, his name will spread throughout the entire country as Âşık Veysel. Scripted by Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, the film also includes a documentary sequence about the transition to a modern education and health system, as well as the transition to modern agriculture in villages.

 

DRESSES OF TIMES PAST, 1975

Turkey | DVD, Black & White, 51’ |Turkish

Director:Metin Erksan

Cast:Gül Deniz, Ümit Tokcan, Ahmet Mekin

 

Adapted for TRT from the story of the same name in Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s Abdullah Efendinin Rüyaları [The Dreams of Abdullah Efendi], the film depicts a day in the life of a young man who has given himself up to chance. As in the original story, the man’s name is not mentioned. The man is very excited because he is to meet with his lover at night. He doesn’t want to leave his room until it’s time for their rendezvous, but when his friend insists he gives in and goes out anyway. His fears come true and later that night, unfortunate coincidences follow him around. In this night where the line between dream and reality becomes blurred, he falls in love with a girl who wears dresses of times past. The girl tells him about her sick father, and the sick father calls the girl his wife. The man is confused, but he is determined to pursue the girl he loves.

 

AUTUMN, 2007

Turkey | 35mm, Color, 102’ |Turkish

Director:Özcan Alper

Cast:Onur Saylak, Megi Kobaladze, Serkan Keskin

 

This debut feature by Özcan Alper depicts the dark political atmosphere of the 1990s through the story of Yusuf, a young man who went to prison for ten years due to his involvement in political activities at university and continued his resistance during this time, engaging in the hunger strike despite his illness. When he is released, Yusuf returns to his hometown in the Eastern Black Sea region where the area’s vast expanses of nature and an unexpected love await him. Documenting recent history while also offering a critical perspective, the film won many awards at various festivals.

 

SHADOWS AND FACES, 2011

Turkey | Blu-ray, Color, 113’ | Turkish

Director:Derviş Zaim

Cast:Hazar Ergüçlü, Osman Alkaş, Popi Avraam, Settar Tanrıöğen

 

Shadows and Faces is the last installment in Derviş Zaim’s trilogy focusing on “traditional Turkish arts”, which began with Waiting for Heaven and continued with Dot. Based on true events, the film tells the coming-of-age story of a young girl who is separated from her father, a Karagöz shadow puppeteer, at the outbreak of the conflict between Turks and Greeks in 1963 in Cyprus. The background to the escape from ravaged villages to the safer city sheds light on the story of Cyprus itself.

 

HONEY, 2010

Turkey | 35mm, Color, 100’ |Turkish

Director:Semih Kaplanoğlu

Cast:Bora Altaş, Erdal Beşikçioğlu, Tülin Özen

 

The final installment of Semih Kaplanoğlu’s Yusuf trilogy, Honey had its premiere at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival where it won the Golden Bear. Returning to Yusuf’s childhood, the film follows Yusuf as an introverted child of primary school age whose father goes to the forest in search of Caucasus honey. When his father, the only person the child communicates with, does not return from the woods, he becomes even more reticent. Like his mother, he too wanders into the depths of the forest to look for his father.

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