Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Renaissance in Turkish films?

The signs may be pointing towards 'yes', but more info needs to be collected. Turkish filmmaking in the past has been known more for making knock offs of U.S. films, but some films that have come out of Turkey lately have been anything but derivative.

I'm thinking particularly of two films: Gen ("Gene") and Takva ("A Man's fear of God"). Gen is a horror movie set in an insane asylum while Takva is a dramatic film about a religious man who has a crisis of faith after being tasked with collecting rents for a Bektashi seminary house. Despite being different story wise they're extremely similar in terms of the cinematography and editing style that are used. Both are ultra-modern, slick, polished, and smart. Both present an image of Turkish society that has both traditional and modern elements, although Gen of necessity focusses less on it. Both are worth seeing. Hopefully this trend will continue since the different strands in Turkish society make it a unique place with a potentially unique voice.

I was going to recommend a third film, one about a killer who severed people's legs, but t disappointed me. Instead of living up to regular standards it turned out to be a cheap B movie.

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