Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fog and Night (2007) by Turgut Yasalar

Sis ve Gece/Fog and Night (Official Site)
Written and Directed by: Turgut Yasalar based on the novel
'Sis ve Gece" by Ahmet Ümit
Cast: Uğur Polat (Member of Secret Service), Selma Ergeç (Mine), Ayten Uncuoğlu (Madam Eleni), Sara Meriç Cinbarcı (Maria), Ümit Çırak (Şeref), Tardu Flordun (Piç Neco), İlyas Salman (Cuma), Devrim Nas (Sinan), Yetkin Dikinciler (Fahri)
Released in Turkey on February 23, 2007

What happens to someone lost in İstanbul?
“Sis ve Gece” (Fog and Night) was written by Ahmet Ümit in 1996 and is now on the silver screen directed by Turgut Yasalar.

Turgut Yasalar (b. bursa 1956- ) Filmography (as director)
Sis ve Gece 2006
Nisan Yağmuru 2001
Koltuk Sevdası 2001
Can Dostum 1999
Leoparın Kuyruğu 1998
Çılgın Bediş 1996

The work targets the subconscious mind rather than consciousness. It is about secret agent Sedat’s complicated state of mind indeed. Sedat’s co-worker and close friend Yıldırım, after years of going nowhere, was killed on the job. Sedat believed it was the department that did it. Sedat was like that too; “operation warden” he calls himself. He observed while his friends risked their lives, and apart from that, he did some paper work and that was all. Neither his marriage nor his two lovely daughters can ease his pain because he is unable to do his job as required. Well, the young painter Mine maybe? Yes, for a while. But her sudden disappearance one day will undoubtedly push him deeper into depression.

Sedat takes many detours during his search for Mine. These stopovers vary from being betrayed by his own department to traps by foreign secret services, from Mine’s young lover to the organization’s infighting. Every door he knocked on would first open wide and then slam shut in his face. With Sedat, we seek answers to the question, “What can happen if someone gets lost in İstanbul?”
In her absence, Mine remains alive in Sedat’s dreams. In his dreams, Sedat consults his dead friend Yıldırım about everything, consuming his thoughts during the day. These devices direct the viewer to come and go between the conscious and subconscious. Meanwhile, we start to think that maybe the sleep state is more real than the awake state. It is also the state of mind of a whole community that is personified in Sedat: memory fluctuating between emotions and logic while the loss and sorrow are still fresh, being unable to see the remedy that is maybe just nearby, directing itself to the answers that it wants to believe.

Turgut Yasalar successfully managed to handle this well established, zigzag, and - with the weight of Ahmet Ümit - scary job. The director makes the viewers feel like strangers by avoiding the adaptation of the story to date and elicits great performances from a cast of various generations. Secret agent Sedat (Uğur Polat), his young painter lover Mine (Selma Ergeç), Mine’s neighbour Madame Eleni (Ayten Uncuoğlu) and her mentally disabled daughter Maria (Sara Meriç Cinbarcı), sharp lad Şeref (Ümit Çırak) trying to rob Madame, child traficker Piç Neco (Tardu Flordun), murderer of his father and wife Cuma (İlyas Salman), leftist second hand book-seller Sinan (Devrim Nas), leftist poet Fahri (Yetkin Dikinciler), hero of the intelligence service Yıldırım (Mehmet Güleryüz), Yıldırım’s wife Gülseren (Sema Çeyrekbaşı) who keeps questioning his death, Naci (Oktay Kaynarca) facing accusations of extrajudicial killings, Sedat’s wife Melike (Tülay Günal) waiting patiently although she is aware of everything, Mine’s mother Selma (Itır Esen) and alcoholic Metin (Savaş Akova) working as a private security guard in Germany’s coal mines, İsmet (Kemal Bekir) representing the pro-status quo in the secret service, Orhan (Levent Yılmaz) man of every era within the secret service and Sedat’s assistant Mustafa (Sinan Albayrak) who applied for the position after a newspaper ad altogether perform a parade of actors and actresses. Moreover, the roles of each of them - except for Polat - are really short! Especially the roles of Tardu Flordun ve Yetkin Dikinciler!
If you are excited to walk through the labyrinths of your mind and of Istanbul, you must see Sis ve Gece…

‘Sis ve Gece’ debuts

The Turkish film “Sis ve Gece” (Fog and Night), directed by Turgut Yasalar, who also adapted the novel to the screen, premiered Tuesday night at the Emek Cinema in Beyoğlu, the Anatolia news agency reported. Speaking to reporters at the debut, Yasalar said: “Although ‘Sis ve Gece’ is the first of Ahmet Ümit’s novels, it was a best-seller. I decided to adapt it for the screen because it contains absolutely everything that a detective story should. I fell in love with the novel.”
Author Ümit said at the premiere: “Making this film became a pleasant memory in my life. I was thrilled. Previously, some of my novels were adapted to the small screen, but this is the first time one of them has been adapted for film.” Uğur Polat, one of the protagonists in the film, stated that the actors gave their all during the shoot, adding: “I bet people who have read the novel will be satisfied by the film. I had the opportunity to work with the best actors and actresses in Turkey on this film; I’m very lucky.” The debut was attended by the stars of the film along with a multitude of invitees. “Sis ve Gece” will debut in cinemas across Turkey on Feb 23.


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