Saturday, September 01, 2007

Zeki Demirkubuz at Walter Reade Theater

Mental Minefields: The Dark Tales of Zeki Demirkubuz | September 19 – 24, 2007

This series contains seven of Zeki Demirkubuz’s feature films, including the “Tales of Darkness” trilogy (Fate, Confession and The Waiting Room) that for many constitutes the core of his achievement. On Saturday, September 22, at 3pm in the Walter Reade Theater there will be an onstage discussion on director Zeki Demirkubuz and Turkish cinema. This panel discussion is free with the purchase of a ticket to any film in the Mental Minefields series.

Walter Reade Theater

Block-C / C Blok Turkey, 1994; 90m |Wed Sep 19: 9:00 | Sat Sep 22: 1:00
Confession / Itiraf Turkey, 2001; 100m|Wed Sep 19: 6:30 | Sat Sep 22: 7:00
Destiny / Kader Turkey/Greece, 2006; 103m NY Premiere |Fri Sep 21: 6:15 | Sun Sep 23: 8:15
Fate / Yazgi Turkey, 2001; 119m |Fri Sep 21: 8:45 | Sun Sep 23: 3:00
Innocence / Masumiyet Turkey, 1997; 105m |Sat Sep 22: 4:45 |Mon Sep 24: 8:00
The Third Page / Üçüncü Sayfa Turkey, 1999; 92m |Sun Sep 23: 1:00 | Mon Sep 24: 6:00
The Waiting Room / Bekleme Odasi Turkey, 2003; 88m |Sat Sep 22: 9:15 | Sun Sep 23: 6:00

Traditionally, film critics have made a sharp distinction between a cinema of cold, hard reality and a cinema of an interior, mental world inflected by fantasy and invention—the Lumière brothers and Méliès as the perpetually warring fathers of the medium. Zeki Demirkubuz is one of the contemporary filmmakers who most makes a lie of that hollow distinction. Together with Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Yesim Ustaoglu and a handful of others, Demirkubuz has been leading a revolution in Turkish cinema for the past decade. Born in Isparta in 1964, he was politically engaged at an early age, even spending a term in jail during the end of his teenage years.

After studies at Istanbul University, he came to the cinema as an assistant to director Zeki Okten, who he has often credited as his mentor. Demirkubuz established a strong, personal style right from his debut feature, Block-C. A powerful exploration of a woman whose marriage is falling apart, the film moves freely between the perceptual world and the world of the woman’s fears and desires. The cool look of the modern apartment complex where the film is set makes an effective counterpoint to the emotions raging beneath his character’s seemingly placid surface.

The burden of realism, especially for non-Western filmmakers, is often so strong that characters are reduced to social archetypes and understood as products or reflections of their environments. Demirkubuz’s characters could never be seen as such. His protagonists all have astonishingly rich, varied and at times frightening personal psychologies, yet one never feels that their inner worlds are completely divorced from the external circumstances of their lives––or even their experiences in reality.

The series is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, ArteEast and the Moon and Stars Project in collaboration with Altyazi. Mental Minefields: The Dark Tales of Zeki Demirkubuz has been made possible by generous grants from Turkish Cultural Foundation and the American Turkish Society. Additional support has been provided by Turkish Kitchen, FedEx Turkey, Ramerica International, Inc. and Turkish Culture and Tourism Office.

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