Monday, March 30, 2009

MY CRETAN LEMON TREE by Tahsin İşbilen

Benim Giritli limon ağacım
Seni nerelere dikeyim
Dikeyim, dikeyim
Seni kalbime dikeyim

Official Web Site
Türkei 2007 | 56 Min
Camera: Tahsin Isbilen Director: Tahsin Isbilen Editor: Tahsin Isbilen, Ebru AK Producer: Isin Turgut Score: Musfik Turgut Screenplay: Serkan Cabi

The story is about two immigrant women; Yurdanur and Malvina. Malvina's parents exchanged from Alacati, Izmir and settled on land of exchanged Turks in Heraklion-Crete. And Yurdanur's parents exchanged from Heraklion- Crete and settled on land of exchanged Greek in Izmir.
Yurdanur is in her 60's and she belongs to the second generation of a Cretan exchanged family. In all spheres of her life there lies the evidence of a Cretan culture. For instance, she mainly cooks Cretan dishes. If she is in a happy mood, she still sings Cretan songs in Greek.And she attends to the club of Cretans. They are talking about their native land in Cretan which is not visited so far. Malvina is same ages and her family was exchanged from Izmir (Smyrna)-Alacati. She has grown up with the stories about the Asia Minor. She does not know Turkish, and has been in Izmir for several times. They have established The Heraklion Alacati Association in 1982. She also attends to a club where she sings her ancestry land's songs. The construction of the film is formed by these two characters and the stories are told by the songs belonging to the other side. The main concern, traced in the second, third and forth generations is the appreciation of the current situation.The relationships between the forth generation and their parents are the tense points in the film. Though being in Crete seems unimportant for the children, in fact they live under the dominance of Cretan culture in certain aspects.

[In Greek and Turkish, with Greek and Turkish subtitles]

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sonbahar at New Directors/New Films 2009

Autumn / Sonbahar
Series: New Directors/New Films 2009
Director: Özcan Alper, Country: Germany/Turkey, Release: 2008, Runtime: 99

This stunning elegy to lost youth and lost ideals follows Yusuf, just released from prison and headed to the majestic mountains of the eastern Black Sea region where he grew up. Without any friends or community left from his politically involved youth spent in the big city, he moves back into his mother’s small shack on the mountainside and tries to reconnect to the landscape of his childhood.

Sick and dispirited yet eager to believe in the possibilities of the future, he forges a tentative bond with a young local boy and an emotionally powerful connection with another outsider, a Georgian prostitute whose life is also waylaid by the shattered dreams of Socialist utopia. Özcan Alper’s debut is a powerfully realized inner journey that evinces an especially profound talent for the lyrical use of landscape to express belief in the human spirit.

Alper's Sonbahar at New Directors/New Films program

Film Festival: The City as Bane, Nature as Balm By A. O. SCOTT
Published: March 26, 2009

As usual the New Directors/New Films program, a joint presentation of the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center that runs through April 5, is a hotbed of stories: a few of them predictable, some of them elusive, many of them sad. But what might resonate longest in the mind, sampling this international gathering of first and second features, are not narratives but landscapes.

The plot of Ozcan Alper’s “Autumn,” [1] for example, might be described as a shard of Chekhov translated into Turkish. A former student radical, after serving time as a political prisoner, returns home to his village on the Black Sea coast of northern Turkey. In the nearby town he develops a wary, stricken infatuation with a prostitute from across the border in Georgia, who seems to return his interest with equal wariness. But their romance, if you can call it that, is framed, indeed overwhelmed, by the dour grandeur of the forested mountains, the crashing of the surf and the silence of the snow.

It’s not that the sublimity of the scenery distracts from the psychology of the characters, exactly. But the use of the natural world to bring a sense of unspoken meaning to their actions is the most interesting aspect of “Autumn.” The film’s themes of regret, spent passion and misdirected desire show the influence of Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey’s ambassador to the international festival circuit, but its creative energy resides in the way it captures nature.

Directed by: Ozcan Alpher
Cast: Nini Levaja, Serkan Keskin, Gulefer Yenigul

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Review Summary

When he was a student in Instanbul in the 1990s, Yusuf was sent to prison for political activism in the fight for democracy. Ten years later, he is released on the grounds of ill health and goes straight to his village, in the remote heights above the Black Sea, where the only person he finds is his sick mother. His father died during his imprisonment, and his eldest sister married and moved away. Apart from his childhood friend Mikhail, Yusuf is the only young man in the village. Economic problems have driven all the others into urban areas. One evening the two friends go to a bar in the nearest town and meet a Georgian prostitute, Eka, with whom Yusuf falls in love. The young man clings to this woman as his only hope. But for Eka, Yusuf is more like a character in one of the Russian novels she likes to read, a man from another world and another era. Ultimately, their relationship proves to be impossible.

Movie Details
Title: Autumn
Running Time: 101 Minutes
Status: Released
Country: Germany, Turkey
Genre: Drama, Foreign

Friday, March 20, 2009

7th Annual Turkish Film Week in Berlin

7th Annual Turkish Film Week in Berlin | 7. Türkischen Filmwoche Berlin

(March 26-April 4, 2009, various cinemas, Berlin)
A wide range of the latest feature films and documentaries from Turkey will be screened at the 7th Turkish Film Week in Berlin. The programme will showcase current trends, themes and developments shaping Turkey's film landscape. For more information, please visit

''Sonbahar'', ''Pazar'', Gitmek - My Marlon ve Brando'', ''Issız Adam'', ''Üç Maymun'', ''Havar'', ''Dilber'in sekiz günü'', ''Nokta'', ''Ara'', ''Devrim Arabaları'', ''Sıcak'', ''Hayat var'', ''Yaşam Arsızı'' ve ''Evet, ich will''.

During the week MEDIA Antenne and Medienboard are organizing a get-together for producers from Germany and Turkey to commemorate the 20-year city partnership between Berlin and Istanbul and to mark the launch of the 7th Turkish Film Week in Berlin. By invitation only. For more information, please visit

German-Turkish Delight: The First
German-Turkish Coproduction Meeting
(March 25-26, 2009, Brandenburg State Representative Building, Berlin)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Three Monkeys in US

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's new film THREE MONKEYS won the Best Director prize at Cannes and has preview dates at the University of Richmond 3/20-3/22 in advance of its openings in LA (3/27) and NYC (5/1).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

2009 Yesilcam Awards

Yeşilçam Awards for the year 2009 have been given in İstanbul with a ceremony. The award ceremony was organized in collaboration with the Beyoğlu Municipality and the Turkish Foundation of Cinema and Audiovisual Culture. The Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertuğrul Günay, veteran artists including İzzet Günay, Perihan Savaş, Hülya Koçyiğit, Nebahat Çehre and Selda Alkor as well as many people from the business and media circles attended the ceremony.

"Although it is a very new tradition, the Yeşilçam Awards garner great interest. I dream that this tradition will turn into an international one," said Günay at the opening of the ceremony. He said Istanbul and Turkey were very suitable locations for this dream. "The winners are determined by a large jury. The recent developments in Turkish cinema offer hope for the industry’s future. It now has a respected place in world cinema."

This year’s Yeşilçam Award winners were determined by a 1,500-person jury, which included names from business, culture and media circles.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Three Monkeys” has put its stamp on the award ceremony which was held Tuesday evening. “Three Monkeys” has been awarded in “Best Film”, “Best Director”, and “Best Story” categories. Hatice Arslan got the “Best Actress” prize with her performance in “Three Monkeys.” Onur Saylak received “Best Actor” prize with his role in the film titled “Autumn.”

Best Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Best Male Actor: Onur Saylak / Sonbahar
Best Female Actor: Hatice Aslan / Üç Maymun
Best Supporting Male Actor: Altan Erkekli / O... Çocukları
Best Supporting Female Actor: Yıldız Kültür / Issız Adam
Turkcell First Film Award: Özcan Alper / Sonbahar
Best Screenplay: Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan ve Ercan Kesal / Üç Maymun
Best Film Music: Aria Müzik / Issız Adam
Besy Cinematography: Gökhan Tiryaki / Üç Maymun
Digiturk Young Talent Award: Ahmet Rıfat Şungar / Üç Maymun
Best Film: Üç Maymun / Nuri Bilge Ceylan