Metin Erksan – Intikam Melegi – Kadin Hamlet AKA The Angel of Vengeance – The Female Hamlet (1977)

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Hamlet is now female and so are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Instead of taking place in England, this version takes at the beach where everyone plays volleyball in bikinis. An expressionist and surrealist adaptation of Hamlet from director Metin Erksan. Continue reading

Metin Erksan & David E. Durston – Susuz Yaz AKA Dry Summer (1964)

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Winner of the prestigious Golden Bear at the 1964 Berlin International Film Festival, Metin Erksan’s wallop of a melodrama follows the machinations of an unrepentantly selfish tobacco farmer who builds a dam to prevent water from flowing downhill to his neighbors’ crops. Alongside this tale of soul-devouring competition is one of overheated desire, as a love triangle develops between the farmer, his more decent brother, and the beautiful villager the latter takes as his bride. A benchmark of Turkish cinema, this is a visceral, innovatively shot and vibrantly acted depiction of the horrors of greed.

Excerpt from Criterion
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Metin Erksan – Sevmek zamani aka Time To Love (1965)

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An obscure gem, a hidden treasure to international cinema lovers; “Sevmek Zamani” is one of the best movies in Turkish cinema history. This cult film still remains as a cinematic enigma for the new generation in Turkey. Praised for its B&W cinematograhpy and regarded as a masterpiece, film follows the aesthetic tradition of Antoninoni. Also resembles some of Bela Tarr’s works with its visual sensibility; “Sevmek Zamani” is an eclectic mixture of modernist themes (i.e. individual loneliness), metaphysics (the fight of good vs evil), and notions of Marxism like director’s some other works. Metin Erksan is one of the first Turkish filmmakers who saw cinema as an art form apart from a mass entertaining medium.
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Metin Erksan – Yilanlarin öcü AKA Revenge of the Snakes (1962)

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Imdb:
An early realist classic from Turkey
15 December 2004 | by Tilly Gokbudak (Roanoke, Va.)

This is one of several Turkish films I have chosen to examine for a college thesis on Turkish cinema. I found a copy of it by chance from a CD store in the Aksaray part of Istanbul, the last time I was in Turkey. This is quite a film. The Revenge of the Snakes is a definitive precursor to the films of Yilmaz Guney, Zeki Okten, Ali Ozgenturk, and Serif Goren. It is a simple tale of a young couple and their little boy trying to live a suitable life in a small Anatolian village. This is a multi-layered film in which the antagonists include the mother in law, the new neighbors- with whom there is a serious land dispute, the town chiefs, and government officials who are oblivious to the needs and concerns of the average person. The snake is a symbol for the incoming troubles that will haunt the couple. The lead actor Fikret Hakan and the whole cast is brilliant. If you like Turkish films, this is one to see. It is perhaps as relevant to Turkish cinema as Rosellini’s “Open City” is to Italian cinema. Continue reading