I am in the process of planning my first trip to Turkey, hoping to travel in late January for a series of exploratory meetings to gain a better understanding of digital marketing opportunities, consumer personal computer preferences, new media, and social networking. To prepare myself I’ve been brushing up on everything from Byzantine history to contemporary Turkish cinema.
I’ve posted in the past about The Auteurs, a stunning site devoted to cinema, particularly so-called “art film” which I’ve been diving into over the past three years as a winter/travel diversion. Starting with the 50 disc collection of the Essential Art House by Criterion, The Auteurs is an awesome continuation and melding of social networking with streaming cinema, discussion forums, reviews, and external notification integration with Twitter and Facebook.
Last week, while in Raleigh, I took advantage of a free stream on the Auteurs of the 1964 black and white Turkish film, Dry Summer,(Susuz Yaz) (watch for free) which won a prestigious award in Germany that same year. A simple story of water rights, greed, fraternal jealousies, and lust gone wrong, the film was a nice way to spend an evening while lounging in a desk chair at the Courtyard Marriot Suites. When I returned home I started to dig a little deeper and plugged my ThinkPad into my big Panasonic plasma screen with a male-to-male VGA cable. I dug a little deeper into The Auteur’s archives and paid $5 to stream Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Climate.
Ceylan, who is about my age, is a former electrical engineering major who studied photography and released his first short film in the mid-1990s. Climate (Iklimer), his second feature length film, star himself and his photographer wife Ebru Ceylan. Shot in HD it is a gorgeous film shot with a photographer’s eye, but a true art film in the sense that the shots dwell and linger, turning inconsequential objects and sounds into significant ones by lingering for a long time on the found art that surrounds us.
I noted my thoughts on the film on The Auteurs and without really being conscious of it, that review and my professed crush on the landscape of Turkey and Ebru Ceylan were automatically posted onto Twitter. Later in the day, when picking through my email, a Twitter follower announcement jumped out at me: Nuri Bilge Ceylan was following me.
Cool, this is how social networking works. I post. He detects. He pings. All this online socializing is good for some global connection making. A little later in the day I received a direct message: “Mr. Churbuck, you make me happy to promote my film.” To which I replied: “Thanks for making it.”
Anyway. I watched another NBC film last night, Uzak, and it also made a great impact. This Ceylan guy makes great great films.
Update: I started a list of Turkish films on the Auteurs.