Volume 14, Number 22
April 1, 2008

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This Week

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From the Gallery of My Mind

alev değimAkbank Short Film Festival

The 4th Akbank Short Film Festival has been traveling to universities throughout the country, and last Wednesday, it made a stop at our campus. This enjoyable and educating event showcased young filmmakers and their passion towards cinema.

One of the films that struck me was the documentary "I Would Have Committed Suicide," which is based on the life of Ahmet Uluçay, the famous director of Karpuz Kabuğundan Gemiler Yapmak. He won the Best Film award at the İstanbul International Film Festival, the Special Jury Award at the 52nd San Sebastian Film Festival, and the Best Film Award at the 26th Montpellier Film Festival. Besides the striking story, the visual composition of the film was very impressive. The close ups of Ahmet Uluçay, combined with still pictures, created a very stunning final product. Of course, the element that ultimately makes a good story is its ability to influence an audience into identifying with, appreciating, and understanding the character(s). In this, "I Would Have Committed Suicide" was a success, and thus backs the ideas of famed Frankfurt School theoreticians, Theodor Adorno and Horkhemeier, in their article "Culture Industry." The authors claim that a character is successful when he or she is seen as one of us. Ahmet Uluçay came across as one of us.

"Camgöz" was another interesting film, blending a detective and a vampire story. Although the dialogue was seen as being riddled with clichés by most of the people I spoke to, I found that the visuals were strong, and helped compensate for this weakness. I don't really understand why it seems that people often laugh at Turkish vampire stories, while they adore foreign ones, like Angel. Frankly, I don't see much of a difference between the two.

What this festival showed was that there is a lot of fabulous work being done by upcoming directors that deserves to be seen. This was a wonderful opportunity for students across Turkey to take in some great shorts that otherwise may have gone unnoticed.

I fair you well for now…

Alev Değim (COMD/III)

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