Remake, Remix, Ripoff – About Copy-Culture and turkish Pop-Cinema

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Derzeit in der ZDF-Mediathek: Cem Kayas Doku Remake, Remix, Ripoff – About Copy-Culture and turkish Pop-Cinema über das Turksploitation-Kino (zum Beispiel das türkische Star Wars-Ripoff Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam, hier in voller Länge auf Youtube und vor ein paar Tagen erst auf Zelluloid wiederentdeckt, oder Badi, den E.T.-Ripoff, ebenfalls hier komplett auf Youtube zu sehen). Vor tausend Jahren hatte ich auch mal ein Blog voller türkischer Filmposter verlinkt.

Cem Kayas Doku über das alles habe ich mir noch nicht angesehen, wird aber asap nachgeholt, Snip von der Website zum Film:

cemportraitinterview01Turkey in the 1960s and 1970s was one of the biggest producers of film in the world. TV only slowly became a commodity in Turkish living rooms since the mid 70s, so cinema together with radio was the only mass media everyone could afford. Big open air cinemas all over the country showed several movies in a row and going to the cinema with the family had always something of a picnic.

The Turkish film industry “Yeşilçam” on the other hand, was both financially and structurally weak. There were no film schools, no laboratories for film negative development, the equipment was old and beaten up, the films were exposed to a harsh censorship board and working conditions were adventurous and often deadly. Last but not least Turkish movies - in comparison to their European and American counterparts - were lacking the high gloss and polished imagery, something Yeşilçam just couldn`t produce.

With only a handful of screenwriters and directors, that had to cater to an always hungry domestic market, Yeşilçam strictly following the laws of profit tried to satisfy the demand by repeating the same pattern over and over. The story of the poor boy and the wealthy girl, of the brothers, separated at birth or the farmers boy coming to the big city where a staple in Yeşilçam. Soon screenwriters had told the same story in a hundred ways and were hitting a dead end. But they had something up their sleeves…

With the help of basically non-existing copyright law, Yeşilçam filmmakers started producing remakes of European, American and Indian movies. But they not simply remade the movies scene by scene, they were using the movies’ soundtracks or even special effects scenes, if recreating them wasn`t an option in lack of budget. In doing that, those filmmakers became the forefathers of todays patchworking and sampling.

Of course they adapted plots and characters to the taste of the Turkish audience. What they lacked in equipment and budget they compensated through excessive use of manpower both behind and in front of the camera: If Luke Skywalker hits one time, Turkish action hero Cüneyt Arkın hits a hundred times - and we know, he means it!

In its 100 years of existence Turkish cinema produced more than 7000 movies (the exact number is unknown): Next to a handful of auteur films and comedies, they were mostly homegrown superhero movies, pseudo-historical Sandalenfilme, Egyptian style melodramas, Turkish giallos, Anatolian westerns, sexy comedies and finally hardcore porn.

Sometimes bizarre versions of Superman, Zorro, Tarzan, Dracula, James Bond, Flash Gordon, Rambo, E.T and Star Wars, but also adaptions of movies like William Friedkin’s The Exorcist, Sam Peckinpah's The Strawdogs or Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot, which is a remake itself.

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