Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wandering in the streets: Supertramp

Born in 60s, shining from 70s up to now.. Supertramp is without doubt onE of the most popular progressive rock - pop bands of the recent years. Some of their vastly popular songs are 'Breakfast in America' and 'Logical Song'.

Ok, they're not as hardcore, not as typical of progressive rock.. but still, their melancholic sound with a joyful touch of keyboard and saxophone/flute/clarinet is carried beyond the limit of ordinary thanks to the voices of Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson. The two pals have a marvellous duet towards the end of the piece called 'Rudy'.

Dougie Thompson, Hodgson, John Helliwell, Davies, Bob Siebenberg.

Their songs sound to me like a melancholic departure, a fresh start after 'everything' that happened ('Take The Long Way Home').
For them, life goes on in spite of all the break-ups. Just snap your fingers and listen to the powerful guitar solo in 'Goodbye Stranger'.

Supertramp by utku lutek on Grooveshark

See on each member's face his contribution to Supertramp's music:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cinematic Fashion (Episode 3)

Hello everyone !
Halloween just  passed, hope you enjoyed every moment of it! Before moving on, I wanted to include a horror movie in this series. I chose a movie from Roman Polanski’s Apartment Trilogy, Rosemary’s Baby. It is one of the very few horror movies that I have ever seen, because I am really terrified of horror movies and can’t get rid of the images out of my mind for the following days. The closest genre that I can support is suspense. However, I am a big fan of the Apartment Trilogy of Polanski. What about you? Do you like horror movies?

3) Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Rosemary’s Baby is probably one of the scariest movies that has ever been made. In 1967, the writer Ira Levin found the inspiration from his wife’s pregnancy and wrote Rosemary’s Baby. The movie's plot is written and directed by Roman Polanski based on this novel. Three of Polanski's movies which are about the horrors dwelling in an apartment, are known as the Apartment Triology; and Rosemary's Baby is the second of them (the other two are Repulsion (1965) and The Tenant (1976)).

Rosemary’s Baby starts with a couple, Rosemary (Mia Farrow) and Guy (John Cassavetes), looking for an apartment to rent.  When the couple finds the right apartment, we understand that there is something wrong about there. The couple meets with their eccentric elderly couple neighbors and paranoia leads the movie.

The young couple expects a baby, but with the pregnancy, the reality mixes with fantasies, everything gets cloudy and ambiguous for Rosemary. She experiences strange dreams and suspects that something weird is happening around her.

Dark colors and shadows, mysterious objects become the leading actors of the movie. Rosemary’s world fall apart, when she learns the reality...

Rosemary’s overall look is like a 60s fashion show: dresses with peter pan collars, floral prints, puffed sleeves, silky evening dresses, wide leg trousers, chiffon suits, furry slippers, square heeled shoes… All of them, being the landmarks of 60s wardrobes, were enough to make Rosemary seem pure. The young costume designer Anthea Sylbert gives successfully the appropriate athmospheric feeling to the film.

Did you know that? During the casting period, Polanski proposed his wife, Sharon Tate, to play the role Rosemary. However, production was considering other names for the role. During the filming, Sharon Tate visited Polanski in the set, in London. She even appeared uncredited as a guest in a party scene. She was pregnant to Polanski's child. Then, she got back to Los Angeles, where the couple resides at that time. However, unfortunately, Tate and her unborned child of eight and a half months were brutally killed by serial killers in her house.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cinematic Fashion (Episode 2)

Hello all !
Are you ready for the second episode of our series about inspirational movie closets? This episode’s movie is Gone with the Wind (1939). If you’re ready, roll down slowly and don’t beware your comments please (your thoughts make our day!).
2) Gone with the Wind (1939)

No need to say anything about the fame of the glorious movie: Gone with the Wind, and how it made the year 1939 a banner year in the history of cinema. With its 4 hours running time, the tragedy of Scarlett O’Hara, performed by Vivien Leigh, locks us up to the screen. The story passes during the period of Civil War in America. Scarlett is a free-spirited, charming lady that men around her can’t help falling for her. She has a socialite lifestyle and she gets whatever she wants, but the tragedy is waiting her ahead.

The story gets tragic with the Civil War, but the romance overrides the movie when Scarlett falls in love with the discountenancing married man, Ashley (Leslie Howard). Scarlett turns into a helpless, simpering and greedy lady who is running into the arms of a few husbands. Rhett Butler (Clark Gable), however, loves Scarlett and desires a family with her – kindda soap opera, right?

The most memorable moment of the movie is probably when Clark replies Scarlett’s question: “Where shall I go? What shall I do”, as “Franckly my dear, I don’t give a damn”. Probably most of you have already heard (or been using) this phrase.

There are many things in Gone with the Wind that makes it a masterpiece, and one of them is definitely its captivating storytelling through the eyes of a manipulative lady who delivers every emotion through the movie. No wonder why the movie swept the 1940 Oscars: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Screenplay…

The characters are brilliantly portrayed. Dialogues are well-thought. Cinematography is amazing. Casting is brilliant…and the costumes are unforgettable. The corsets, petticoats, velvet dresses, belts and shoes, hair bows, white lace collars and draping back skirts of the Civil War era, as well as the sharped dressed men in dashing suits or uniforms.

"Here in this pretty world Gallantry took its last bow…Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered...A Civilization gone with the wind."

Did you know that? : On the opening date of Gone with the Wind in Atlanta on December 15, 1939, the governor declared a state holiday and ticket prices increased 40 times that day. lol

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cinematic Fashion (Episode 1)

Hello dears,

I've been thinking to make a series of short writings under specific subjects. As long as I'm free, I'll be publishing one post each week. (I want to talk about different aspects of movies with you, but I’m experiencing lack of time nowadays.)

So. Do you want to take the ride with me?

This episode's subject is: the inspirational closets that inspired us (and still inspiring). Have you seen a movie and been dazzled by the costumes more than the movie itself? I'd love to hear your ideas. Please share your comments with us.

There are some movies that became known for their admirable closets. They brought us ideas beyond our time, gave us courage to be inspired by their characters. It was a flattering invitation for women or men to revise their outfits. Here is one of them:

1 ) Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

A bank robber couple: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, were the guests of our cinema salons at the end of 60s and it was not so after that they became the legends of many ordinary lives. They were both looking for adventure. But what did people, knowing that the movie is adapted from a thief and murderer duo that darkened many lives in 30s with brutality, like in these two brutal characters. However, with this movie, the director Arthur Penn broke many taboos of its time: sex and violence; and moderated the movie with the moments of comedy and intimacy.

Even though François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard rejected beforehand to direct the movie, Arthur Penn, the director, was heavily inspired by French New Wave film techniques. Without even mentioning the visual beauty and successful storytelling of the film, putting the fiction aside, the movie itself greatly influenced the fashion industry.

Maybe Faye Dunaway was not aware of this during its production, but she, for sure, became a major screen actress thanks to her role as Bonnie. As well as her role, the costumes of Bonnie were very inspirational too. Bonnie was modernizing her look by mixing styles: berets and tweed jackets, skinny jeans and flats, high-waisted skirts and knit cardigans; but especially the tilted berets and patterned scarfs became the milestone of her style.

Did you know that? : Warren Beatty, who played Clyde, wanted the movie to be in black&white, but Warner Bros rejected the idea. Good decision. Don't you think ?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Elegance and grace should be the words that best describe her... During her long acting career, Audrey Hepburn carried out a life with both style and purpose.

Hepburn was 32 when she performed in the stylish romance, Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), that adapted from Truman Capote's book of the same name. Although Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe for the role, however, after producers got "will not play a lady of the evening" from Monroe's personal acting coach, Audrey Hepburn was chosen for the role Holly Golightly, jet set socialite, free-spirit lady who loves parties, window shopping on Manhattan streets and makes a living through the company of rich men. Hepburn later calls her role "the jazziest of my career". Between the iconic beginning of the movie and its unforgettable dialogues, as we learn more about Holly, we see Hepburn in a lonely, wants-nothing-but-love character and maybe relate the untouchable and sophisticated Hepburn with this girl.

However, the biggest fault of the movie, which was subjected to many criticisms, is the japanese character, Mr. Yunioshi, the neighbor of Holly. Although there is this unfortunate racist portrayal of Asian community of America in 1960s, the part which Hepburn sings "Moon River" in a dreamy atmosphere is nothing but radiant and the most memorable moment of this romantic comedy.

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!"
-- Audrey Hepburn
"I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it."
-- Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's a man's world, but ...

Some claim that what makes Billie Holiday or Ella Fitzgerald precious as diamond is their success and confidence in jazz which had been dominated by men with hard, flawed voices.

Men and women offer a duality in music, just like in life.

The 1st song is from one of my favourites.
In the last, you'll recognize China Forbes if you're familiar with Pink Martini;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

War Photography

Perhaps, it is not the best day to write, especially about war.

Turkey has been hit by another attack, last of the many in the past couple of months. Depressingly enough, I cannot count the number of attacks any more or how many have died in total.

Just because all the papers gave the news in the headlines I know that 12 more have passed away.

12 – Just a number for most of us, means a lot more today for those who felt the pain in their deepest souls.

We will never, and hopefully never ever, truly understand the real brutal nature of war. Unless experienced, the stories told by one to another remain simply as stories. War photography tries to fill the gap between the story and the reality. Capturing the right moment gets beyond the technical skills during combat.

I will leave you with some famous images, with a naïve wish that war photography will one day vanish in dust and water.

Nick Ut, Vietnam War (1972) 
Nick Ut, Vietnam War (1972) 

Don McCullin, Shaped by War (1964)

War Photography

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Charlie Chaplin as The Great Dictator

Charlie Chaplin...the man who made millions laugh...
Charlie Chaplin
A few weeks ago, while I was visiting Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp during my trip to Poland (to visit Utku), I found myself thinking of Charlie Chaplin's splendid movie: The Great Dictator (1940). In this movie, Chaplin plays a double role: the dictator Adenoid Hynkel and a Jewish Barber. It is unbelievable that Chaplin had the courage to perform a Hitler-similar character in 1940. After its release, the movie was banned in Germany and in all occupied countries.

The invasion of France by Nazi forces inspired Chaplin to change the ending of his film to include his famous speech which deliberately sends a message to Hitler. The movies excellent ending was graced by this speech given by the Jewish barber who is having been mistaken for the dictator. The part where he speaks in front of a large audience does not only show us how Chaplin was wise and responsible about the current problems of nations, but also how aware he was of the influence of cinema on people and the messages given through it:

The concentration camp in Auschwitz was the largest one of that time. The place of the great horror and sorrow where more than one million of people were killed...These are some of the photos I took during my visit there:

Hitler and Chaplin...Both were born within four days of eachother in 1889. Both hailed to large crowds of people, had the chance to give them messages and change their ideas; whereas one did it by making them laugh, the other did it by upsetting many nations...
Chaplin performing the fascist dictator Hynkel in The Great Dictator (1940)
Recently, I've seen an impressive documentary about Charlie Chaplin (Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin (2003)). There, it was marked that Charlie Chaplin has seen Hitler as a competitive of his, since during that time, his fame was everywhere as him...Chaplin's son Charles Chaplin, Jr. describes this as:
Their destinies were poles apart. One was to make millions weep, while the other was to set the whole world laughing. Dad could never think of Hitler without a shudder, half of horror, half of fascination. "Just think," he would say uneasily, "he’s the madman, I’m the comic. But it could have been the other way around."
Later on when they asked to Chaplin if he has Jewish origins, he replies "I don't have that honour".

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I've recently discovered an experimental-electronic music duo, the Abbasi brothers. On top of the psychedelic electronic layer, they put piano, guitar or drums in a molten fashion. In the end product, you don't hear a distinct guitar sound, but rather one that comes from far ocean, "blurred" after winds.

Here are the songs from their first album, Something Like Nostalgia, 2008, that are moving me at the moment:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Like.. But not really..

for a second, I imagined I met all my friends & family on a vast sunny beach with a sweet ocean breeze and these songs hugged me:
like i cannot sleep
like I'm free-falling
and I'm smiling out of bliss. i caught a purely happy moment of life; life progresses in a constant rhythm though.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Friends meeting in Warsaw:)

My dears Betül and Jun-Young came to visit me in Warsaw:). We spent a great week together (darısı Erdem'in başına:P). I chose here, just easily, the first few songs that came to my mind while I was under the sweet impression of this time:

Ballad of Seasons: Poland Holiday and Friends Gathering: "The Poland holiday was AMAZING! We stayed one week in total and visited mainly Warsaw , spent one day each at Krakow and Auschwitz to visit ..."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Frozen Music

“For me, it’s hard to work with colors. They don’t speak to me. They don’t have a real meaning to me. What excites me is very minimalistic landscape, a very surreal-like landscape. I like to create a zen-like feeling, very surrealistic atmosphere and mood. What I’m aiming for is art. I’m not interested in the world as it is. I’m not interested in what the camera can record. I’m just interested in what I see. Once you visualize the image that you have in your head and convey it to the world, then it becomes art.”

The very own words of Joel Tjintjelaar, a Holland based photographer genuinely interested in long exposure black and white photography. He uses techniques that allow him to create the art in his mind. Photography is often thought as a frozen moment of cinema, however Tjintjelaar transforms this common perception into something more profound. After extensive exposure times, the images turn out with a sense of calmness and balance; elegant and surreal, like frozen music.

Joel Tjintjelaar, Vanishing I (2010)

Joel Tjintjelaar, Crystal Pier (2010)

Joel Tjintjelaar, Zenith (2010)

Joel Tjintjelaar, Frozen Music IV (2010)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Maybe it all starts with a sentence...

Maybe it all starts with a sentence, maybe with a whole idea in the head, maybe from a book, or maybe from the images of a dream… However it starts, scenario is one of the keystones of a movie production. A scenario should please both the director and the producer, so that it will be accepted as ‘worthy’ to be made a movie out of it.

After the script is chosen to be shot, to me, movie production is roughly based on the agreement between the scenarist and the director and making the movie by filtering this agreement through the producer’s demand.

The scenarist is a writer who draws scenes out of words, who creates the movie characters that make us feel alive, passionate, sentimental, angry, thrilled, happy, frightened…, who decides from which point of view the story is going to be told us, who takes us out from our life and see things from others’ stories…

While it is the same for a fiction book writer, for a scenarist, there is a limited amount of time (1-3 hours) to describe the story and it’s composed of one/two line(s) of dialogues. Therefore, the details that are put to the script should be well-chosen. A taxi passing at the background, a woman wearing a blue mini skirt, a girl disappearing in the dark street, a child crying, a man rushing outside of the house… everything is a clue that is given to the audience who is there to resolve the character/story through the stream of images.

Also, sometimes the movie director will be involved in the movie script himself. Pulp Fiction, Fargo, Léon, Eyes Wide Shut, Amélie, Lost in Translation, Down by Law, Rosemary’s Baby, Yojimbo, Oldboy, Snatch, Babam ve Oglum are some of the examples. In this case, it will be more trivial for the director to shoot the scene, since he has already, for sure, visualized the movie during the script/story writing (camera angles, transitions, decor, light, colors…). In any cases, the audience should not forget that all the scenes are intended to give a message to him; and are not shot for the sake of shooting.

In 1994 cult movie Léon (written&directed by Luc Besson), we will see the main character, the hitman, Léon (Jean Reno) taking care of a plant in several scenes. Luc Besson, for sure, didn’t put these scenes there for no reason. He probably intended to give us more information about the not-talking-much character Léon, that he is gentle and caring beside his job of murdering people. By keeping himself busy with his only friend, the plant, we understand, when Mathilda starts to take care of it, that he is not alone anymore.

In Kill Bill vol.1 (written&directed by Quentin Tarantino (2003)), the movie opens with a scene of a bloody face of the extremely frightened character, The Bride (Uma Thurman). Then, we hear the footsteps of the obviously-bad-guy without seeing his face. Tarantino could have skipped this scene which wouldn’t create a gap in the story-telling, however it will change the perception. By including such an opening scene in the script, he changed the pace of the movie and justified the violence that the Bride will engage for her revenge.

Tarantino knew that the opening scene sets the tone of the entire movie. The screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga was aware of that too. That’s why Amores Perros (directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (2000)) opens with a long, high pace chasing scene.

Another cult movie, Memento (screenplay&directed by Christopher Nolan) creates a sense of confusion at the audience with its distinctly told story which is based on a short story written by Nolan's brother. However, Nolan, aware that the story could be told in a more unique way which will make it much more exciting, wrote the script with an innovative difference in its narrative structure. A series of black-and-white sequences are shown chronologically, while color sequences are in reverse order. Christopher Nolan gives enough clues to his audience to decode the story without being lost. That change in the narrative structure of the film made it unique and a cult movie with praises to its screenwriter Christopher Nolan.

As you will see from the examples, every story has a beginning and an end, but it is the scenarist who makes it unique.