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.