Tuesday, August 4, 2015
REMAKE, REMIX, RIPOFF: ABOUT COPY CULTURE AND TURKISH POP CINEMA (2014) Fantasia 2015
Where to start?
I suspect that most film people have heard tales of how the Turkish film industry remade any number of big American block busters, from SUPERMAN, to ET to STAR WARS where they ripped off not only the plot but lifted the special effects sequences as well. Most people I know always thought the films were going to be grand howlers, but once they started watching them, and got past their cheapness they would find that many films were actually pretty good in their own right. For example the film known as The Turkish Star Trek in US collector's circles is in fact a film called Oner the Tourist in Star Trek and is actually a really good satire on Trek using a well known Turkish character. Non remake films like the TARKAN films or the KILINIK films are actually very good adventure or crime dramas (click on the links for reviews of films in both series).
REMAKE, REMIX, RIPOFF (RRR) is a look at the production of the films, the times they were made and the people who made them. Talking to any number of actors, directors , producers and fans, RRR gives us an insiders look at how the films were made. This is probably the best source of information you can find. What little I know comes from Pete Tombs MONDO MACABRO book on way out cinema and from Mark Johnston who used to run the much loved and lamented Shocking Videos. Johnston and I used to have email conversations about the films I was buying from him and he'd fill me in on a movies back story better than any film book or website I've ever run across. (An aside: Shocking Video, and it's web address of wwww.revengeis my destiny.com was for a long time listed on Unseen Films as a favored source for films. It was to the best of my knowledge the best place for Turkish films outside of Europe. Sadly the site is now gone. Its my understanding that his Shocking Video closed because his gray market product was running into too many copyright issues as well as not having the time to actually run the business as it should be run)
RRR is the perfect place for anyone wanting to get a taste of Turkish cinema to start. Filled with lots of background and tons of clips this film is going to provide most people with a starting place for a long love affair with the wildness of the films. They've got everything here from Musicals to superhero flicks, adventure films and the remakes. There is a little bit of everything, and just enough to make most movie fans to try and track down some of the films.
I would love to say that the film is the perfect exploration of the subject but I can't. The narrative is very rambling with subjects kind of coming up at random. Some subjects are covered in more detail than others for reasons that aren't always clear...
...on the other hand this makes it exactly like many of the films covered, slightly sloppy, with it's heart in the right place and a willingness to please, inform and entertain.
I love this film flaws and all. I want a copy in my collection so I can watch it again and again both as entertainment and as a source of information.
An absolute must see for any film fan worth their salt when it plays this afternoon at Fantasia. For more information and tickets go here.