Category Archives: Imaginary Turkish Cinema

#160 – Kuyruk, Bir (Tail, A)

(2011, Tur, 99 min) Dir Ahmet Şen. Cast Nuri Kesal, Yılmaz Erdoğan, Cansu Demirci.

A whimsical, surreal little film in which everyone in the world wakes up one morning to find that overnight they have grown the tails of  animals – some have big green lizard’s tails, some have brightly feathered birds tails, some have twitching cat tails and some have a prehensile primate tail (which seems to be the least problematic and most useful of them all). The problem is that this kicks off a vast restructuring of the existing social norms – for example the President, who woke that day with a giant squirrel’s tail, is ousted from government by a cadre of monkey tails within his own party. All of this is seen from the perspective of young Nuri whose mother, a seamstress, is making a lot of money in the crisis from altering trousers. Previously a small fish in his school he has found his stock rising mightily now that he is in possession of a ferocious looking and potentially deadly scorpion’s tail. Of course if we learned anything from Spider-Man it’s the whole great power/greater responsibility thing and it’s the relationship between these two that guides Nuri’s story. A well-played, beautifully shot little film with surprisingly good practical effects for the tails, it’s only downfall is that it’s a little obvious in its allegorical intent. It was well received when it premiered in Sundance a couple of years ago but a wide release seems sadly unlikely by now. Worth tracking down.

Twitter: @MadeUpFilms


#54 – Meto in Space!

(1974, Tur, 67 min) Dir Esen. Cast Esen, Arzu Gorgun, Melek Okay.

I have to confess from the out that the only version of this film I’ve seen is of an nth generation VHS copy – it’s colours all blobby, it’s picture all shot to hell and without subtitles – that was downloaded on the recommendation of an aficionado friend of mine who is in possession of a lot of free time and standards that are minimal. While I wasn’t disappointed in the film vis-à-vis it’s badness I can’t say that I can recommend it entirely either. Meto (Esen, also director) was apparently a children’s entertainer in Turkey in the 1970’s and this was his second film (the first, called simply Meto, is for some reason not as mental). For humour think Benny Hill but coarser and more crudely sexual – the ‘comedy’ mostly involves Meto chasing buxom and scantily clad women around a cardboard set meant to be outer space (for production values imagine Ed Wood working on the cheap). Oh and Meto also is in possession of a grotesque nose that looks like the resulting offspring between a penis and a flute. I have no idea about plot at all but every once in a while something that looks like a flashback happens and there are all these colours and spinning disks and either someone dies horribly (eaten by spiders for example) or else their clothes fly off. Are these Meto’s powers? The idea that this might be family entertainment boggles my mind. The fact that this might be entertainment for anyone boggles my mind. If you hate your eyes, ears and mind then do yourself a favour – find this now.

Twitter: @MadeUpFilms