Thursday, April 8, 2010

IFF 5: The Girl with the Red Scarf

The Girl with the Red Scarf (Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalım) is one of the greatest classics of Turkish cinema, and I had been embarrassed long enough for not having seen it. No more! A restored version was shown on Wednesday night, with most of the cast and crew present. The director, Atıf Yılmaz, has passed away in 2006. He was one of the most prolific and significant filmmakers of Turkish cinema.

The film starts out like a romantic comedy, but soon turns into a melodrama. The load rests on the shoulders of the main couple: Türkan Şoray and Kadir İnanır, both of whom look fantastic here. I found the constant voice-overs a little distracting, but who am I to object? Two details that stood out: The little boy (who was apparently played by a girl) falls off- practically throws himself off - the swing at some point. It's very convincing, and I'm sure there'd be a gigantic lawsuit if anyone threw a 3-year old off a swing like that in Europe or the U.S. today (not sure about Turkey). Also, Ahmet Mekin (the 'other guy' - pic below) looks so much like Atatürk, he'd be rich if he were a few decades younger (there's a flood of films about, and advertising featuring the man these days).

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