gökhan erkılıç


20 years have passed after your death. Every death leaves a void behind. Time, aware of being the sign of that huge void, continues to flow. While the presence of your work mitigates the pain of your absence, they also are the ones that recreate the feelings of loneliness, again and again…Yes, the real problem here is your leaving some of us so much lonelier.


We’re here, in a location that almost all the printed papers about you are no more than mere copies, translations or reviews. Even the ones that claim to be original papers are in fact plagiarized. Since the main texts were written in your own language, the so called original European sources that they refer to are also steals. There are two main articles which almost everyone has consumed. One is dated in 1976, and the other in 1997. The one written in 1998 has not been touched yet. I wonder what would have been written so far, if these two articles didn't exist. Reason for the bibliography attached to the end of Turkish articles is to hide the main source that has been stolen from. By this way, authors want to show us that they were able to understand the incomprehensible. You may ask why? Because, they say you area director so hard to understand. Understanding you has almost become an important status. They believe that it is your words sometimes and your visual language other times, that is problematic. The main aptitude of man is to slander what can not be understood and not to judge himself as the one who cannot understand. There is an inverse case when it comes to you, compliments for you never end. Aside the fear of falling outside the herd of authority, they disclose their ignorance easily. In fact, not being able to understand should normally give way to the reflex of exploring and learning. However, trying to understand in the absence of a comprehension for Human, East, West, Thought, Mysticism and Art; actually, that must be the problem. At recent years we are going through a period in which East thrives to be Western and wears out itself for this aim. I am afraid it will become the responsibility of the West to remind the East of its own potential. It seems to me like you wouldn’t continue making movies, if you were still alive. I think you have set the timing of your death correctly.


You believe that the cinema can be the language of mind, history and thought. You were drawn into the problems of alienation by political, social and economical structures of the modern society; and the crisis of belief experienced by the individual as a by product of living through that specific history. Essentially, your actions and your discourse were reactions against the disappearing of man. You were wounded deep inside by the detachment of human beings from the meaning and value of existence, as a result of their being dismissed from nature, emotions and belief. I was also fascinated by your conviction of cinema being a well equipped art, as much as music and poetry are; we were on the same page. There were already some examples of cinema as a visual structure/language in the power and taste of music and poetry. There was a huge difference between film and cinema, hubble-bubble and music, rubbish and poem.


To deeply comprehend the areas of thought you were interested in requires an intense effort, especially in given conditions of our day. Also, I add the infiltration of your dreams, poems, memories and subconscious; questioning of time; and the reflection of your longings -that I thought as always neglected: all add up to the wall of difficulty around your work. Having said that, the ways to pass through that wall is also becoming visible. In fact, I, kind of enjoy your being found difficult. To find someone difficult is precious while so much is found easy... a proof for life!


You are not one of the directors on whom so much has been written. However, when one looks at the quality and the depth of these articles, I see that you were one of the two directors who encourage the authors to do their job properly. That reminds me the world you have always wanted to live in.


I am aware of my wandering from one thought to another, but recently I have happened to find an article about you. That was a quickly sketched best directors and movies list that you have had given to Leonid Kozlov. Antonioni, Bergman, Bresson, Bunuel, Dreyer, Kurosawa, Mizoguchi and Vigo were the names in your best directors list. It was also good for you to add Dovzhenko to that list in another interview. In your film list, Bergman looks unrivalled. Indeed, I have always recalled the other, while watching a movie of either one of you. It is hard to explain. You also like Bresson so much. It is thought-provoking to see three Japanese films, but no Russian film in your list. None of the films of your four best directors are present in your film list. The importance of questioning life is on top of everything, isn't it? I am sure, the lists you had in mind at 1972 had gone through significant changes in the following years. And here is the question: Can we call a list as the best films list, if it doesn't include Zerkalo?


Zerkalo was the only film that I have engaged with you directly. The realities and the longings of childhood; the parade of memories and dreams; taking a breath on the turning points of history; the attitude of men against art, science and technology; the obsession to understand time; the moment of pay off with the government through Sralin (thanks to Ece, and I'm sorry!)... an invaluable example for the common use of artsytools in cinema! What happened then? The knick-knacks responsible for arts in the Party canalized the movie to the repertoire cinemas in order to deprive Stalin of your hands. Zerkalo still was a movie noticed easily in this golden waste yard, through which the best of Soviet cinema came to life.


Years and years ago one evening, while I was reading your book with the attention I have only paid before when reading Neruda, Puşkin and Maldoror, I heard about your death. A coincidence that was not coincidental and a loneliness that was informative. You have triggered countless thoughts and everlasting discussions... The relationship between fascism and the masses with vital and humanly deficiencies... Sanctification of fascism by all ideologies when they found a space to infiltrate... The two incurable problems standing before culture and art: The monks taking decisions on behalf of others' and the ones who only know taking and who turn back to their inns when it comes to giving... In the relationship of arts and politics, let’s say no to art of politics, but yes to politics of art...


Man should have his own mirror, that's right. Even if the man is selfish, his mirror should not treat him in selfishness. It should show himself in close-up first, and then should nullify him in general plan... so that there can be room for others, for life, for nature, and in short, for the things that are more valuable.


Me finds its highest value in Us, as it has been reflected from your Mirror...


çev: seda usubütün

Sekans Sinema Kültürü Dergisi, no 7, 2007