There had been several recent hints that Cagatay is about to take part in a digital series other than the already announced Amazon Prime project, Museum of Innocence.
It is now confirmed that Cagatay has been offered the lead role in the 2 season X 10-episode per season BluTV production "Yesilcam", to be produced by ES Films. This is the same production company that was leading the Barbaros project Cagatay was to take part in earlier in the year but eventually didn't.
Yesilcam (The Green Pine), is to Turkey what Hollywood is to the United States, or Bollywood to India. Supported by state subsidies between the 1950s to the 1980s, an indigenous film industry began to take shape around the Yesilcam Street in Beyoglu, Istanbul. With a rapid increase in filmmakers, cinema ceased to be an elitist activity and spread as a mode of entertainment even in the most remote villages in Anatolia.
The period marks an important time in Turkey's cinematic history, with incredible creativity in local productions, with its heydays in the 1960s, producing 200 - 300 films per year, with primary focus on dramas and comedy. In 1966 Turkey was fourth, just behind India, in world film production, with 238 films.
Some of the most well-known movies during this time are Susuz Yaz (Dry Summer) which received a Golden Bear Award at Berlin Film Festival in 1964; Sevmek Zamanı (Time to Love); Gurbet Kuşları (Birds of Exile); Haremde Dört Kadın (Four Women in the Harem); Yılanların Öcü (The Revenge of the Snakes); Vesikalı Yarim (My Prostitute Love); Ah Güzel İstanbul (Beautiful Istanbul); and Turist Ömer (Ömer the Tourist). A film festival, which soon became the Oscars of Turkish cinema, started in 1964 to promote Turkish cinema and help gain international recognition. (www,theguideistanbul.com)
Many of these movies were "moralistic melodramas focusing on the theme of modernization and the relationships between heterosexual couples from different social and economic classes, which affirmed traditional gender roles and social values against "degenerate" modern lifestyles" (filmreference.com). It is also a time when political films thrived as the 1960 coup allowed leftists to express themselves more freely. Films during this period also touched on the problems of workers and laborers who were facing challenges posed by industrialization, rural-urban migration, and poverty.
You can check out this video on the movie Susuz Yaz to better understand the kinds of stories told during that time. The YouTube Channel Green Pine Film has more to explore.
70s - 80s
The 70s saw a shift into the fantasy genre when lack of copyright laws and lack of state support gave way to a spate of unauthorized low-budget films that were remakes of all sorts of iconic movies out of Hollywood, including science fiction such as Star Wars, Star Trek, E.T. and more. With shifts towards TV consumption, the film industry died out in the 80s, but the Yesilcam movies are well loved and are still referenced in current dizis and movies.
Earlier dismissed as poor filmmaking, the Yesilcam era has since been an area of serious scholarly study, particularly in the context of cultural globalization and creative innovation in filmmaking. This video interview by the Yunus Emre Institute provides an interesting look into the filmmaking from this period.
CEO of BluTV, A. Dogan Yalcindag, had mentioned this project in an April press meeting, with the title Yesilcam: Bir Sinema Hayvani (Yesilcam: A Movie Beast) and he explained that the show will go to the 1960s and portray that magical period by focusing on the life of a filmmaker, Semih Ateş, who says “I make a movie, patients get better, the season changes”. He also announced that the scriptwriting phase of the first season was already completed. A recent social media post also confirms this with "...a story of rebirth during the Yesilcam golden age".
Cagatay, the first of the cast members confirmed, will play the role of filmmaker Semih Ates, who is a down and out producer of the Yesilcam era of the 1960s. The story follows his journey of reinventing himself as he finds love. One of his supposed spoken dialogue is, "Sen benim dualarımın arasında ki en güzel dileğimsin Tülin..." -- “You are my best wish among my prayers, Tulin”.
Other cast mates, as they are announced are:
Click on their pictures below to see a more detailed bio for each. Selin Kahraman does not have a profile on IMDB yet.
The film is planned to be one of BluTV's biggest in-house productions, to be on the platform in 2021, and the script is completed, as reported by both Volkan Sumbul and Levent Cantek, the scenarists.
Yesilcam is written by Levent Cantek (Bozkir on BluTV) and Volkan Sumbul (Icerde), and will be directed by Cagan Irmak (Babam Ve Oglum). It promises to provide an incredible insight into Turkish filmmaking and perhaps shed light on how it has shaped cinematic production and consumption in the modern era. It is written as a drama and NOT an autobiography of known personalities from that time.
Recently, industry insider Oya Dogan, founder of www.dizidoktoru.com answered some questions about the project on Instagram live, and she said that the project will start filming on January 10, 2021. We have also learnt that the cast will start doing reading rehearsals from December 30, 2020. Here is a translated version of the short interview with Ms. Dogan.
On January 11, the fans got some first glimpses of photoshoots of actors in costume. We saw pictures of Nurcan Sirin and Efe Tuncar, where Nurcan was definitely wearing a period piece.
On January 15th, the fans got the first glimpse into the set design through a short clip uploaded by the director, accompanied by a sample of the possible soundtrack or genre of music to be used. It seems colorful and a little whimsical. In addition, we also got a few first pictures from sets, one even shared by Cagatay via his Instagram story.
The following photo was shared by Engin Aykanat (Cagatay's manager), leading to confusion about the producers who were previously listed at ES Films. As it turns out, ES Films and Eastern Sunrise Films are both owned by Yusuf Esenkal, and Eastern Sunrise Films just happens to be the Los Angeles based entity. It's still the original team but perhaps a US entity being listed as producer increases opportunities for international distribution once the show has been broadcast.
From the photos and clips shared so far, we get the sense of a very clever script which will probably invite a deeper understanding of the dialogue and skits, which at first glance will seem a lot simpler than it is. That is the value of an excellent work of Art - a depth of meaning lies beneath the surface.
We already know from earlier in the year that Cagatay has also been roped in for the lead role in Amazon Prime's Museum of Innocence, an adaptation of the eponymous book by Nobel prize winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. Musuem of Innocence is also set in the cultural backdrop of Istanbul in the 1970s, which may indicate the importance of the overall period, marked by political upheaval, economic and social change, that greatly influenced the arts in the then secular Turkey.
There are some suggestions that Cagatay's look from his birthday photo is in preparation for this project, but we await final confirmation of this detail.
Fans will be beyond excited to see Cagatay back on the screens again, and we remain as excited about all the ways Cagatay continues to grow as an actor.
Article Copyright (c) CUNA
Updated January 18, 2021
Articles referenced for the information:
An Offer for Cagatay Ulusoy
Yesilcam, The Wild Lo-Fi World of Turkish B Movies
Yesilcam Green Pine Cinema
100 Years of Turkish Cinema
Levent Cantek Blog
Last week, the production team for Mucadele Cikmazi wrapped filming. The name of the movie, which translates into “Deadlock of Struggle”, apparently derives from a street name in Istanbul. In a marketing coup yesterday, Netflix and Cagatay had a coordinated strategy to announce that the movie will be available on Netflix in 2021. While Netflix and production company OGM. Pictures announced the news on their social media channels on Instagram and Twitter, Cagatay announced through his guest appearance on Ay Yapim’s new dizi, Menajerimi Ara (“Call My Agent”) where he appeared as himself.
Director Can Ulkay shared aesthetically beautiful shots from the sets throughout the filming, but without giving out too many clues about the subject matter. We do know that the plot involves street children, and we have finally seen some photos of Cagatay in a grungy get up, suggesting that he lives on the streets too and may work as a garbage collector.
There are mixed reports about him playing the father of one of the street children, and we will have to wait for the official plot summary to better understand his role. What is evident is how he has traded his glamorous good looks to instead look like someone who has many hardships in life.
Screenplay writer Ercan Mehmet Erdem (Behzat C.) is no stranger to writing gritty stories and one can only imagine how intricately he will weave this plot. Global fans are excited about having access to the movie through the ubiquitous Netflix, and wishes the team every success with its post-production efforts and final release.
The following video provides translations for Cagatay’s skit in Menajeremi Ara, which alludes to his philosophies in life in show business, and very creatively introduces the idea of him looking at the script of Mucadele Cikmazi. As a branding enthusiast, I am very pleased with the coordinated and sophisticated strategy in announcing the future plans for Mucadele Cikmazi. Bring it on!
Article copyright (c) CUNA & mh.
#CagatayUlusoy #MucadeleCikmazi #Netflix #OGMPictures #CanUlkay #ErcanMehmetErdem
by Paola Cesarini
After "The Protector," fans of Çağatay Ulusoy have been clamoring for the actor to take a new "romantic" role. Soon fans may get exactly what they have been waiting for. Last May, Çağatay Ulusoy verbally agreed to star as Kemal Basmaci in the screen adaptation of the famous Turkish author Orhan Pamuk's 2008 novel "Masumiyet Müzesi" (The Museum of Innocence). Like his previous works, "The Museum of Innocence" explores in lyrical terms Turkey's unending tension between the East and the West, and between tradition and modernism/secularism.
In 2006, Orhan Pamuk was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Literature -- the first writer from Turkey to receive such recognition. His work has sold over thirteen million books in sixty-three languages, making him the country's best-selling writer. He also is the Robert Yik-Fong Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he teaches writing and comparative literature.
"The Museum of Innocence" will be produced for Amazon Prime Video -- another pioneering feat by our favorite Turkish actor. Çağatay Ulusoy is also rumored to be involved as a producer along with Eric Barmak (formerly of Netflix.) The latter, who bought the rights to the screen adaptation of Pamuk's novel, apparently wanted Çağatay Ulusoy for the leading role from the start. As far as the lead female protagonist is concerned, a number of Turkish names have been mentioned. However, given the explicitly sexual content of the novel, it is possible that a foreign actress might be tapped for the role.
According to the journalist Ranini, "The Museum of Innocence" will target the global market. It will therefore be produced in English and feature international actors. With Erik Barmak at the helm, this news sounds quite reasonable. Before recently founding his own company "Wild Sheep Content," which creates content for digital platforms with filmmakers from all over the world, he was Vice President for Netflix international projects, In this role, he took an active part in the creation of the series "The Protector", in which Çağatay Ulusoy starred as Hakan/Harun. Mr. Barmak also worked on successful series as "Sacred Games," "Marseille," "Suburra," "Dark, Rain" and others.
If confirmed, this will be a completely new acting challenge for Çagatay. The character he would interpret is a privileged member of the 1970 Istanbul's upper class, who develops a romantic obsession for a poor distant relative, Füsün. In essence, Kemal is an educated men, who falls deeply in love with a beautiful woman but fails to realize how much he loves her until it is too late. And for the rest of his life he is condemned to pay his mistake with a tragic loneliness. After they fail to consolidate their torrid relationship, Kemal feeds his unhealthy longing for Füsün by collecting, over the years, objects that have marked their encounters. He eventually, establishes a Museum to exhibit them.
The Museum of Innocence exists in reality today. Conceived by Orhan Pamuk at the same time as the book, it presents what the novel’s characters used, wore, heard, saw, collected and dreamed of, all meticulously arranged in boxes and display cabinets.
At the Museum's inauguration, the author declared the following to The New York Times:
“As far as I know this is the first museum based on a novel. But it’s not that I wrote a novel that turned out to be successful and then I thought of a museum. No, I conceived the novel and the museum together. [...] This is not Orhan Pamuk’s museum. Very little of me is here, and if it is, it’s hidden. It’s like fiction. Both the book and the museum are largely about sadness, and in particular the “melancholy of the period.”
Given Çağatay Ulusoy's commitment to star in the upcoming TRT1 series "Barbaros", it is unlikely that filming on "The Museum of Innocence" will start before 2021. However, following his strong performance as a tormented romantic lead in "Delibal", we look forward to seeing Çağatay interpret such a complex character straight out of one of the most famous novels by Turkey's most celebrated of writers. Indeed, he will be a fabulous as Kemal!
@ Article Copyright by CUNA and Paola Cesarini
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We already know that Cagatay is the protagonist for Netflix’s first Turkish original, The Protector. As posted earlier, fans came to learn that he will be part of one of Turkey’s highest budget historical series called Barbaros, and the protagonist and co-producer in the first Turkish original by Amazon Prime video, in an adaptation of Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence.
Read this article on North America TEN for an analytical look at how Cagatay may be stepping into the next phase of his career.
Article Copyright (c) by North America TEN, mh. & CUNA
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