February 28, 2011

Movies That Mention Turkey

While watching the movie I am Number Four a few days ago, i saw a Turkish map in one of the scenes and it stayed for 4 or 5 seconds.

Don't worry, there aren'y any spoilers in this post and i won't reveal anything about the movie.

That Turkish map had nothing to do with the main story. It was some sort of a passionate destination, and it could have been anything. And interestingly Turkish map stayed on the screen pretty long enough to make sure that everybody would see it. Because you see, in movies, you actually miss details more than you would ever imagine, but this 4 second scene was impossible to miss.

Well, I really don't think that one of the assistants grabbed the first thing she found early in the mornnig which happened to be the Turkish map, knowing that they were going to shoot a scene about the dreams of a young girl and any object would be just fine. No, there must definitely be more than that.

That map might be there because the director is a true Turkish fan. That'a a probability. After all, this is his movie and if he wants to add a scene about Turkey, then he adds it.

Or maybe, there is some sort of a lobby group in Hollywood who try to influence the directors and/or the producers to convince them to insert such scenes into the irrelevant movies. Because you see, this is actually a great opportinity for publicity. That scene will be seen by tens of millions of people.

And in fact, that's exactly why i think somebody could have actually paid for that scene. It seems really unlikely that the director would grant such a publicity just because he is deep in love with Turkey.

I sometimes come upon Hollywood movies which are somehow Turkey related. Here are some of the films that i can remember on the fly which mentions Turkey  in a way or other.

  • I am Number Four: As i said before, this was a total easter bunny for me because the movie itself has nothnig to do with Turkey. 
  • 13 Days:  It totaly makes sense in this movie because it is about an incident in history, and Turkey has a role in it.  
  • Green Zone: This movie is about Middle East. Even though Turkey is not really mentioned most of the movies that takes place in Middle East, this one is particularly different. The American base in one of the cities in Turkey has something to do with the story, and actually it is one of the key points. 
  • Conspiracy Theory:  This is perhaps the weirdest one. The movie is about a guy who keeps "creating" conspiracy theories. And in one of this theories, he says there will be a terrible eartquake in Turkey and it will kill tens of thousands of people. This is actually one of the details in the story, something you will probably forget 10 seconds later you watch - unless of course you are not Turkish, you don't expect such an eartquake in Istanbul. And the weirdest thing is, that eartquake actually happened and killed tens of thousands of people, only 2 years after the movie was made. 
  • Three Men and  Baby: This is one of those "I don't know anything about Turkey but I can't stop myself shooting a scene about it which is essentially bullshit." One of the three guys in this movie is an actor and goes to Turkey to shoot a film. And while he is Turkey, he makes a phone call with home, and in the background we see a fictional part of Turkey, which actually has nothing to do with it. As far as i remember, there were some camels and some people who were wearing some Arabic clothes. The fact is, there aren't any camels in Turkey and people don't dress like Arabs. For more about this false image of Turkey, you can read this article about the movie Turkish Ottomans. I am not realy sure if it was this movie or the sequel to it, but there was definitely a scene about Tukey in one of them.
So OK, this was really a very quick list and there must really be tons of them. You are free to add new movies to the list.


    Ayak said...

    Midnight Express is the only other one I can think of.

    And by the way there ARE camels in Turkey...all over the place. What about the camel wrestling that takes place in Selçuk for example?

    Of course many odd things appear in movies these days that don't necessarily relate to the story...product placement is what it is..companies pay money to have their products appear. It's becoming big business so I hear.

    jedilost said...

    I was pretty sure i was going to get the Midnight Express answer, lol. However, this is not a movie which mentions Turkey, but takes place in Turkey, so it falls in another category.

    There might be camels here and there localy, but they're definetely not a dominant cultural factor. They should obviously not be something you should be filming if you truly want to reflect the cultural essence of a country in one single scene.

    kotman said...
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