Speaker highlights American influence on Turkish cinema

Ever consider how American films influence movies in other countries?

Professor Perin Gurel, an assistant professor of American studies at Dickinson College, explained the influence of American films on Turkish movies in her presentation “National Affects and Special Effects: Comedy and America in Turkish Film” on Wednesday in Grove Hall Forum.

She said that although filmmakers experiment with different genres, comedies are the highest grossing of all Turkish films. Today, there are many successful comedy and action films in Turkey. She emphasized that initially, horror did not have much success in Turkish cinema. For example, the Turkish version of an American blockbuster, “The Exorcist” was not very successful at the box office.

However, as Turkish films evolved, horror films became more successful. She cited the movie “Musallat” as a horror film that used special effects of what she calls “Hollywood level quality.” Dr. Gurel supported her presentation by using film clips and trailers from some Turkish films.

She asked the audience if anyone had seen Turkish films, and only a few people raised their hands. Turkey’s movies do not have the same distribution system as other films in the world. The distribution networks are not as strong. This makes it very difficult to find Turkish films to watch.

Although Turkey’s movies are not commonly known in the United States, she says there are still those who seek them out through online resources.

If you are interested in hearing more from Gurel, she will be part of a panel discussion at Dickinson College on May 1 to discuss “The Hunger Games.”

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