Why Can't I Be Tarkovskij? The answer is in a dream
by Camillo De Marco
- A story with powerful meta-cinema overtones, based on the work experience and private life of director Murat Düzgünoğlu
On the wall of his room Bahadir has a portrait of Andrej Tarkovskij and a quotation: "Anyone who has ever betrayed their own principles cannot have a pure relationship with life". It's the motto that torments the protagonist of Why Can't I Be Tarkovskij? [+see also:
film profile], in competition at the Bergamo Film Meeting, and probably the director himself, Murat Düzgünoğlu.
Bahadir (Tansu Biçer) is a thirty-five-year-old director who directs TV ads and movies that are based on traditional Turkish folk songs. His dream is to make a Tarkovskij-style art movie, and his dream is so great that we see Bahadir literally dreaming of himself as the protagonist of the opening scene of Stalker. When he's not sleeping he has to contend with the comic production difficulties on the set of a TV film, with an unsatisfied girlfriend, some rough beer-drinking housemates who have no interest in cinema and a father who considers him a failure. The producer with whom he succeeds in meeting tells him that his screenplay is well-written but no-one would go to see that Bergman or Kaurismaki-style movie ("maybe in France or the Netherlands") and he advises him to write a nice romance story with a love triangle "Think commercial".
Is this just another film about the difficulty of making movies and the huge loneliness in succeeding in the endeavour? It would seem so. "Düzgünoğlu's work is a very universal but also heartfelt comedy. It's not afraid to grapple with a theme that has been wonderfully dealt with by Truffaut, Wenders, Fassbinder and thousands of others"(in short Oscar winner Birdman is a film about a difficult staging on Broadway and the existential crisis of a director/actor).
Murat Düzgünoğlu, who established himself as a documentary filmmaker and then later in the Turkish TV industry, is a shrewd artist, convinced that the loser self-pity of the protagonist of his second work only serves to feed his ambition. A story with powerful meta-cinema overtones, based on his work experience and his private, was probably the best idea to satisfy his director ego and at the same time encourage the viewer to reflect.
(Translated from Italian)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.