Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

VIZONTELE

 

Year: 2001
Country: Turkey
Run Time: 105 minutes

Pronounce the title of this observant comedy a few times and you'll realize what it means: "television," what Frank Lloyd Wright called "chewing gum for the eyes," what Bob Hope labeled "smog with knobs," what Newton Minnow famously damned as "a vast wasteland." Anyway, it's a new marvel planned by state officials for installation in a small, insular village in southeastern Turkey in 1974. The people of the town react with fear, wonder and anticipation at the onset of the Tube, some of the more religious conservatives already declaring the "picture box" to be the devil's work. Latif, seedy owner of the area's lone, roofless cinema, sees his audience (and community stature) tumble like, well, bad ratings, and the self-serving showman spreads the slander that the new medium insults Allah. Mayor Nazmi, who seeks every opportunity to damage Latif, throws his full support to the TV project without fully comprehending it ? or the problems with reception that prevent even good radio signals from getting through. For the area's resident electronics repairman, ?Crazy Emin,? the question is how to get the thing to work at all, with mountains surrounding the town. Thus does an expedition form, to hike up the side of nearby Mt. Artos in the name of broadcasting. The joint feature debut for Yilmaz Erdogan and ?mer Faruk Sorak, VIZONTELE uses laughter to explore Islamic society's uncomfortable transition to the modern age, and backwards mindsets that continue to generate static. (In Turkish with English subtitles)

Screenplay
Yilmaz Erdogan

Directors
Yilmaz Erdogan, Omer Faruk Sorak

Producer
Necati Akpinar

Cinematography
?mer Faruk Sorak

Editing
Mustafa Preseva

Principal Cast
Yilmaz Erdogan, Demet Akbag, Altan Erkekli, Cem Yilmaz, Cezmi Baskin, Bican G?nalan, Sebnem K?kkaya, Erdal Tosun, Iclal Aydin

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