¨The centre of Istanbul is a cinema¨ says the poet: “If Istanbul is the centre of the world, then the centre of the world is cinema”. The world is cinema; and it is easier to live this life with cinema as it becomes a much more endurable place with it. The most useful and easy way of understanding the world is through films.
A wise person has stated that ¨the past times of this world is a dream, and the rest is a daydream¨. If cinema is an art of dreams and life is a dream, then cinema is a vital form of art. It is a language of existentialism; a prosperous field to ask questions of existence. Surely, cinema is also a form of entertainment; partly democratic too (investing money, being liked by the audience who will in return invest money for new movies). Furthermore, it is an art of egalitarian democracy – everybody knows how to look (or was it to see?). However, cinema is more like a dream within a dream – it is the language of truth. The life of this world is nothing but a game and a distraction. The stories that we watch on a movie screen for two hours while we lock ourselves in a dark room, explain this fact to us in the most honest manner.
Karagöz, the cinema of the Turks, was born from within this truth. The ´shadow plays´ come from the perception that life is a ¨game¨. This, in a sense, insinuates that this life ought not to be taken so seriously as it is so irresolute and also it is a sign of our existence being dependent on him. Our secret is ‘the Masnawi’. In this case, we ought to turn back and take a look at ‘Masnawi’ and think about why it prioritises ¨complaints¨ to ¨stories¨. The truth is that man complains. By coming to this world, this most contemptible and lowest of worlds is what man truly complains about. In this case, the stories are just an excuse for complaining. Man voices a problem, speaks of it, displays it, writes about it and states it. Thus, cinema becomes the image of this world. Shakespeare is forever correct when he states: ”All the world is a stage”. And all the men and women merely players. The director is the godly player. The script is fate. The lines are our words and actions.
Both theatre and cinema has thrown Aristotle´s ¨Prometheus¨ understanding of tragedy to the trash. The delusion that everything is under our control is just as wrong as nothing being under our control. Most of the time in our lives, we are generally powerless and vulnerable in the face of death. It is for this reason that we write stories and make movies in order to make life easier to live and to prepare ourselves for death. In order to run away and escape from the weight of this vulnerability we attempt to make life a little more fun to live by making it observable from a two hour screening. The world is very tedious and suffocating. Psychiatrists call this ¨living illness¨, Baudelaire ¨spleen¨ and a different approach by Ibn Arabi, who calls it ¨tranquility¨ in terms of continuous happiness, expresses how the world has a monotone and repetitive aspect to it.
Our story is not just about complaints but narrating these complaints to the other mortals. Even Tarkovsky, who never accepts any criticisms, had stated that cinema was ¨an art¨ (surely with the condition of its technological capabilities). Every movie is the remedy as well as the lack of remedy of the person who has created it. It is for this reason that it will have as many voices and styles as the number of its directors. Every single producer of a film, in reality, informs us of the unchanging nature of the world and how it is nothing but a game and entertainment. Whether the film is about the social problems of its country, or individual problems or fantasies… No matter what the topic explored is about, they will deify themselves with their cosmic plays. In other words, what they try to give as a message is: See, I can create men, write life stories, determine fates, create worlds, construct cities, streets, platos… The fate of these people that I have created is within my hands… I can kill them or make them live if I choose, or make them fall in love, burn them, make them happy by uniting them or make them miserable by parting them…
¨What is this game of becoming a god?¨ Cinema, with its warm ability of encompassing all other forms of art and its rich language, takes its share of the biggest slice with its cosmic nature. You can never step into the same river twice. Everything changes. Everything can come into existence from nothingness with the single of ¨Be¨. While we can become possessed bye an illusion, where twenty four frames are conceived in a second, we can also become besotted within this life, thinking that everything is continuous and determined when they seem constant. Whether cinema is moralistic or not or whether it is socialist, individualist, commercial or not. These are forever the ¨collateral¨ questions. What really matters is whether every new film finances another one and whether it gives a new message. If both of these aspects are lacking, then that movie is of no good use. Although the truth is that there is nothing new under the sun: meaning, everything is already explored – we are merely repetitive parrots. In other words, those who believe themselves to be giving a brand new message are not truly aware that this innovation is inevitable.