Interview with The Arkham Film Society’s Joshua Thomas Gravel

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The Arkham Film Society presents 3 DEV Adam on 19 MAY 2014. We chat with Joshua Thomas Gravel from The Arkham Film Society about their interest in Turkish cinema!

Utku Uluer: Hi Joshua i saw that The Arkham film society will screen 3 dev adam ( 3 giant men). Is this the first Turkish Movie you will screen?

Joshua Thomas Gravel: Thank you for your interest in both The Arkham Film Society and the screening.
This is not the first Turkish film we have screened, in the past we have had successful screenings of both Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam (Turkish Star Wars) and Seytan (Turkish Excorcist). I chose those films first since their connections to well known films would bring in a curious crowd. I am hoping that those screenings helped create an interest in other Turkish films from our audience although the fact that 3 Dev Adam uses established comic and film heroes can’t hurt either.
I chose 3 Dev Adam not only because of it’s use of recognizable characters but also because it is a fun action film that I believe will work well with any audience.

Are there other Turkish movies you are planning to show?

Joshua Thomas GravelJoshua Thomas Gravel: If this screening goes well I would love to screen more Turkish films, a few that come to mind would be Cellat, Badi, and if my audience will venture into more original Turkish fare I would love to screen some of the Kilink films. The biggest obstacles in screening films from Turkey and many other countries who didn’t export their films is both finding good quality copies of the films and finding English friendly versions of these films. Luckily I have a number of import dvd’s of Turkish films with English subtitles and I’m always looking for more.
We also love to show films from countries other than Turkey. We have screened many U.S. films along with films from Spain, Japan, Mexico, France, and especially Italy. I bet if you scroll through out past events most of our screenings have been of Italian genre films.

Many people make fun of these Turkish Movies, what do you think about this?

Joshua Thomas Gravel: A certain amount of laughter is unavoidable simply based off the fact that most peoples introduction to Turkish cinema are the knock offs and remakes of well known films which do come off as cheap and goofy in some areas. I believe that once people get past the initial surprise of seeing low budget versions of huge movies with characters and music taken from other films the audience can start to see the passion and sincerity these films were made with and see them for the notable works of cinema they are. We certainly aren’t screening these films to be made fun of, admittedly we often play up the outrageous or goofy aspects of the films in our promotion but that is more of a marketing tactic than us wanting to poke fun.

Mostly what we are name as “fantastic turkish cinema” is very well known in US. Have you ever watched other stuff from Turkiye?
Joshua Thomas Gravel: You are correct, my knowledge of Turkish comes mostly from the book Mondo Macabro, the dvd’s from Onar Films, and a handful of other remakes I have come across online. I don’t think I’ve seen anything outside of those circles and am probably missing out on some things that would be considered classic Turkish cinema.

Thaks! Good luck for 19th!