Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu, famous for Yusuf Trilogy said here on Thursday that he was inspired by the depth and the intensity of the Apu Trilogy directed by the Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray.
He was speaking at In Conversation organized as a part of the 16th International Film Festival of Kerala, with film critic Nandini Ramnath.
Four of his films, Angel’s Fall and Milk, Honey and Egg, which make the Yusuf Trilogy, are being screened under the Contemporary Master in Focus section of the festival this year.
Mr. Kaplanoglu said that the Yusuf Trilogy was, in a way, paying homage to Satyajit Ray. “His films provide a clear-cut vision of at least a hundred years of Indian culture and history.” He added that master filmmakers like Satyajit Ray and Japan’s Yasujiro Ozu showed us the vanishing images of culture and civilization of their respective countries.
Actors, he said, were important part of a film. “I usually try to develop a long term and close relation with the actors who play my characters,” he said. Mr. Kaplanoglu went on to say that he usually reworks his script after casting, so as to bring more of the actor’s traits into the character.
“Contemporary films around the world portray an orientalist look of the world,” he said. Holding globalization accountable, he added that the profound culture and civilization of North America, India and Egypt were being degraded by commercial and materialistic powers.
Ms. Ramnath noted that Kaplanoglu films have a lot of silence and are characterized by unhurriedness. “Through my films, I depict the cosmic rhythm of the universe we live in. In order to do that, my films have to be taken in a calm and quiet manner, with meditativeness,” Mr. Kaplanoglu said.
“My films are my prayers,” he added.