Lutfi Akad

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The first auteur of Turkish cinema was Lutfi Akad (1916), whose first film, Vurun Kahpeye/ Strike the Whore (1949), produced by Hurrem Erman, an adaptation of Halide Edib Adivar's novel, turned actress Sezer Sezin into a star (the story of a young schoolteacher fighting superstitions in a traditional village, a story that evoked the modernizing mood of the time).

Lukus Hayat (1950), adapted from the 1933 operetta of the same name by brothers Ekrem and Cemal Resit Rey, was a musical.

The thriller Kanun Namina/ In the Name of the Law (1952), scripted and produced by Osman Seden, based on a real event, is the film that turned Ayhan Isik into a star, breaking with the tradition that only professional theater actors could become movie actors. He directed both the rural drama Beyaz Mendil/ White Handkerchief (1955), based on a story by Yasar Kemal, and the urban drama Tricycle (1961), from Orhan Kemal's novel, the story of a broken family, starring both Isik and Sezin.

Akad's passion for Turksih folklore is rampant in the "Anatolian trilogy", that started with Hudutlarin Kanunu/ The Law of the Borders (1966), from an original script by Yilmaz Guney that Akad revised, starring Guney himself in the male lead, shot in a documentary style by Ali Ugur and scored by Nida Tufekci, and that continued with Kizilirmak Karakoyun/ Red River Black Sheep (1967), again with Guney and Ugur, and scored by Orhan Gencebay, and concluded with Ana/ The Mother (1967), scored again by Gencebay. The choice of music was no less important than the choreography, a fact also proven by the soundtracks for minor films such as Vesikali Yarim/ My Prostitute Love (1968), from Sait Faik Abasiyanik's story "Menekseli Vadi" (1948), starring Turkan Soray and scored by Metin Bukey (who the previous year had composed the hit song "Samanyolu/ Milky Way" for singer Berkant).

Kader Boyle Istedi/ That's what Fate Wanted (1968) is a melodrama a` la Douglas Sirk.

He also worked on semi-musical movies like Bir Teselli Ver/ Give Some Consolation (1971), starring singer Orhan Gencebay (another variation on the theme of Kader Boyle Istedi), Anneler ve Kizlari/ Mothers and their Daughters (1971), starring singer Nese Karabocek, and Ruya Gibi (1971), written by Safa Onal and starring singer Zeki Muren (a third variation on Kader Boyle Istedi).

Mahsere Kadar (1972) and Yarali Kurt (1972) were also scripted by Onal.

Akad returned with a trilogy about internal migration and urbanization, the "Migration trilogy", produced by Hurrem Erman and photographed by Gani Turanli, stories about families moving from rural villages to the cities in search of a better life, all centered on female characters played by Hulya Kocyigit: Gelin/ The Bride (1973), with music by Yalcin Tura, Dugun/ The Wedding (1973), with music by Metin Bukey, and Diyet/ Blood Money (1974), with music by Orhan Gencebay. In each one the soundtrack is carefully composed to reflect the zeitgeist.

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