Dr. Smith and Prof. Erdoğan Discuss “Yeşilçam’s Hollywood Movies”

At an event hosted by London Yunus Emre Institute, Hollywood adaptations at Yeşilçam (the nickname for the Turkish motion picture industry) were under spotlight. During the event moderated by Prof. Nezih Erdoğan, Dr. Iain Robert Smith said, in that special period of Yeşilçam, the American culture had a great influence under the name 'global culture'. 

London Yunus Emre Institute hosted Dr. Iain Robert Smith, an expert in film studies, at King's College London in an event moderated by Prof. Nezih Erdoğan, Head of the Department of Cinema and Television at Şehir University. During the event that was held on November 4, 2020, Smith talked about Hollywood adaptations at Yeşilçam. The webinar was organized as part of Yunus Emre Institute's series of art and culture conversations, and welcomed a detailed discussion on various movies such as "Turist Ömer Uzay Yolu'nda" (Ömer the Tourist at Star Trek), inspired by "Star Trek", and "Şeytan" (Devil), inspired by "The Exorcist".


The concept of "remakesplotion" in English, which refers to "adapted movies benefiting from the popularity of large-budget movies", was discussed during the online conversation on "Yeşilçam remake of Hollywood movies".

Smith and Erdoğan's online conversation focused on a different kind of film production process and on understanding cultural exchange.

Thanks to globalization, Hollywood movies affected the cinema industries of countries other than the USA.

In his presentation, Smith mentioned that, with the spread of global culture, the fashion, cuisine and cinema culture in many countries around the world were actually influenced by the American culture. During the conversation, Smith talked about the global impact of Hollywood cinema, citing Ana Lopez's statement "Hollywood's international presence has had acute effects not only on Hollywood itself but on all other filmmaking nations." That was the reason why both fake copies and imitations of Hollywood movies proliferated all over the world, Smith said. Stating that the American culture had been adopted by masses through popular culture, Smith said Hollywood had been a dominant cinema movement throughout the 20th century and thus made a huge and worldwide impact. 


Citing examples from Turkish movies, Dr. Smith explained that adaptations such as "Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda", inspired by Star Trek, and Dracula had been reinterpreted with concepts of the Turkish culture. He stated that these films gained an important place in Yeşilçam between 1970 and 1980 but were shot with a smaller budget than Hollywood movies.

The event mainly focused on "Turist Ömer Uzay Yolunda" (1973), which was inspired by the movie "Star Trek (1966)," as well as "Şeytan", adapted from "The Exorcist", "Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam" (The Man Who Saved the World), inspired by "Superman", and "Badi", adapted from "E.T.". 

Prof. Erdoğan and Dr. Smith had previously met at an event of Yunus Emre Institute for the 2019 London Turkish Film Week, and discussed Ömer Lütfi Akad's restored movie "Hudutların Kanunu" (Law of the Border).

Smith is the author of “The Hollywood Meme: Transnational Adaptations in World Cinema” (2016), “Transnational Film Remakes” and “Media Across Borders".

Prof. Erdoğan is the author of publications on Yeşilçam movies, censorship, reception of American films in Turkey, the early years of cinema in Istanbul, and the related viewing processes.

You can watch "Turkish Remakesploitation: Yeşilçam-era remakes of Hollywood Cinema" organized by Yunus Emre Institute on Institute's YouTube channel.