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"I wanted to direct Head-On with an unbiased mind."
June 13, 2006 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Head-On is a riveting 2004 German film which garnered spirited praise and quite a large share of hype. The film went on to win numerous awards. Days after receiving the Golden Bear, some colorful information about the film's female lead broke in the German tabloids and led to a reaction from her traditional Turkish family nearly identical to actions of her eponymous character's parents in the movie. Is this simply a case of life imitating art, or perhaps an inevitable repercussion of casting someone who's life so closely coincides with that of her on screen persona?
posted by kaytwo (21 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I know it's old, but I really feel the hype machine should've hit critical mass on this one in the states but didn't. Also, first timer, rip me to shreads if you please.
posted by kaytwo at 10:38 AM on June 13, 2006


shreads shreds
For stuff like, you know, poor spelling.
posted by kaytwo at 10:39 AM on June 13, 2006


Perhaps for ethnically German parents the revelation that your daughter has been in porn is a cause for celebration, but I can think of many non-Turkish parents who would have a similar reaction.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:54 AM on June 13, 2006


Interesting film for being different but I felt the whole plot extremely schematic: the depravities that they fall into, especially her when she's in Istanbul at the end, are so extreme relative to her religion and the Turkish social pressures that I can't take the movie serious.

Reminds me of 70s dutch cinema that revolved totally around shock tactics (drugs!, rape!).

There's an interesting film to be made on this subject; but this film is not it.
posted by jouke at 11:01 AM on June 13, 2006


I felt the whole plot extremely schematic: the depravities that they fall into... are so extreme... that I can't take the movie seriously.

Yes and yes. In many ways, this movie is just a version of Requiem for a Dream, and is just as bad. The one thing that kept it going was the oddly uptight relationship between the two main characters, which was either enough to save the film, or not enough, depending on your point of view.
posted by suckerpunch at 11:14 AM on June 13, 2006


I think with the amount of porn being produced and the increasing numbers of participants (Fresh is best!) combined with things like video search, facial recognition, and the evolving digital distribution system, we're going to be reading about this sort of thing a lot more in the future. Already this year a couple of teachers have been in the spotlight for their former transgressions.

(p.s. I've no qualms with porn or porn stars turned teacher or bus driver.)
posted by shoepal at 11:27 AM on June 13, 2006


Perhaps for ethnically German parents the revelation that your daughter has been in porn is a cause for celebration, but I can think of many non-Turkish parents who would have a similar reaction.


I don't know about that, but it appears to be quite common for Turks in Germany to go on and kill their daughters/sisters for such (and much lesser) transgressions.
posted by sour cream at 11:42 AM on June 13, 2006


Of course, you realize that in the interconnected high speed Web 3.0 world of tomorrow, you'll be able to google your hot highschool english teacher, find out she did porn, and one click buy and download said porn from Amazon.com.


Ahh, the future.
posted by stenseng at 11:44 AM on June 13, 2006


That film is quite good, but I think that it, like 'Tal der Wölfe,' (Valley of the Wolves) often plays into common European stereotypes about what Turkish diaspora life is like in Germany.
posted by vkxmai at 11:59 AM on June 13, 2006


And as mentioned in one of the links above, it's better to go from porn to "Oscar" than the other way.
posted by NationalKato at 12:00 PM on June 13, 2006


Thanks for the link, kaytwo.

In many ways, this movie is just a version of Requiem for a Dream, and is just as bad.

Well, there is a little of the morality tale in Head-On, but I find that it's a much more complex and rewarding movie than Requiem, with characters that are better drawn and an ending that's not completely preordained. I thought it was one of the best films of the year.

In related news, Fatih Akin's Turkish music documentary Crossing the Bridge just openend in New York.
posted by muckster at 12:07 PM on June 13, 2006


In many ways, this movie is just a version of Requiem for a Dream, and is just as bad.

I didn't care about any of the characters in Requiem, which I don't think is something you can say about Head-On. I'm amused, though, that the news of Ms. Kekilli's brief career in porn eclipsed the equally interesting story of her co-star. During the filming of the movie, Birol Unel was told by his doctor that he had to quit drinking alcohol, otherwise he could die.
posted by Slothrup at 12:41 PM on June 13, 2006


I'm assuming that by now this has been released on DVD. If so, does it come with English subtitles. This story has me interested now.
posted by rez at 12:50 PM on June 13, 2006


I wonder how she 'scored' the role. Heh heh...

oh god I'm so sorry...
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:08 PM on June 13, 2006


Vkxmai: Vally of the Wolves is a Turkish, not German, movie and a laughably bad one at that. When you have Gary Busey playing a Jewish doctor harvesting organs of Iraqi prisoners for sale, it isn't exactly a nuanced portrayal of reality.
posted by clockworkjoe at 1:16 PM on June 13, 2006


I'm assuming that by now this has been released on DVD. If so, does it come with English subtitles. This story has me interested now.

The Region 1 version with English subtitles is avaiable from Amazon and Netflix (just sent it back this morning).
posted by kaytwo at 1:52 PM on June 13, 2006


FWIW, I've seen the film and some of the pr0n, and the film is much more hardcore.
posted by signal at 3:26 PM on June 13, 2006


Clockworkjoe: I know that, but it enjoyed immense popularity in the Turkish community in Germany, which I believe numbers over one million people. The film caused a huge uproar in Germany, with even some of the major newspapers publishing borderline-racist editorials and commentaries on the film. Districts of Berlin, including Neukölln, had theaters running the film for months.
posted by vkxmai at 5:31 PM on June 13, 2006


My wife and I saw Crossing the Bridge in New York this past weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it; not much in the way of a plot, but much of the music was excellent. I hadn't heard of Head On before Crossing the Bridge, but was considering trying to find it. This piques my interest even more.
posted by geneablogy at 7:08 PM on June 13, 2006


Of course, you realize that in the interconnected high speed Web 3.0 world of tomorrow, you'll be able to google your hot highschool english teacher, find out she did porn, and one click buy and download said porn from Amazon.com.

I can't wait to get this 'porn' of which you speak from the internet.

Also, I'm shocked that education professionals are having sex. The nerve!
posted by spazzm at 8:40 PM on June 13, 2006


I don't know about that, but it appears to be quite common for Turks in Germany to go on and kill their daughters/sisters for such (and much lesser) transgressions.

According to the Bundeskriminalamt (the closest thing to the FBI we have here) there were 55 known attempts of Ehrenmorde (murders to restore honour) between 1996 and 2005, of which 48 were successful (35 women, 12 men). (Source)

If this qualifies as "quite common" is left to your judgement. There are about 2.5 million people of turkish descent or turkish nationality living in Germany.
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 9:36 AM on June 14, 2006


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