Seren Yüce

Arts & CultureOctober 4, 2016
Seren Yüce

After earning many awards with his first movie ‘Çoğunluk,’ Seren Yüce’s new movie ‘Rüzgarda Salınan Nilüfer’ won the Best Scenario award at the 40th Montreal Film Festival. We talked about life after ‘Çoğunluk’ with Yüce, a soon-to-be-prominent name in the up and coming director group.

“This is a crowd who tries to fill the cultural void by spending money. What I had in mind was the story of a woman from that crowd, on a mission to find herself, and not succeeding.“

It’s been six years since ‘Çoğunluk.’ Why did you decide to take a long break after such a successful movie?

There was a scenario we wanted to shoot however the characters hadn’t shaped like we wanted them to. Then Gezi happened, and anything we wanted to do during that time didn’t make much sense. That year we postponed the shoot and after that, the idea was finalized. Now it’s finally ready for viewing.

How did ‘Çoğunluk’ affect the beginning phase of the new movie? Did the awards it earned open new doors for you? Or did it create pressure due to its success?

The biggest affect would be the progress on the relationship I’ve formed with the cast and crew. It would be a lie to say that it didn’t create any pressure either.

When you sat down to begin ‘Rüzgarda Salınan Nilüfer,’ what kind of movie did you have in mind?

The idea was to do a movie talking about the rich people mostly living on the Western cities of the country. This is a crowd who tries to fill the cultural void by spending money. What I had in mind was the story of a woman from that crowd, on a mission to find herself, and not succeeding.

What is the reason behind your tendency to focus on the middle class in both your movies, a topic you reinterpreted with your latest one?

It’s a class that I’m more familiar with. Plus the issues that I deal with are generally around there. I guess that’s why I gravitate towards the middle and upper class when I’m producing. I’ve never been able to do profound readings. Both movies are made up of excerpts that I’ve found in myself, and intuitional implications. What is different in the second movie compared to ‘Çoğunluk’ is that there is the wealthy Turkish class.

What did you have to pay attention to when describing the tension between two women? Did you have the chance to witness tension between women before?

What I try to focus on the most is basics. I try to find meaning in the simplicity and mundaneness within the relationship between characters, the fictional side of events, and the visual world.

There is a common belief in society where women are each other’s worst enemy. You told the story without using this easy explanation. How did you make the balance?

I don’t agree with these kinds of beliefs anyways. I didn’t really try to come up with a balance really. I reflect my experiences of human relationships on the scenario. Handan verbalizes the rich, narcissistic city girl class who has lost the relationship with themselves, who only know consuming. Although Handan is a calmer model, Şermin is no different from her. Şermin is the future of Handan in a way.

I guess you got support from the Ministry of Culture. Did you have any restrictions due to that?

I didn’t have any restrictions.

It must be hard to be a director in Turkey in many ways; minimum sources for budgets budget, pressure, censorship, a minimal crowd who get’s to see Indie movies… Despite all of these, what is the motivation behind making another movie?

Of course the biggest difficulty is the sources. It’s hard to achieve that other than from the Ministry of Culture and a few funds in Europe. You always have to earn money from funds because the movie’s revenue never covers the budget of the whole thing. It has always been hard to make a movie, and it’s getting harder. However we will continue doing it. To me, what makes a movie is the content and the scenario, the originality of its idea. As long as you have that, you’ll find the motivation, and the movie will find it’s way out

What are your recent favorite movies, or movies you’ve been impressed by?

I couldn’t keep up with many of the recent movies. However Senem Tüzen’s first movie ‘Anayurdu,’ Emine Emel Balcı’s ‘Nefesim Kesilene Kadar’ and Nesimi Yetik’s ‘Toz Ruhu’ are incredibly honest and promising movies for me.

Do you know what you’ll shoot now?

Nothing I can talk about yet.

Photography by: Fora Norman
Author: Güliz Arslan