Sunday, June 6, 2010

Task 24: Dress You Up

Task 24 was to get glammed up Hollywood style and go out. Well, what's more Hollywood glamourous than a film premiere? This was way back in February but I kept putting off writing about it and now it's June and I probably should stop procrastinating.

My mom's friend did the PR for a new movie that came out about Ataturk. She sent my mom tickets to the premiere and my mom gave them to me and my cousin Beril and we got all dressed up and attended and made it a night out. It was a pretty big event with photographers and the writer/director, actors, distinguished guests, other filmmakers, and about 2000 other people in attendance. I should probably explain who Ataturk is before I go on though.

Ataturk was the founder of modern Turkey and he introduced the new alphabet, language, modes of dress, and various other laws and principles that made Turkey the country it is today. Lately, these principles are getting put to the test as certain individuals are hell-bent on turning Turkey, to put it bluntly, into Iran by flaunting religious tactics that were outlawed in 1923. We are not in good shape right now. My grandfather has always been the strongest Ataturk supporter and his love of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk has been passed down to all of us. Mustafa Kemal was a great man and this might sound lame, but I honestly can't read or or watch anything about him without tearing up in pride and joy. Even occasionally thinking about him and allowing my mind to wander can make me get all choked up. He made my country the place I love and I hate how people are trying to warp his views and words to better suit their needs. I'm not going to go on a political rant but my views on this are iron; Mustafa Kemal Ataturk made Turkey the best it could be and no one else can compare to him. He had his reasons for everything he did and yes he had his faults too, he was human after all, but I firmly believe his actions pushed us to become the wonderful place and people we are today and those who stand against him are the enemy. Yes, the enemy. They represent the narrow-minded, ignorant, backwards-thinking jackasses who'll have us living up to the worst examples and stereotypes of Islamic folk. And I'm done.

Anyway, the film, Veda, was from the point of view of Ataturk's best friend Salih Bozok. It's in the form of a letter to his son and it takes place over the course of Ataturk and his life together; beginning when they were kids and Mustafa Kemal protected him from the wrath of a teacher and took a beating in his friend's place, to the day of his death November 10, 1938. It was quite well done with an excellent score and good actors. We, as a country, tend to take the melodramatic route especially in films and TV shows but this was an elegant biopic from start to finish. I had some problems with the casting as the actor playing his later, and most recognizeable, years looked nothing like him and they did not do a good job of aging his mother, Zubeyde Hanim. But otherwise, I really enjoyed it. I loved being in an audience who were as big Ataturk supporters as we were, who clapped when he was coming up with his laws during the birth years of Turkey (especially when he banned the headscarf and adopted modern dress), and when he danced the Sari Zeybek. Of course, when he died, my cousin and I were among the many who bawled. The entire film kept giving me goosebumps and making me beam in pride. Ataturk reminds me of my grandfather in some ways and I'm in awe of both of them in the same way. Watching his life and death is akin to watching someone I know personally live and die and it hit me hard right in the gut. He makes me proud to be Turkish and it was a night that made me reflect on that and the place my family has in our country. It was an honor to attend.

It was overall a very good night, but of course, since this is my life, it had it's element of extreme awkwardness and just plain wtf-ness. Before the film started, a young guy came and sat next to me. It was one of the few free seats left so I didn't think much of it but when the lights were dimming, he held out his hand asked me if I minded holding it throughout the film. Yes, a total stranger asked me to hold his hand for the duration of a two hour movie. Of course, my first thought was, "Augh our hands would get so sweaty!" but then the smarts kicked into action and I politely told him that that was very sweet but my boyfriend probably wouldn't appreciate that. He kind of harrumphed and withdrew his hand. At the same time my cousin, who couldn't quite hear what was going on, loudly told me to watch my bag. Heh, I guess she thought it was a diversionary tactic and then admitted she got all nervous thining what if they guy kept bugging me. Well, no worries of that. After sulking for ten minutes he got up and left and didn't come back.

What is my life sometimes?

Oh, I did get all glammed up though and we did go get dinner beforehand and flaunt our prettiness haha. I wore one of the Indian tunics I have that's embellished with gold thread and beads and is a beautiful turquoise-blue color and wore turquoise heels and made my make-up all fancy and colorful and had my hair half-pulled back and decorated with a gold flowery headband. Unfortunately, I don't have any good photos except these last minute photobooth pictures I took in my room and bathroom as I tried to get a good enough light.

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