“I speak of the locura, Renè, the locura. Madness, cerveza, tradition or shit, as you call it, but with a nice splash of madness, the worst conservatism that is tinged with sympathy, color, sequins“. Who knows if the filmmakers of The Producer, series Turkish just released on Netflix, they will have never seen Boris, the fact is that the whole universe proposed here is pure locura. As we will point out in ours review by The manufacturer, the world created by Cem Yilmaz (also protagonist here) is pure student spirit imbued with a deep and sincere love for the world of cinema. The past as a porn producer and actor, a role that seems to have been borrowed directly from that Rand Gauthier (Seth Rogen) of Pam & Tommy, stands as the spokesperson for a passion for the Seventh Art as a creative, emotional and personal outlet. Ersan’s bulimic cinephilia is a symptom that can be easily shared with one’s audience; a visceral and universal love, through which to establish a first contact of sentimental affection, all brushed with bright colors that make the entire universe proposed here a show within another show. A meta-visual game of Chinese boxes, that of The Producer, in which the viewer is deeply inserted into each intrinsic layer, orienting himself and enjoying every single passage, also thanks to a simple language and easily decipherable codes because they are borrowed directly from the basic structures of all kinds faced by this sui generis crew, skilled in knowing how to make people laugh, get excited, but above all, enjoy.
The producer: the plot
Ershan Kuneri is many things: he is an acclaimed former actor of red light films, he is a former sex symbol, he is an ex convict just out of prison, he is a man now determined to try his hand at the production of films of various genres (but not more erotic) written and interpreted by himself. His team of agents and friends find it hard to believe his words, but are still forced to follow him in his wild attempts to achieve success. What is born, episode after episode, is a film gallery of films with the most disparate themes: there is the vintage film (Murad the dry), action film (Bad stuff), about superheroes who save the world in 2022 (Er-Man) and even horror (Midwife huntress). Nobody believes in him, but it doesn’t matter, because Ersan believes in himself enough for everyone to do. And in the end, he admits, he doesn’t want to make money or win prizes, what he cares about is being remembered.
Get lost in an atlas of cinema without coordinates
We are in Turkey in the seventies, but we can also be in an unspecified place of a past Middle Ages, of an Ankara saved by superheroes, or of a working-class context of years left behind. The producer is an a-temporal universe, a treasure chest deprived of geographical coordinates and a few chronological clues, where years and places are suspended and everything is taken, collected, manipulated with the force of words imprinted on script sheets. Volunteer prisoners of bars, offices and cinemas, the protagonists of this bizarre TV series become guinea pigs of the power of the Seventh Art to upset the lives of others, challenge the concept of space-time and live countless lives, even the most ordinary and embarrassing, making them for this extraordinary. Coming to life among the spaces of other environments strongly correlated to the concept of entertainment and creativity, the worlds crossed challenge tradition to border on parody, but it is precisely in this game of reversals that the series reveals its strength. By dedicating to each episode a specific genre of the Hollywood forge, The producer challenges the canons with an ironic and hyperbolic way, amusing the audience and at the same time writing an interesting essay about the power of the creative gaze and the predominance of the art of cinema – and today more than ever of the TV series – in the life of the contemporary viewer.
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Journey to discover cinema
“We are of the same substance as the films we have seen“and it is precisely on the strength of this cognitive background that an entire career can be renewed, passing from the poses of porn to those of the great classics of genre cinema. leaves room for the black and white of classic works, or for the grainy, shadowy and subdued tones of medieval epics. Time machine fueled by irony and sarcasm, The producer never takes himself seriously, even playing with production structures at he internal by referring to a push a little too risky for certain scenes, impossible to accept even from a platform like Netflix, a reality known for offering more creative freedom to its authors than the Hollywood majors. The producer is a vortex that knows how to be loved , just as his protagonist knows how to do, a character out of place in the roles to be interpreted, yet paradoxically always in part , incredible in its being not very credible (just think of the artificiality of its blonde wig), yet impossible to be criticized. Superhero, singer of arabesque music, healer sick of sex and lent to greed, avenger from slash-movie, the character played by Cem Yilmaz was born from the essence of Ersan to live among the waste of a thousand reflections of an interpretative prism of distinct personalities , and ironic reversals of the image of the typical Hollywood hero. A mirror vision in which all the parodic force of the series is contained; a parody that pays homage to the world of cinema, written with vitriolic jokes and hilarious language games. An environment that winks at another cult film such as The Nice Guys where space-time coordinates are only superficial indications of a world that is lived in the middle of the action, between the intersperses of the connections, between close-ups of spooky faces , unlikely situations and gunshots that hit without hurting.
Human samples of a movie carousel
If this Russian roulette of genres ready to be caught and riddled with assembled bullets of iron and sarcasm achieves its goal of spectator loyalty, a great deal of merit is to be attributed to its actor component. Taken individually, each character covers a specific piece in that cine-anthropological puzzle that can be found within each set. There is the gambling actor; the elderly producer (mindful of Hugh Hefner) now on the brink; the diva actress and the newcomer; the naive actor who creates everything and can do everything, with the glue that unites and dips his colleagues with hope and dreams. Forged by hyperbolic characters, and brought to life by a minimal expressiveness which is contrasted with marked gestures, the protagonists of The Producer become essential parts of a human gallery in which everything, even hair or clothes, live in excess for to tell the simplicity of a passion like that for cinema. Raw, amateur, unreal and joker cinema, typical of the seventies, but which also smells of the 2000s.
The essence of the post-contemporary
We live in a period in which everything in the cinema has already been said, done, or told. Stopping at the finish line, we continue to turn our gaze to the path we have faced, to the past left behind, to the past events and to the moments already transformed into cinematic film. It is the post-contemporary, the historical period of today’s cinema that thrives on remakes, reboots, tributes and citations of a world that has been and is returning to be. That past lives on elevated to different powers also in The Producer, which thanks to a direction in balance between the gritty fixity of a soap-opera style and a dynamism made of sudden slap and zoom panoramas, brings to life in the span of eight episodes decades of cinema history. A patchwork of styles and references to different periods, it is an assembled body of eras and ways of making films that differ from each other, a hybrid anchored in the Seventies launched towards contemporaneity, towards that concept of Seventh Art that no longer knows how to look ahead, but walk observing what is left behind. There is a bit of Edgar Wright in the visual rendering of The Producer, and a bit of Quentin Tarantino in the words put into the mouths of the various characters; solid foundations, which already know of homage, and on which to build one’s own serial temple anchoring itself to a mix of directors, styles, shots and the most disparate works. A gallery of leased snapshots from classic and more modern cinema, which elevates men and women, actors and actresses, producers and stuntmen of Turkish nationality, but now made citizens of the world, to a more international level. Citizens of a world without time and place like that of cinema; citizens of a world where everything is theater, and we mere actors. And now also producers.
We conclude our review of The Producer by underlining how the real strength of this TV series of Turkish origin is its ability to travel along worlds and times touched by the cinema of genres, each time overturning the canons and giving freshness to the recreated environments. His sui generis characters make an eight-stage journey even more interesting, otherwise burdened by a high length of time.
Because we like it
- The tenacity and ingenuity of a character like Ersan.
- The gut love for cinema.
- The clothes and hairstyles of the seventies.
- The vitriolic jokes.
- The excessive duration of the episodes.
- Ersan’s hair.