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The destruction of a city myth in late modern Turkish cinema

Tuncer, Selda
The thesis attempts at providing a critical evaluation of the city as the mythological site of modernity. For that purpose, highlighting such special nature of the urban context as it finds expression by the cinematic medium, what is aimed at is the analysis of, first, the mythical dimensions of modern urban life as the prime site of enthusiasm and spirit with its fleeting impressions and changing images, secondly, the (re)creation of the city myth through cinema as an elaborate perceptive vehicle for a specific way of picturing and enframing the cityscape and, lastly the representation of the destruction of such myth. In this way, it will also be possible to point out concretely that the city experience of the modern individual simultaneously embodies fascination and horror, hope and despair. In order to explain the situation of the modern individual in the big city, Odysseus̕s encounter with mythological forces in ancient world are taken as a parable in the footsteps of Adorno and Horkheimer̕s allegoric interpretation of Homer̕s Odyssey. Specifically speaking, the cinematic representation of Istanbul-myth and the destruction of this myth in Turkish cinema of the nineties will be examined through three prominent examples in the light of the above theoretical considerations.