Semiotic Analysis of the Movie It Was Cold and Raining Through the Concepts of Death and TimeSeçil Turan, Kutluhan Meral
The subject of this study is an analysis of the director Engin Ayça’s film It Was Cold and Raining (Soğuktu ve Yağmur Çiseliyordu, 1991) by focusing on the concepts of death and time. This study stems from a gap in the literature on this film and aims to analyze the signs, images, and content in the film using philosophical concepts to make a meaningful whole. The study applies the semiotic method and analyzes through a theoretical framework various concepts such as death and time, alienation, persona, and regret based on their references in the philosophical literature. The study then follows these concepts as themes and patterns; analyzes them in the film’s narrative through connotations, metaphors, metonymies, and conflicts; and investigates the manifestations of philosophical concepts in the content of the film. According to the research, the news of Cemal Bey’s death in the film was observed to be, as Karl Jaspers would say, a limit situation (‘grenzsituation’) for Leyla Hanım. As Martin Heidegger would say, when Leyla Hanım was confronted with death, she started to question who she was and her inauthentic existence and realized that she had been living with a persona defined by other people for years and years. Only Cemal Bey had seen Leyla Hanım behind her mask. Leyla Hanım distanced herself from her everyday life after the news of his death, and the film then follows her transformation toward a more authentic existence. The holistic understanding of time that is followed, as well as the linear time model the film disintegrates both formally and contextually and the memory images that are actualized with the past articulated to the present are the elements that enable the Bergsonian duration (‘durée’) and memory themes to be followed throughout the narrative. In conclusion, the article shows how the content of the film provides a variety of readings for philosophical analysis.
Ölüm ve Zaman Kavramları Üzerinden Soğuktu ve Yağmur Çiseliyordu Filminin Göstergebilimsel AnaliziSeçil Turan, Kutluhan Meral
Bu çalışmanın konusu, yönetmenliğini Engin Ayça’nın yaptığı Soğuktu ve Yağmur Çiseliyordu (1991) adlı filmin, ölüm ve zaman kavramlarının merkeze alınarak çözümlenmesidir. Filme dair alan yazındaki boşluktan ileri gelen çalışmada, felsefi kavramlarla birlikte filmdeki göstergeleri, imgeleri, içeriği çözümlemek ve anlamlı bir bütün hâline getirmek amaçlanmaktadır. Göstergebilimsel yöntemin uygulandığı çalışmanın teorik çerçevesi için başta ölüm ve zaman olmak üzere; yabancılaşma, persona, pişmanlık gibi çeşitli kavramlar felsefi literatürdeki referanslarıyla irdelenmiştir. Ardından bu kavramlar, birer tema ve örüntü olarak da takip edilmiş ve filmin anlatısında yer alan; yan anlam, metafor, metonomi ve çatışkılar eşliğinde analiz edilerek, felsefi kavramların filmin içeriğindeki tezahürleri araştırılmıştır. Araştırmaya göre; Cemal Bey’in ölüm haberinin Leyla Hanım için, Karl Jaspers’in ifadesiyle âdeta bir sınır durum niteliği taşıdığı görülmüştür. Martin Heidegger’in söylediği gibi, Leyla Hanım ölümle karşı karşıya geldiğinde kendisinin kim olduğunu, gayrisahih varoluşunu da sorgulamaya başlamıştır. Yıllardır başkalarının kendisini tanımladığı bir personayla yaşadığını fark eden Leyla Hanım’ı yalnızca Cemal Bey, maskesinin ötesinde görmüştür. Ölüm haberinin ardından gündelik yaşamına karşı bir mesafe alan Leyla Hanım’ın filmde de daha otantik bir varoluşa doğru dönüşümü takip edilmektedir. Filmin hem biçimsel hem içeriksel anlamda parçaladığı çizgisel zaman modeliyle birlikte takip edilen bütünsel zaman anlayışı ve ‘şimdi’ye eklemlenen geçmiş ile edimselleşen anı-imgeler ise anlatı boyunca Bergsoncu süre ve bellek izleklerinin takip edilmesini sağlayan unsurlardır. Sonuç olarak makalede, filmin içeriğinin felsefi bir çözümleme için hem uygun bir zemin sunduğu hem de zengin bir okumayı sağladığı gösterilmektedir..
As universal and interrelated concepts, death and time have always been central issues in the fields of philosophy and art. With the power to produce images, cinema has perhaps provided the most suitable grounds for rethinking this common theme again and again. Directed by Engin Ayça, It Was Cold and Raining (Soğuktu ve Yağmur Çiseliyordu, 1991) is an original work of Turkish cinema that presents a subtle depiction of the concepts of death and time as the common denominators of humanity. However, when scanning academic articles and theses, no previous work is observed to have been done on It Was Cold and Raining. Very few reviews were actually written about the film. In fact, the film is a unique example of Turkish cinema, as it discusses philosophical topics. As such, the audience in a causal viewing experience may not be able to understand the real topics, because what makes this movie valuable is its philosophical themes. This study stems from the gap in the literature on this film and aims to analyze the signs, images, and content in the film through philosophical concepts to make a meaningful whole. Based on this aim, the study applies the semiotic method to analyze various concepts such as death and time, alienation, persona, and regret, as well as their references in the philosophical literature, using a theoretical framework. The study then follows these concepts as themes and patterns and analyzes them in the narrative of the film, accompanied by an investigation into the connotations, metaphors, metonymies, and conflicts in the film, as well as into the manifestations of philosophical concepts within the film’s content. Therefore, the philosophical concepts will be used to find answers to the following questions:
• What can be seen when analyzing the story of the film It Was Cold and Raining in depth through a semiotic analysis in terms of its content?
• What are the film’s connections to philosophical theories, especially those from Heidegger, Jaspers, Bergson, and Scheler regarding such things as death, authentic existence, time/duration, memory, and regret? How do the concepts mentioned in the philosophical literature themselves appear in the story, and what are their patterns?
The study uses the semiotics method in order to answer these questions and trace the patterns of meaning in the film through these concepts. While applying the semiotic analysis, the study follows the metaphors, metonymies, and conflicts and in particular reveals the appearance of philosophical concepts belonging to Heidegger, Jaspers, Bergson, and Scheler in the film.
Accordingly and as Jaspers would say, Cemal Bey’s death is seen to be a limit situation (‘grenzsituation’) for Leyla Hanım. She distances herself from everyday life for a long time as she faces death and realizes she has been living as her persona. As Martin Heidegger would say, the anxiety (‘angst’) of death confronts a person with their inauthentic existence, and through Cemal Bey’s death, Leyla Hanım becomes aware of the nothingness in her own untrue existence. Thus, she opens herself to the possibilities of her new true existence.
Because of regret, however, Leyla Hanım could not stop herself from recalling her memories with Cemal Bey. As Max Scheler would say, though, regret is not an obsession. On the contrary, it is therapeutic. The regretful person becomes open to change and leaving their old existence. For this reason, the Leyla Hanım at the beginning of the movie is not the same as the Leyla Hanım at the end. Through her awareness of mortality, Leyla Hanım reaches an authentic existence.
When analyzing the film temporally, linear time is seen to be corrupted both formally and contextually throughout the story. The corruption of linearity is shown through the use of flashbacks. Thus, the past becomes integrated with the present. Moments are not only in the present, and the past flows into the future as a part of the present. The film shows how Leyla Hanım is living in an inner sense of time. This conception of inner time can also be traced through the philosophies of Heidegger and Husserl; however, the Bergsonian concept of time provides a much more favorable context with memory. For Bergson, memory, being identical with duration (‘durée’), is a fundamental part of the soul and identity. Throughout the story, the audience watches memory images of Leyla Hanım’s own existence. These memory images involve the appearance of pure memories that preserve the past in the present and carry it into the future. Thus, in the stream of images of consciousness, duration cognizes directly. Only with this direct awareness is Leyla Hanım released from her persona and able to begin her authentic existence.