Research Article


DOI :10.26650/LITERA2021-908311   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2021-908311    Full Text (PDF)

Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul

Oya Kasap Ortaklan

Audiences in Ottoman Istanbul first had the opportunity to watch films in 1896, after the first public film screenings circulated in the world. As a result of the implications of the Ottoman–German alliance on cultural life during World War I, documentary and feature-length films that were produced in and about the German Empire, including the films of Asta Nielsen, were screened at movie theaters in Istanbul. Although there are studies which deal with the screening of Asta Nielsen films in Europe and some parts of Asia, no study has been conducted yet on the prevalence and recognition of these films in the Ottoman Empire. This article, which aims to fill this gap, focuses on the reception of Asta Nielsen’s female characters through her two prominent films. The article evaluates the interest shown in and the comments made about Nielsen’s films, as she represented a new type of woman in the film community during her time. This article also discussed and problematizes female roles and the historical status of female spectators in Istanbul in relation to these female images. The influence of the images of modern women portrayed by Asta Nielsen on female spectators at a time when the public presence and visibility of women began to be discussed in the Ottoman Empire and the experience of female spectators who went to the movies at Péra in relation to these images give important clues about the place of cinema in the process of secularization. Therefore, the article contributes to the monography of Asta Nielsen and Ottoman/German cinema and cultural history with a focus on the screening and reception of Asta Nielsen films at Péra.

DOI :10.26650/LITERA2021-908311   IUP :10.26650/LITERA2021-908311    Full Text (PDF)

Asta Nielsen Filmvorführungen in Istanbul

Oya Kasap Ortaklan

Mit den ersten kommerziellen Filmvorführungen, die weltweit im Umlauf waren, bekam das Publikum die Gelegenheit ab 1896 im osmanischen Istanbul Filme zu sehen. Durch die Osmanisch-Deutsche Allianz und ihrer Reflexion auf das kulturelle Leben wurden während des Ersten Weltkrieges die im Deutschen Reich produzierten Dokumentarfilme und Spielfilme in den Istanbuler Kinos gezeigt, darunter auch Asta Nielsen-Filme. Es gibt Studien, die sich auf Filmvorführungen von Asta Nielsen-Filmen in einigen Teilen Europas oder Asiens konzentrieren, doch gibt es noch keine Untersuchungen zur Verbreitung und Anerkennung ihrer Filme im Osmanischen Reich. Dieser Artikel, der diesen Mangel abdecken möchte, betont auch die Rezeption von Asta Nielsens Frauencharaktere in zwei herausragenden Filmen. Das Interesse und die Kommentare zu den Filmen von Nielsen, einer der Repräsentinnen der neuen Frau in der Filmwelt und ihrer Zeit, werden bewertet. Die Frauenrollen und die historische Stellung der Istanbuler Zuschauerinnen dieser Frauenbilder gegenüber wird thematisiert und in Frage gestellt. In einer Zeit, in der man begann, die öffentliche Präsenz und Sichtbarkeit von Frauen im Osmanischen Reich zu diskutieren, geben die Auswirkungen, der von Asta Nielsen verkörperten Bilder der modernen Frau, auf das weibliche Publikum, und die Erfahrungen der Zuschauerinnen, die in Péra ins Kino gingen, wichtige Hinweise auf die Verortung des Kinos im Säkularisierungsprozess. Damit leistet der Text einen Beitrag zur Monographie von Asta Nielsen und zur osmanischen/deutschen Kino- und Kulturgeschichte, indem er die Vorführung und Rezeption von Asta Nielsen-Filmen in Péra in den Mittelpunkt stellt.


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


After the first public screenings in different countries around the world, audiences in Istanbul first had the opportunity to see films on the silver screen starting at the end of 1896. Improving Ottoman-German relations also showed themselves in cultural life. In particular, with the declaration of the Second Constitution, documentary and featurelength films produced in the German Empire began to be screened at movie theaters in Istanbul and the screening of German films increased as a result of the alliance formed during the war. The films of Asta Nielsen, one of the first stars of the cinema, were also seen by audiences in Istanbul as of 1913. The screening of her narrative films continued and information about these films circulated throughout the 1910s. Full-length films started to be screened at movie theaters starting in 1910, and it has been observed that viewing habits started to change gradually during this period. As cinema evolved into an industry, it experienced a transition from travelling shows to permanent establishments. In other words, the act and experience of watching became more standardized.

Although there are studies which focus on the screening of Asta Nielsen films in European or Asian countries, no study has been conducted yet on their course of screening and reception in the Ottoman Empire and the early Republican Era of Turkiye. This article focuses on the circulation of information about cinema in Istanbul, the status of the female audience in the cinema, and the Asta Nielsen films that were screened at Péra between 1913-1918. The research provides historical background information about the screening of films in Istanbul, during a period which also included World War I, by describing the screening conditions of films. This knowledge aims to contribute to the cultural and cinematic history of the time.

It is very difficult to access all of the early films. Some have disappeared and some are waiting to be discovered in unknown places far away. The absence of early films, which researchers sometimes experience, requires using different methods in studies. 

Accordingly, discourse analysis is mainly used in this article. News and advertisements compiled from newspapers and magazines are primary sources. Other primary sources are the films themselves. For this study, the Asta Nielsen films that were shown at Péra were watched to the greatest extent possible. Secondary sources describe the period in socioeconomic terms or provide insight on the history of cinema and specifically Asta Nielsen cinema. 

The article consists of three main sections: Introduction, main section, and conclusion. The main section includes three sub-headings: 1. Cinema Life in the Ottoman Empire, 2. The Screening of Asta Nielsen Films at Péra, 3. The Female Image and the Reception of Asta Nielsen. In the first section, cinema life in Ottoman Istanbul during the period of 1910-1918 is discussed, with reference points. The first section also discusses the structure of film production and viewing, those who were involved in filmmaking, and the political actors who formalized the mode of screening that was most commonly used. Accordingly, the cinema is evaluated within its economic, political, and historical context. The second section deals with Asta Nielsen’s cinema career and her films. Also, this section discusses the screening conditions of Nielsen films and provides information on film screenings in Istanbul at the time. The conditions under which the films were screened are analyzed using data such as the date and place of screening, any significant features of the movie theater, for how long the films were screened, and the ticket prices. In the third section, the way the female characters played by Asta Nielsen were perceived in her time is discussed and the female roles portrayed by Asta Nielsen in her films Die Suffragette and Engelein are discussed in sub-headings. Reviews of Nielsen by Ottoman audiences also give clues to how the new woman of the period was perceived and evaluated. In this section, the article attempts to lay out the historical evidence for the presence of female audiences in movie theaters as public sphere based on the status of the female Ottoman audience in relation to the films, and the questions that the screenings bring to mind. Based on the data obtained, the screening of Asta Nielsen films at Istanbul Péra, their reception, and the status of female spectators at the movie theater in relation to these films are evaluated in the conclusion. Accordingly, the role that cinema played in the secularization of the Ottoman Empire and the definition of the status of women in the public sphere is read through Asta Nielsen’s films. 


PDF View

References

  • Allen, J. K. (2013). Ambivalent Admiration: Asta Nielsen’s Conflicted Reception in Denmark, 1911-1914. In M. Loiperdinger und U. Jung (Hrsg.), Importing Asta Nielsen: The International Film Star in the Making 1910-1914 (S. 34-43). New Barnet: John Libbey. google scholar
  • Altenloh, E. (1914). Zur Soziologie des Kino. Die Kino- Unternehmung und die sozialen Schichten ihrer Besucher. Jena: Eugen Diederichs. google scholar
  • Balazs, B. (2001). DersichtbareMensch oder die Kultur des Films. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. google scholar
  • Beuys, B. (2020, 17. November). Aufbruch der neuen Frau: Asta Nielsen - Erster Stummfilmstar und Ikone. Bürgerleben. Abruf von https://www.buergerleben.com/aufbruch-der-neuen-frauen-asta-nielsen-erster-stummfilmstar-und-ikone/ . google scholar
  • Beyru, R. (1996). İzmirde İlk Sinema Gösterileri. Antrakt Aylık Sinema Dergisi, (53), 43-44. google scholar
  • Bozis, Y. & Bozis, S. (2014). Paris'ten Pera'ya Sinema ve Rum Sinemacılar. İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları. google scholar
  • Çakır, S. (2016). Osmanlı Kadın Hareketi. İstanbul: Metis Yayınları. google scholar
  • Elster, A. (1913/14). Engelein. Bild und Film. Zeitschrift für Lichtbilderei und Kinematographie, Nr. 8, 205-207. google scholar
  • Erdoğan, N. (2017). Sinemanın İstanbul’da İlk Yılları. Modernlik ve Seyir Maceraları. İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları. google scholar
  • Evren, B. (1995). Türkiye’ye Sinemayı Getiren Adam Sigmund Weinberg. İstanbul: Milliyet Yayınları. google scholar
  • Faroqhi, S. (1998). Osmanlı Kültürü ve Gündelik Yaşam. E. Kılıç (Übers.). İstanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları. google scholar
  • Förster, Annette. (2013). A Pendelum of Performances: Asta Nielsen on Stage and Screen. google scholar
  • In M. Dall’Asta, V. Duckett und L. Tralli (Hrsg.). Researching Women in Silent Cinema: New Findings and Perspectives, (S. 303-317). Bologna: Alma Mater Studiorum Universita de Bologna. google scholar
  • Gök, Nurşen. 2008. Donanma Cemiyeti’nin Anadolu’da Örgütlenmesine İlişkin Gözlemler. Tarih Araştırmaları Dergisi, 27(43), 77-93. google scholar
  • Gökmen, M. (1989). Başlangıçtan 1950’ye Kadar Türk Sinema Tarihi ve Eski İstanbul Sinemaları. İstanbul: Denetim Ajansı Basımevi. google scholar
  • Hansen, Miriam. (1983). Early Silent Cinema: Whose Public Sphere? New German Critique, 29, 147-184. google scholar
  • Karay, R. H. (1939). Deli. İstanbul: Semih Lütfi Kitabevi. google scholar
  • Karpat, K. H. (1985). Ottoman Population 1830-1914. Demographic and Social Characteristics. London: The University of Wisconsin Press. google scholar
  • Klötzel, C. Z. (1914, 8. Juli). Der Film als Kulturpionier. Der Kinematograph, Nr. 393, S. 3-4. google scholar
  • Loiperdinger, M. (2018). Importing Asta Nielsen Database. Quellen zu globalem Vertrieb und lokalen Aufführungen des frühen Filmstars Asta Nielsen in Branchenblattern und Tageszeitungen. In A.Geimer, C. Heinze, R. Winter, (Hrsg.). Die Herausforderungen des Films. Soziologische Antworten, (S. 297-313). Wiesbaden: Springer VS. google scholar
  • Messter, O. (1994). Der Film als Politisches Werbemittel (1916). In M. Loiperdinger, F. Kessler, S. Lenk, (Hrsg.). KINtop: Jahrbuch zur Erforschung des frühen Films, Bd. 3, (S. 93-102). Basel, Frankfurt am Main: Stroemfeld/ Roter Stern. google scholar
  • Müller, C. (1994). Frühe deutsche Kinematographie. Formale, wirtschaftliche und kulturelle Entwicklungen 19071912. Stuttgart, Weimar: J. B. Metzler. google scholar
  • Odabaşı, İ. A. (2017). Milli Sinema. Osmanlı’da Sinema Hayatı ve Yerli Üretime Geçiş. İstanbul: Dergâh Yayınları. google scholar
  • o. A. Asta Nielsen. Filmportal.de. Abruf von https://www.filmportal.de/person/astanielsen_485e2acc873649f68c623508ddeuycf5bb google scholar
  • o. A. Die Suffragette (1913). Imdb. Abruf von https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0132536/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_dt_dt#akas . google scholar
  • o. A. (1894, 10 Kânûn-ı Evvel [1894, 10. Dezember]). Edison’un son ihtirâ’ları. İkdam. google scholar
  • o. A. (1311, 9 Teşrinisani [1895, 21. November]). Lumiere’in Sinematograf Makinesi. Servet-i Fünun. google scholar
  • o. A. (1911,8. Dezember). Amphitheatre. Le Moniteuer Oriental. google scholar
  • o. A. (1328, 21. Haziran [1912, 4. Juli]). Sinematografın İstilası. Servet-i Fünun. google scholar
  • o. A. (1913, 28. Juni). Le chef-d’ reuvre de Leon TolstoT. Le Moniteuer Oriental, google scholar
  • o. A. (1913, 14. Oktober). Cinema Theâtre Parlant Gaumont. Le Moniteuer Oriental. google scholar
  • o. A. (1913, 13. November). Cinema Theâtre Parlant Gaumont. Le Moniteuer Oriental. google scholar
  • o. A. (1913, 24. November). Quo Vadis? Le Moniteuer Oriental. google scholar
  • o. A. (1915, 11. Dezember). Asta Nielsen dans “Petit-Ange”. Le Moniteur Oriental. google scholar
  • o. A. (1915, 16. Dezember) Der kleine Engel. Osmanischer Lloyd. google scholar
  • o. A. (1916, 11. November). Kino - „Apollo”. Osmanischer Lloyd. google scholar
  • o. A. (1916, 5. Januar). „ ‘Luxemburg’-Kinema”. Osmanischer Lloyd. google scholar
  • o. A. (1917, 16. Februar). Das Geheimnis. Osmanischer Lloyd. google scholar
  • o. A. (1333, 19. Temmuz [1917, 19. Juli]). Sağırlar Temaşası. İkdam. google scholar
  • o. A. (1918, 16. April). Aus Stadt und Land. Osmanischer Lloyd. google scholar
  • Özçelik, S. (2000). Donanmay-ı Osmani Muavenet-i Milliye Cemiyeti. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu. google scholar
  • Özen, M. (2006). Fransız Firma Pathe Freres İstanbul’da, 1908-1914, In Deniz Bayrakdar (Hrsg.). Türk Film Araştırmalarında Yeni Yönelimler, Nr. 5, (S. 57-64). İstanbul: Bağlam Yayıncılık. google scholar
  • Özuyar, A. (2004). Babıâli’de Sinema. 1. Baskı. Istanbul: İzdüşüm Yayınları. google scholar
  • Rennert, M. (1913/1914). Kritik. Asta Nielsen im Kinodrama „Die Suffragetten”. Bild und Film. Zeitschrift für Lichtbilderei und Kinematographie, Nr. 6, 137. google scholar
  • Rennert, M. (1914/1915). Kriegslichtspiele. Bild und Film. Zeitschrift für Lichtbilderei und Kinematographie, 4(7-8), 139. google scholar
  • Rosenthal, A. (1910, 17 August). Der Kino im Orient. Der Kinematograph, Nr. 190. google scholar
  • Sancar, S. (2014). Türk Modernleşmesinin Cinsiyeti. Erkekler Devlet, Kadınlar Aile Kurar. İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları. google scholar
  • Schlüpmann, H. (1990). Unheimlichkeit des Blicks. Das Drama des frühen deutschen Kinos. Basel, Frakfurt am Main: Stroemfeld Verlag/Roter Stern. google scholar
  • Schlüpmann, H. (2000). Asta Nielsen. Frauen und Film. Nr. 62, 33-46. google scholar
  • Scognamillo, G. (2008). Cadde-i Kebir’de Sinema. İstanbul: Agora Kitaplığı. google scholar
  • Seydel, R. und Hagedorff, A. (1984). Asta Nielsen. Eine Bildbiographie. Ihr Leben in Fotodokumenten, Selbstzeugnissen und zeitgenössischen Betrachtungen. Berlin: Henschelverlag. google scholar
  • Teksoy, R. (2009). Sinema Tarihi. İstanbul: Oğlak Yayıncılık. google scholar
  • Temel, M. (1998). İşgal Yıllarında İstanbul’un Sosyal Durumu. Ankara: Kültür Bakanlığı. google scholar
  • Toprak, Z. (1994). Nüfus. In Dünden Bugüne İstanbul Ansiklopedisi, 6, (S. 108-111). İstanbul: Kültür Bakanlığı ve Tarih Vakfı. google scholar
  • Toprak, Z. (2014). Türkiye’de Kadın Özgürlüğü ve Feminizm (1908-1935). İstanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları. google scholar

Citations

Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the options to export in your chosen format


EXPORT



APA

Kasap Ortaklan, O. (2022). Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 32(1), 295-316. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-908311


AMA

Kasap Ortaklan O. Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies. 2022;32(1):295-316. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-908311


ABNT

Kasap Ortaklan, O. Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, [Publisher Location], v. 32, n. 1, p. 295-316, 2022.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Kasap Ortaklan, Oya,. 2022. “Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 32, no. 1: 295-316. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-908311


Chicago: Humanities Style

Kasap Ortaklan, Oya,. Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 32, no. 1 (Dec. 2022): 295-316. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-908311


Harvard: Australian Style

Kasap Ortaklan, O 2022, 'Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul', Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 295-316, viewed 5 Dec. 2022, https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-908311


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Kasap Ortaklan, O. (2022) ‘Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul’, Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 32(1), pp. 295-316. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-908311 (5 Dec. 2022).


MLA

Kasap Ortaklan, Oya,. Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul.” Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, vol. 32, no. 1, 2022, pp. 295-316. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-908311


Vancouver

Kasap Ortaklan O. Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies [Internet]. 5 Dec. 2022 [cited 5 Dec. 2022];32(1):295-316. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-908311 doi: 10.26650/LITERA2021-908311


ISNAD

Kasap Ortaklan, Oya. Screening of Asta Nielsen Films in Istanbul”. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 32/1 (Dec. 2022): 295-316. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2021-908311



TIMELINE


Submitted02.04.2021
Accepted12.07.2021
Published Online17.05.2022

LICENCE


Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.


SHARE




Istanbul University Press aims to contribute to the dissemination of ever growing scientific knowledge through publication of high quality scientific journals and books in accordance with the international publishing standards and ethics. Istanbul University Press follows an open access, non-commercial, scholarly publishing.