Turkishdelight Shares Berlinale Talent Campus Talk Experience

Exclusive to Mr-Reeves. Turkishdelight attended the Berlinale Talent Campus: Look Who’s Talking session featuring Keanu Reeves and Mark Cousins. Many thanks, TD, for sharing your experience with us!


That evening, I’ve met with a friend of mine which I haven’t seen in years, and of course, he teased me for coming to Berlin for Keanu but not for him.    Well, if you discuss Keanu with any man, I guess some teasing is inevitable, but thankfully our conversation has quickly turned to other stuff and we started getting deep into political arguments as we used to, probably not the wisest thing to do in my condition, but since I was on my own Keanu high, I didn’t care, in any case talking too much is a malfunction of mine with or without the flu,lol…So we talked until the arcade has closed and then I got a call from the airline telling me finally they located my luggage and sending it to Berlin, yuppiii!!! My friend invited me to his flat and we started waiting for the luggage which arrived 2.am in the morning, so I ended up staying there. In the morning after a quick shower, I rushed to the hotel to meet up with my friend who is also a KCR fan, as a funny coincidence we were staying in the same hotel; we must have some sort of telepathy, lol!

By the time we arrived where Talent Campus Talk will take place, there was already a small queue and the doors were still closed, it was a bit chilly and I was praying that we wouldn’t have to wait outside much longer as after the night before my voice was even worse and I was constantly popping pastilles for my sore throat, I must have developed some sort of addiction for German pastilles in those 2 days, they were good!) While we were waiting, I’ve seen a lady with her baby patiently waiting like the rest of us and trying to get to the sun a little bit for her very little baby, somehow my mind drifted back to London book-signing and I remembered that there were some ladies with babies at the Ode to Happiness event as well and the babies haven’t cried even once during the talk, maybe Keanu’s voice soothed them, who knows….and then I thought how many devoted fans K-man has and I admired the dedication they have shown for coming to listen him with babies on their laps, I think it is fair to say, Keanu is one of those very rare people in Hollywood, who is very much loved by general public whether he makes movies or not, maybe because he is known as a sweet guy or maybe because he is always gracious with fans, not to forget he is still drop-dead-gorgeous! But one thing stands, our boy has a unique universal appeal where ever he goes or whatever he does, be it a documentary, a kung-fu movie or a romantic comedy…

Anyways, back to the Talent campus, luckily we were inside the building after a couple of minutes of waiting outside but we were not allowed to enter the theatre until 15 min before the talk and this time first two rows were reserved so, I got a place in the third row, Lelou was lucky enough to spot an empty place in the first row. Mine was still a good place but unfortunately, one of the tallest members of Side by Side team was in front of me and although I had a good view of Keanu without camera, with camera I had to dodge that guy’s head constantly, so it was a bit of challenge and at one point, the battery of my camera died so I was only able to record half of the Talent Campus talk which is a shame, because this time I was not able to record my own question and gift ceremony, yes once again I brought some gifts!

PART 5I have to say Talent Campus talk was more interesting than the Q&A, they showed some clips from “Side by Side” and the reaction of the audience was very positive, also the other guest Mark Cousins had some very interesting clips and it was quite fun seeing Keanu interact with another fellow documentary-maker, Cousins made some captivating documentaries, I happen to catch some parts of his project ‘Odyssey of Film’ on TV and Keanu seemed impressed with his clips, there was one clip about kids who first time saw a movie and they were from a village in Iraq, Keanu asked which movie he showed them before the clip, Mark showed them a bunch of kids movies including ET and after the clip, Keanu asked how they reacted to ET and when Mark said they loved it, especially the part where they fly with the bicycle, Keanu gave one of his big smiles and started talking about the wonder of the child and universality and unifying element of movies, I couldn’t repeat mot-a-mot what they said but it was one of the most touching conversations in the talk ….There is also one moment in Side by Side where Keanu stands next to a little Asian boy and answers his questions with a huge smile on his face, they both look very cute, at times like this, it feels like such a shame that our boy doesn’t have any kids of his own, as he seems like such a natural with children. Btw, Keanu was looking more causal with his usual suit and t-shirt combo in the Talent Campus talk and he kept playing with his hair, so this time his hair looked like he has just gotten up from bed, sticking from odd angles, but who am I kidding  he is still probably the only guy who would look that handsome with a bed-head, in fact he looked just perfect…After the talk they started to take questions from audience but this time there were more people who wanted to ask questions, indeed questions were raining from left and right and even from the balcony, lol…So even after I’ve managed to grab a microphone, still I was not able to ask any questions as there was always somebody else who was quicker than me, and when the moderator said, “We have time for only one question” and picked somebody else, I was really upset, then Lelou turned to me and gave me a sympathetic look, however moments later another little miracle happened, although the moderator said it was the last question, he decided to give me a chance, as soon as I got the mike, I told them I was visiting the festival from Turkey and brought some small gifts to the guests and I came to the side of the stage to give my gifts, I had a huge box of Turkish delights which I gave to Mark Cousins because I think he also deserved appreciation for his work and it somehow seemed a bit impolite to shower Keanu with gifts and give nothing to another accomplished artist, besides Keanu already had a taste of Turkish delights at the London book-signing and if he ever craves more of the sweet stuff, he knows where to find them.As soon as Mark got the box, he laughed and exclaimed “Wow, Turkish delights!”, then Keanu jokingly said “Hey, maybe we could share”, LOL! That’s when I told him the small bag is for him and he came smiling to take the bag from me and like a little kid immediately started to look what’s inside, I told him there is a traditional good-luck charm and two fine examples of Turkish cinema in the bag, I think he really liked his gifts as he emptied all the content of the bag next to him and was checking out the dvds, it was really nice to see his reaction to my gifts, but then the moderator reminded me that I have only one question to ask, so I wished Keanu best of luck in MOTC and he said “thanks!”, then I told him that I’m a big fan of his work and I’m very excited about his directorial debut and asked him after interviewing all those great directors whether he has thought what kind of a director he wants to be and what he wants to achieve in his first movie as a director.
PART 6By the time I finished the question, my excitement was in overdrive, so I gave the mike and quickly made my way back to my seat, I was so very excited that I only heard half of Keanu’s answer, I just remember the moderator commenting that it was a great final question and Keanu jokingly saying “And I hope I would put the camera in the right place”, that got a huge laugh from the audience and I remember him making eye-contact with me when I got back to my seat, he also said that they got a great script, then from my seat I said to him out loud “Good luck!”, he heard it and nodded his thanks to me, that was another lovely moment…  I have also put a small “thank you note” inside the bag where I wished him good luck and explained a bit about evil-eye beam and what it means in our culture and when Keanu was collecting his gifts back to the small bag I gave him, I saw him also taking my note from the table and putting it inside the bag.In case anybody wonders, here’s the traditional good-luck charm (evil-eye beam) I’ve given to Keanu, btw Pasabahce is the most famous producer of Turkish handicrafts, every time I go back to Turkey, I pay at least one visit to their beautiful shop which is more like a museum:And the movies I picked for Keanu weren’t without any thought, they are two of my favourite Turkish movies; ISSIZ ADAM (Alone)is one of the most popular movies in Turkey in recent years with over 3,5 million cinema viewers. The story is about thirty-something Alper, a talented chef, owner of a trendy restaurant in Istanbul and somehow relentless playboy. While caught in the triangle of his gastronomic creations, one-night stands and escort girls, his life takes a new turn when he walks into a second-hand bookshop where he meets strikingly beautiful Ada and a different love story begins. I thought the lead character in the movie might strike a chord with Keanu, as his character very much resembles K-man, there is one scene where his love interest tells our playboy/chef that he will never have anyone, he will just borrow other people’s kids, lives and bodies to be returned later and he will always be alone, that scene always affects me, I sometimes wonder whether K-man ever had similar feelings or maybe some regrets, dunno…  I also hope the restaurant scenes in the movie would encourage Keanu to revive “Chef” project, because I love kitchen comedies and I’d love to see Keanu in such a different role:http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi417792537/The other movie (HOKKABAZ) is a comedy drama about a struggling magician who leaves Istanbul for a tour in Anatolia where he hopes to earn enough money for a laser eye surgery but he ends up losing the bride at the wedding he was performing his tricks. Cem Yilmaz (the guy who plays the magician in the movie) is a comedy genius and Hokkabaz (Magician) is such a warm movie, if I have to put it somewhere in K-man’s filmography, it reminds me Parenthood, it’s heart-warming and funny but also full of surprises and although it starts as a road movie, it is actually about the relationship between the magician and his father which is sort of bumpy to say the least. I hope this one will put a smile on K-man’s face as it deals with family problems in a very tongue in cheek manner.http://www.amazon.com/Hokkabaz-Special-Set-2-Dvds/dp/B000VEKORE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1340063367&sr=8-3&keywords=hokkabaz
PART 7After the talk, people again rushed to the stage to get autographs but this time I was just happy to watch him while I was taking my stuff from the seat and once again Keanu disappeared behind the stage. Later we waited a bit outside at the back door with other fans hoping to catch one last sight of the man we all adore, but only Mark Cousins came out and quickly headed to his car. A couple of minutes later, some black cars left the parking lot without stopping, I’ve spotted Chris Kenneally, director of “Side by Side” in one of them and I believe Keanu was inside the car as well, so I just waved them “goodbye” as the car was leaving and that was it… Later, we headed to city centre and had a lovely lunch with the girls and of course, we talked some more about Keanu, then I had to meet with my friend to get my luggage and to say my goodbyes as I had an afternoon flight.Afterwards, I learned that I was at the Tegel airport around the same time with Keanu, but I didn’t see him there, instead I get to meet a famous Turkish director (Nuri Bilge Ceylan) who was at the same flight with me to Istanbul and he was also giving a talk at the Talent Campus and I felt a bit guilty for not seeing his last movie (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) as it was the winner of Grand Prix at the Cannes Film festival in 2011, nevertheless I congratulated him for his success.Just three days later my SBS adventure in Berlin, I was again on a 4 hour flight heading back to Ireland. Looking back, in order to see SBS and attend Keanu’s talk, I had to sneak out from the study-group I was attending in Istanbul, travel while having a terrible flu and had the day from hell when I got stuck at the airport for hours, yet I have to say, in the end the experience really was worth all the trouble I went through.  Of course, London book-signing will always have a special place in my heart   as it was a more intimate event, we were basically in a small room directly facing Keanu, he was so very close. Other than that imo in London, Keanu was a bit less guarded, he even allowed himself to swear which is smt he is very conscious of when he’s giving an interview or speaking in public, if f-word ever escapes during an interview, he would immediately apologize or ask if they are allowed to say that on TV but he was not like that in London, he was more himself, maybe because ODH was smt more personal…Yet, Berlinale experience is also unique in its own way, as I had the great opportunity to wish Keanu good luck and convey some positive vibes before such a turning-point in his life, as the moderator of the Talent Campus talk said, he is about to enter the unknown and I think it is important for him to know that he has the full backing of his fans in his next project. In a way, I feel like I have completed my mission as a fan, don’t get me wrong I would still be first in the line if there is another Keanu event, but after Berlinale, my feeling is I got so much positive energy from Keanu, that would surely be enough to keep me good for the next couple of months while he will be shooting MOTC in China. I still thank my lucky stars for being able to see K-man again so soon and having another little interaction, I hope ‘evil-eye beam’ I gave him will protect him from misfortunes and he will be able to finish MOTC without any problems, and hopefully he will also find some time to watch the movies I gave him.PS: I have a little difficulty trimming videos I recorded at the festival, I hope I could find a way which works, I’m open to suggestions!