Reader Request Extra
Thanks too much for your answer to Ozan Çolakoğlu. I have another question if you would not mind about it. In some Turkish article I see the name Serra Yılmaz with Tarkan. When I Google her I find she is an actress. What does she have to do with Tarkan?
She plays the role of the middle-aged medium that tells Tarkan's character he is going to die. In the video he returns to make sure his girl friend is okay before moving on.
Yılmaz speaks Turkish, French and Italian and has appeared in a number of Turkish and Italian movies, especially in many of Özpetek's films.
Maria, Tel Aviv, Israel writes:
I really love Tarkan in the video to Hup, but can you tell me what the story is for this video? I don't understand it very exactly.
Here is the information you asked for about Tarkan's video single "Hüp":
After a rumoured professional split with Metin Arolat, the creative force behind some of Tarkan's most popular video singles, the artist worked with openly gay film director Özpetek for his song "Hüp", composed by female singer/songwriter Nazan Öncel.
Under soft drink giant Pepsi's sponsorship, the video single to "Hüp" broke the record for the most expensive Turkish music video filmed to date, rumoured to have cost over $100,000 and employing 150 extras for the shoot.
The video tells the tale of a man (played by Tarkan) separated from his girlfriend by death, who returns from the dead to help her move on with her life before he moves on to the afterlife.
As one of Italy's most successful and award-winning contemporary filmmakers, Özpetek's take on Tarkan's "Hüp" would court controversy and create a legend.
The video single inadvertently gave rise to a celebrity legend in the gossip press about Tarkan being related to Jesus Christ, as Özpetek seemingly worked Tarkan's iconic status in Turkey into the role by making the singer resemble a Christian iconic image. The "Jesus-look" was perpetuated in the succeeding video single "Verme" (Karma, 2001), and has been emulated by the modern Turkish man in the street for nearly a decade.
In addition, controversy came in the form of a kiss. After some viewers complained about the explicit tongue kiss shared between Tarkan and co-starring actress Sinemis Candemir to the Turkish TV watchdog, the story was picked up by the media in Turkey. It was reported through Europe by the BBC, describing complaints that accused the scene of being too "explicit" and "pornographic". The possibility of a ban was dismissed however, and fans had their say by voting Tarkan "Best Male Pop Artist" of 2002 at the country's top music station Kral's video awards.
Özpetek filmed the video in the style he approaches most of his films, in the tradition of the sophisticated melodramas of the 1950s, pivoting around seemingly ordinary and contented people whose lives are shook up - often by a sudden death - leading to the discovery of previously unacknowledged passions and possibilities.
The director uses his signature tracking camera to unite disparate time periods and create a visual connection between the central characters and their friends in the video single. He leaves clues in flash frames as to what the story is about.
The story begins with Tarkan's body laid out for burial, and his girlfriend at a club with their usual group of friends trying to get her over his loss. Özpetek plays a cameo role dancing in the club's crowd in the opening scene.
Suddenly a woman appears (played by the song's composer Öncel), as though from nowhere and unnoticed in the crowded club, sitting by the bar where there had been the statue of an angel. She holds a white cat with emerald green eyes in her lap. This mysterious woman - an angel - is looking at the girl who is in mourning, sitting at her table alone and lost in thought about her dead lover while her friends are dancing.
Again just as suddenly - and still unnoticed by the people in the club - the cat transforms into Tarkan, her dead lover. His spirit has come to help the girl move on with her life. Like the entire club, she can't see him either, but he goes near and senses her thinking of their time together, including when they first met her group of friends for dinner, to which the medium (played by actress Serra Yılmaz) and another boy (who is also in love with girl) belong.
One of the memories portrayed in flashbacks includes a scene where their mutual friend the medium has told Tarkan of his impending death, which he hides from the girl. His only thoughts, as portrayed by her memories of their time together, is to make her happy.
Towards the end of the video, after having relived their brief time as lovers, he makes her feel that she must start a new episode in her life (as signified by the brief fade out). Coming back to the present, she looks down at her hands and at the necklace her lover used to wear around his neck, and suddenly realises that life must go on. She can't live - or love - in the past. Spying her male friend in a new light, stands up to greet him and the possibility of a new relationship is born.
In the meantime, Tarkan's ghost floats back to the bar and disappears having fulfilled his mission. In his place a single, white feather floats down - a possible sign that another angel has earned his wings in Heaven.
And back at the funeral parlour, Tarkan's body briefly regenerates to open his eyes and smile.
With all that background information, watching the video shouldn't cause much confusion now. Watch it below, provided with my English translation, which I have adapted very slightly from my original script for the video.
<< For more questions and answers about Tarkan see the Tarkan Q & A.