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On the Coast

  • Author(s): Kayan, Merve
  • Advisor(s): Hock, Louis
  • et al.

On the Coast is a short essay film on the ephemeral feeling of summer, as observed in Erikli, a small coastal town on the Aegean Sea in Turkey. It is common in Turkey, like in most Mediterranean climates, to travel to the coasts for the summer, and settle temporarily. Because of the seasonal relocating of people on the coastline, goods, businesses, and even relationships are transplanted from nearby towns and cities for the summer months. This shift creates an interim lifestyle, a `transformed reality' that shapes the nature of vacation for many people.

The film serves as a travelogue through observational images of vacationers with constructed bits of sound and staged vignettes that stem from everyday life occurrences and emotions, experienced in this familiar yet distinctive location. As the daytime presents a fleeting glimpse of the summerhouses and crowded beaches filled with people swimming and sunbathing, the sunset offers its own peculiar routines - a stroll in the evening bazaar, a random chat in a coffee shop or a drink at the tavern - hinting at a simultaneous state of comfort and unrest. On the Coast, a documentary with fictive interruptions, reflects on the nature of vacation, as it is a transformed version of reality, the fantastical counterpart to winter.

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