mustang-cannes-film-festival

Mustang: Looking For a Way Out

With heads of dark, rich, slightly wild and uncontrollable hair, the five orphaned sisters of Turkish-French film director Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang — Lale (Güneş Şensoy), Nur (Doğa Doğuşlu), Ece (Elit İşcan), Selma (Tuğba Sunguroğlu) and Sonay (İlayda Akdoğan) — seem to fly free in their rural Turkish village, independent, bright and happy. But this sense of freedom only remains during the brief beginning prelude before their conservative relatives lock the girls away from the world and try to mold them into perfect wives when the girls are (wrongly) accused of indecent play with male classmates on the beach. A story of female empowerment and of being jolted into adulthood, Mustang’s sisterhood is both beautiful and tragic. We’re guided through the story by Lale, who is the youngest, and in some ways the most visibly rebellious, sister — she seems too young to marry, she enjoys soccer and she sneaks out of her window like she was born to do it. Seeing the world of Mustang through Lale’s eyes is essential.

Jupiter (Joseph Michalczyk-Lupa) and Semele (Laura McCauley).

Electrocute Me With Color: Semele at Ithaca College

Correction appended

Semele by George Frideric Handel is the tale of the affair between a mortal girl named Semele (Laura McCauley) and the immortal Jupiter (Joseph Michalczyk-Lupa), and what results when Jupiter’s vengeful wife Juno (Hector Gonzales Smith), the goddess of marriage, finds out about it. Based on one of the origin tales of the Greek/Roman gods and goddesses, the story itself is naturally wrought with drama, passion and tragedy. I honestly had no idea of what to expect from Semele, as I have never seen an opera before. Would I be seeing a fantastically mawkish tale? A complete train wreck of emotions as the three lead characters, fantastically selfish and vain, tromp around the stage?