Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MIDNIGHT EXPRESS 5: UPDATES

Billy Hayes
Billy Hayes is now 65  and has made a career as an actor/writer/director. See IMDB for details.
During the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, Alinur Velidedeo─člu, a Turkish advertiser, met Billy Hayes by chance and interviewed him on the film Midnight Express.

According to Wikipedia: ‘Hayes did finally return to Turkey on June 14, 2007 to attend the 2nd Istanbul Conference on Democracy and Global Security, organized by the Turkish National Police (TNP) and the Turkish Institute for Police Studies (TIPS), to amend the negative implications of his book. He held a press conference on June 15 and made an apology to the Turkish people.’

  • Billie Hayes told the full story of his experiences in ‘The Real Midnight Express, broadcast on the National Geographic channel in 2010. For legal reasons, the book, which Hayes co-wrote, was not completely accurate; and the film version strayed even further from the truth. See clip here: Read an interview with him about the film here.
    2011: Billy Hayes sets the record straight, sharing his harrowing experiences with audiences in his one man show, Riding the Midnight Express at the Hayworth Theater, 2511 Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles


    BRAD DAVIS died on 8th September 1991 at the age of 41 of AIDS contracted through intravenous drug use.

    In 1997 a book by his widow Susan Bluestein entitled ‘After Midnight: The Life and Death of Brad Davis' was published. See this feature in the New York Times. She reveals that Davis death was an ‘assisted suicide.’
    OLIVER STONE who scripted the film and won an Oscar for his work in 1979,apologised for offending Turkey in 2004. See ‘Stone Sorry for Midnight Express’ by Helena Smith [The Guardian]
    ‘Visiting Turkey for the first time since the movie was released in 1978, Stone admitted "over-dramatising" the screenplay’

    OTHER SOURCES:
    * A detailed critical analysis of the film - ‘In The Occident: Cliches about Turks are still surviving: The movie Midnight Express, an actual case’ was published on Le Site Des Amis de La Turquie in 2004.
    * According to a Jan 2012 story on the website The Daily Squib a remake of ‘Midnight Express’ will start filming in a year’s time. The script will be by Oliver Stone and the director is Eli Roth. Unlikely as it seems, the movie will star Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, Full story here.
    * There is a book-length study of the film and its effects called ‘The Midnight Express Phenomenon’ by Dilek Kaya-Mutlu (2009). Available as a free KOBO download here. Profile of the author here. Abstract of book here.
    * Very detailed analysis of the representation of the Turkish people in ‘Midnight Express’ in ‘The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide’ by Zaim Dervis, originally published in the Omek literary journal in Nov 1994. Full text available here
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