Based in Istanbul, illustrator Murat Palta reimagines scenes from classic Hollywood films as if they were illustrations from forgotten Ottoman manuscripts. Fragrant with Anatolian motifs and Islamic imagery, Palta’s drawings riff on iconic scenes from Goodfellas, A Clockwork Orange, Pulp Fiction, Inception, Scarface, and more.
They’re really fantastic. In Palta’s imagination, The Shining happened not at the Overlook Hotel in Colorado but in the elaborately muraled interior of the Haga Sofia. In the artist’s Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker confronts the Sultan Vader with a flaming crescent sword as an embroidered Death Star hangs above. The chest-bursting scene from Alien unfolds not in a deep-space cargo ship but over Turkish tea in the Emperor’s harem. And in Patel’s interpretation of The Godfather, you will find what might just well be the greatest caricature of Marlon Brando ever put to ink.
As Patel’s work shows, it’s often fascinating to see how different nationalities interpret a classic story through their own cultural lenses. And lest you think that it only happens from East to West, it’s worth noting that 20 years after Akira Kurosawa made his 1958 classic The Hidden Fortress, a young director named George Lucas decided to update it for American audiences. The result was Star Wars.