İrfan Tözüm is a quintessential 80s filmmaker. He had his early start in journalism, advertising, photonovel directing, starting out as an assistant to Duygu Sağıroğlu, made his debut with 1986’s feature Çağdaş Bir Köle / A Modern Slave. It has all the characteristics of the era: “women’s films” exploding on the scene unexpectedly, and independent, master-of-her-destiny female characters... “Intellectual” screenplays which were products of collaborations especially with writer-actor Macit Koper, during a time when national cinema was making a move towards “works by intellectuals” from mass appeal films. A balanced formalism and a thriving workmanship... This effort eventually produced ten films from 1986 to 1996. Some of these are adapted from famous plays and stories–Rumuz: Goncagül / Sign: Rosebud by Oktay Arayıcı, İkili Oyunlar / Double Games by Bilgesu Erenus, Devlerin Ölümü / Death of Giants by Sabahattin Ali. The others are based on original scripts. Specifically his collaboration with Macit Koper on Cazibe Hanımın Gündüz Düşleri / Daydreams of Miss Cazibe, as I have written at the time, is an “uncompromising and brave” film, a unique contribution to the women’s films trend of the era with its dense sexuality. One of his best films, Fazilet, shot from a screenplay by Gülin Tokat and Gökay Özgüç, is a fully-formed portrait of a woman. Mum Kokulu Kadınlar / Candle Scented Women is a film written by Tözüm himself and tackles his most typical themes: female sexuality, weird, almost perverted family relations, an analytical approach based on Freud’s teachings. Extraordinary opportunities are offered to actresses in Tözüm’s films. Sure enough, women essentially breathed, confronted their issues, and lived their lives by satisfying their desires in his films. Right next to Atıf Yılmaz, he is probably the one director that deserves the title of “director of women”. After his last directorial effort in 1996, he continues to be a film and TV producer through his Muhteşem Films. –Atilla Dorsay