Wednesday, September 16, 2009

National Competition Films of Golden Orange 2009

National Competition Films of Golden Orange 2009
selected among 43 submissions will be judged by a jury presided by Erden Kıral with members İzzet Günay, Mustafa Altıoklar, Mustafa Ziya Ülkenciler, Nurgül Yeşilçay, Ömür Gedik, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Yavuz Bingöl and Zeynep Oral

Kutluğ Ataman ‘Aya Seyahat’
Zeki Demirkubuz’ ‘Kıskanmak’
Reha Erdem ‘Kosmos’
Onur Ünlü ‘Beş Şehir’
İnan Temelkuran ‘Bornova Bornova’
Murat Saraçoğlu ‘Deli Deli Olma’
Ümit Ünal ‘Gölgesizler’
Yavuz Özkan ‘İlkbahar Sonbahar’
Emre Şahin’ ‘40’ *
Meriç Demiray ‘Babam Büfe’ *
İlksen Başarır ‘Başka Dilde Aşk’ *
Miraz Bezar ‘Min Dit’ *
Bahadır Karataş ‘Usta’ *
Mahmut Fazıl Coşkun’ ‘Uzak İhtimal’ *
Orhan Eskiköy and Özgür Doğan ‘İki Dil Bir Bavul’ *
Mehmet Bahadır Er and Maryna Gorbach ‘Kara Köpekler Havlarken’ *
( *) First Film

Not only the festival rehashed an old theme by using an eye for the poster (boring and totally unredable), the website is still under construction on the day of the announcements.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

53. BFI London Film Festival |My Only Sunshine by Reha Erdem

My Only Sunshine

Reha Erdem follows the celebrated Times and Winds with a poetic, bold and rewarding feature, daring in both form and content.

Hayat (Elit Işcan) is a troubled 14-year-old who seems to choose to hum constantly rather than say very much at all. Her father (Erdal Beşikçioğli) is a pimp and smuggler, catering for the large cargo ships on the Istanbul waterways. Her short-tempered grandfather (Levend Yilmaz) is ill and dying, unable to leave the bed that has been set up in the living room of the riverside shack they inhabit. Her mother (Banu Fotocan) has a new family and wants little to do with her. She's bullied at school, seems to be surrounded by sexual predators, eats chocolate whenever she can get her hands on it, and takes her frustration out on the Turkey that gets in her way. Hayat is clearly not a happy child, on the verge of becoming a woman, yet somehow, through her enduring spirit, she deals with the harsh injustices she has to face. Reha Erdem follows the celebrated Times and Winds with a poetic, bold and rewarding feature, daring in both form and content. In telling Hayat's tale, the plot itself is barely hinted at and open to interpretation, while technically, it's incredibly seductive, stunningly shot on and around the Bosphorus straits, with a striking use of sound.

Michael Hayden

Reha Erdem
Elit Işcan, Erdal Beşikçioğli, Levend Yilmaz
Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria
Reha Erdem
Running time

53. BFI London Film Festival | Men on the Bridge by Asli Özge

Men on the Bridge

A prize-winning portrait of life in the rapidly changing sprawl of today's Istanbul, offering resonant and affecting insights in a pacy, punchy, multi-strand narrative.

The titular bridge is the splendid but often gridlocked Bosphorus Bridge that spans the divide between Europe and Asia; the men, three young inhabitants of the Istanbul suburbs who use it daily. Umut crosses it repeatedly in his taxi, hoping the work will buy the kind of smart apartment his wife Cemile wants. Traffic cop Murat, meanwhile, would just like a wife or a girlfriend; originally from eastern Turkey, he finds the city a lonely place. Finally, there's Fikret, who'd be satisfied with a job; reduced to illegally selling roses on the bridge, he barely sees the city's fashionable centre except when he's seeking work in the shops there. Though firmly rooted in specific experiences – it was originally planned as a documentary on this trio whose paths occasionally cross – Özge's wonderfully fresh, insightful portrait of life in today's Istanbul is equally relevant to London or any rapidly changing metropolis in its reflections on how economics, family, the media, sex, race, tradition and globalisation affect our lives. The performances – all by non-professionals – are excellent, the various threads of the pacy narrative deftly interwoven, and the whole film handles a range of pressing issues with the lightest of touches. A very deserving winner of the Golden Tulip at this year's Istanbul Film Festival.

Geoff Andrew

Asli Özge
Fikret Portakal, Murat Tokgöz, Umut Ilker
Germany, Turkey, Netherlands
Asli Özge
Running time

53. BFI London Film Festival | Journey to the Moon by Kutlug Ataman

Journey to the Moon

Turkish villagers' quest to fly to the moon in the 1950s becomes an engaging study of contemporary Turkish culture.

Journey to the Moon, the new project from internationally renowned Turkish artist and filmmaker Kutlug Ataman, forms part of a series of works known as The Mesopotamian Dramaturgies, and was first exhibited in installation form in Linz earlier this year. Shown here in its single- screen version, the film takes a different approach from his narrative features, Serpent's Tail, Lola + Bilidikid, and 2 Girls. Set in a remote village in the Erizincan province in Eastern Turkey, it's the tale of four villagers' quest to travel to the moon during a period in the late 1950s when Turkey's villages were being encouraged to modernise. It is told through the use of found black-and-white photographs from the period, and the aid of a local narrator. Intercut with this, a wide range of established Turkish intellectuals offer their views and interpretations of the events. In Ataman's singular hands the assemblage of the images is evocative and often funny, and what the narrator lacks in first-hand experience, he makes up for in enthusiasm. Unsurprisingly to those familiar with any of Ataman's earlier work, this is no straightforward historical drama; rather in its retelling, the story becomes an engaging study of contemporary Turkish culture.

Sandra Hebron

Director:Kutlug Ataman; Cast:Metin Alagas, Gozde Aran, Kemal Okumus; Country:
Turkey; Writer: Kutlug Ataman; Running time: 79min; Year 2009

Review | Soul Kitchen

Soul Kitchen (Germany)

A Pandora Film release of a Corazon Intl. production, in association with Pyramide Prods., NDR, Dorje Film. (International sales: the Match Factory, Cologne.) Produced by Klaus Maeck, Fatih Akin. Co-producers, Fabienne Vonier, Alberto Fanni, Flaminio Zadra, Paolo Colombo. Directed by Fatih Akin. Screenplay, Akin, Adam Bousdoukos.

With: Adam Bousdoukos, Moritz Bleibtreu, Birol Unel, Anna Bederke, Pheline Roggan, Lucas Gregorowicz, Dorka Gryllus, Wotan Wilke Moehring, Demir Gokgol, Monica Bleibtreu, Udo Kier, Marc Hosemann, Cem Akin, Catrin Striebeck, Jan Fedder, Julia Wachsmann, Markus Imboden, Gudrun Egner, Gustav Peter Woehler, Ugur Yucel.

Returning to his native Hamburg, Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin rediscovers the verve of his early "Short Sharp Shock," tempered by a mature warmth, in "Soul Kitchen." Nicely cast ensembler, centered on a hopelessly disorganized eatery owner and peopled by a weird collection of lovable eccentrics, is pacey entertainment that hardly puts a foot wrong. This is not the fest-laureled Akin of weighty fare like "Head-On" and "The Edge of Heaven" -- more the one of "Solino" with a grungy, down-to-earth Hamburg edge. Offshore sales, at least in Europe, look to be lively.

Clearly made as a change of pace after "Heaven," the pic is labeled by Akin "an audacious, dirty Heimat film." But for him, a Heimat film isn't Bavarian blondes in dirndls; this is northern, grungy, multikulti Germany, with Greeks, Turks, rock bands and drifters.

Zinos Kazantsakis (Greek-German thesp Adam Bousdoukos) owns and caters a warehouse restaurant in the Hamburg nabe of Wilhelmsburg, where the working-class clientele like deep-fried schnitzels and burgers with their beer. Always running behind the eight-ball, Zinos even arrives late for the farewell dinner of his better-off g.f., Nadine (Pheline Roggan), who's leaving for a job in Shanghai.

When Zinos' larcenous younger brother, Illias (Moritz Bleibtreu), is let out of jail on day release, he asks Zinos to give him a fake job so he can get out more often. Zinos also has the idea of hiring a professional chef, the temperamental Shayn (Birol Unel), whose nouvelle cuisine alienates his regulars but eventually becomes a hit with the in-crowd.

With a tax inspector (Catrin Striebeck) and health officer (Jan Fedder) on his back, Nadine nagging him long-distance to join her, and a real estate shark (Wotan Wilke Moehring) trying to force him to sell the place, Zinos signs power of attorney over to the unreliable Illias and decides to set off to China. But he doesn't get further than the airport.

Incident-packed script manages to juggle a large number of characters and cameos without leaving any of them feeling underdeveloped. As the pieces fall into place in the final reels, there's a nice sense of community among the group of dreamers, losers and getting-byers, a feeling of how "home" is where you're most comfortable rather than a specific country, culture or place.

Bousdoukos, who co-wrote the script with Akin and was in the helmer's "Short Sharp Shock," has a slightly goofy, dumbkopf appeal that's just right for Zinos, and he teams well with Bleibtreu as his younger brother. Moehring and Unel are fine as the property trader and prima donna chef, respectively, but the real discovery is Hamburg-born Anna Bederke as Lucia, Zinos' hard-drinking waitress, who, in a beautifully played sequence, falls hard for Illias. As Zinos' physical therapist, Anna, Hungarian thesp Dorka Gryllus ("Irina Palm") is also aces in a key but gentler role.

Though several sequences feature cuisine, "Soul Kitchen" is not a foodie film a la "Mostly Martha." Music, just as much as food, is the way into the souls of these characters, but the rough-edged city of Hamburg -- always there in the background -- is what brings them together. Pic is as much a love letter to the place as to its people.

Technical package is deliberately on the grungy side but blooms when necessary under the camera of Akin regular Rainer Klausmann. Tight editing by Andrew Bird brings the pic in at a flab-free 98 minutes, and end titles are especially inventive.

The film is dedicated to Akin's brother, Cem, who plays one of Illias' buddies. It also features one of the last performances of Bleibtreu's mother, Monica (who died in May), in a comically explosive cameo as Nadine's grandma.

Camera (color), Rainer Klausmann; editor, Andrew Bird; music supervisors, Klaus Maeck, Pia Hoffmann; production designer, Tamo Kunz; costume designer, Katrin Aschendorf; sound (Dolby Digital), Kai Luede, Richard Borowski; sound designer, Andreas Hildebrandt; casting, Monique Akin. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (competing), Sept. 10, 2009. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Special Presentations.) Running time: 98 MIN.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Montreal 2009 | A STEP INTO THE DARKNESS by Atil Inaç

Production company : Ayfer Ozgurel, Avni Ozgurel, TFT Film Yapim, Yildiz Cad. Tevfik Pasa Konagi No. 49, D.2, Besiktas, 3

Director : Atil Inaç Script : Avni Ozgurel, Atil Inaç
Photography : Editor : Aziz Imamoglu
Cast : Suzan Genc, Selen Ucer, Haktan Pak, Ranna Cabbar, Serdal Genc, Nalan Korucim

Cennet, a young Turkmen girl, who is the only survivor of a raid on her village in northern Iraq, sets out for Kirkuk in search of her older brother. There she learns that he was wounded by a bomb and taken to Turkey for treatment. Desperate to track him down, Cennet sets off on an arduous journey. When one of the smugglers who had agreed to help her across the mountains rapes her, she tries to kill herself. This time, she is rescued by the members of a radical Islamist organization who help her reach Istanbul, but she soon finds herself in the clutches of a charismatic religious figure who views her as an expendable instrument for his own violent agenda.
Atil Inaç

Turkish director Atil Inaç studied philosophy at Bogazici University in Turkey and at the University of Missouri and Claremont Graduate University in California, where he began his career working for the DFH ethnic television network in Los Angeles. Returning home in 2003, he continued working in TV, writing scripts for and directing series and sitcoms. He made his first feature, ZINCIRBOZAN, in 2007.

The World Film Festival 2009 | A Showcase for Five Turkish Films

The World Film Festival

August 27 to September 7, 2009

The goal of the Montreal World Film Festival (Montreal International Film Festival) is to encourage cultural diversity and understanding among nations, to foster the cinema of all continents by stimulating the development of quality cinema, to promote filmmakers and innovative works, to discover and encourage new talents, and to promote meetings between cinema professionals from around the world.

The World Film Festival - Montreal 2009 included the following sections:

* World Competition
* First Films World Competition
* Hors Concours (World Greats, out-of competition)
* Focus on World Cinema (Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania)
* Documentaries of the World
* Tributes
* Cinema Under the Stars
* Canadian Student Film Festival
Focus on World Cinema

BUYUK OYUN, 2009 / Colour / 110 min, Dir. Atil Inaç, Turkey.

GOLGESIZLER, 2009 / Colour / 97 min, Dir. Umit Unal, Turkey.

KARANLIKTAKILER, 2009 / Colour / 100 min, Dir. Çagan Irmak, Turkey.

SICAK, 2008 / Colour / 116 min, Dir. Abdullah Oguz, Turkey.

USTA, 2009 / Colour / 113 min, Dir. Bahadir Karatas, Turkey - Bosnia-Herzegovina.