Fatih Akın - 71st Venice International Film Festival - 'The Cut' - Premiere After Party - Venice, Italy - Sunday 31st August 2014
All of these stories take place in Manhattan, with only one or two brief forays into other boroughs, and they all centre around relatively well-off people, mainly white or Asian. They're also quite serious and emotional, with only brief moments of humour dotted here and there, although some make us smile more than others. Each is about a male-female relationship--marriages, brief encounters, possibilities, life-long companionship. Most have a somewhat gimmicky twist, and a few are intriguingly oblique.
Continue reading: New York, I Love You Review
Awarded the Cannes prize for screenwriting at last year's ceremonies, Akin's new world is sparked by a moral dilemma that plagued his lost Muslim girl in Head-On. Yeter (Nursel Köse), "Jessy" to her johns, is a faithful Muslim despite her prostitute day job. The local fundamentalists bully her on the bus and stare daggers at her on the boulevard. After a few times servicing Ali (Tuncel Kurtiz), an elderly customer, she's asked to come and live with him as a roommate and periodic sex slave. Köse's face, fitted with age and a wincing grief, becomes a hardened casket when she's with Ali but melts into tender matriarchy when she's introduced to Nejat (the great Baki Davrak), Ali's German-language professor son.
Continue reading: The Edge of Heaven Review
Grungy looking Cahit (Birol Ünel) is so far down he doesn't know which way is up. His job is picking up beer bottles in a rundown bar near his equally rundown cave-like apartment. Since the loss of his wife, his life is over and as a consequence, when he's not drinking he's drunk.
Continue reading: Head-On Review
It never ceases to amaze me how much mileage there is left in the road trip and romantic comedy genres when they're blessed with a little creativity -- and the eccentrically dark chocolate German bonbon "Im Juli" (translated "In July") is nothing if not clever and resourceful.
Writer-director Fatih Akin boldly casts Moritz Bleibtreu (Lola's boyfriend from "Run Lola Run") as his hero Daniel, a socially insecure square and a dullard of a high school physics teacher. Not only is the hunky actor credible, he's also full of surprises as the character starts learning to take life by the horns.
The plot is also deceptive in its understated simplicity: Instantly smitten after a chance meeting with a beautiful Turkish girl (Idil Uner) passing through Hamburg, Daniel undertakes the first spontaneous act of his life -- he hits the road to Istanbul searching for her.
Continue reading: In July (Im Juli) Review