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Foreign film fun: Akin’s SOUL KITCHEN

Foreign film fun: Akin's SOUL KITCHEN

Adam Bousdoukos and Moritz Bleibtreu play the Kazantsakis brothers in Soul Kitchen.

If you’re looking for some summer fun, I highly recommend the hilarious new food-and-music-loving film by Fatih Akin, the Turkish-German director of Head-On, Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul, and The Edge of Heaven. Once again, I wasted no time in procuring the soundtrack to an Akin film, this time within hours of seeing (hearing) it at the Tribeca Film Festival.

A few weeks ago I sat in a Soho hotel with my new iTouch for an interview with Akin, who sported a 3 day stubble and a penetrating, dark-eyed gaze. Painfully, sadly, my interview was eaten by the device, due to an Apple malfunction that hours of research and a team of “geniuses” couldn’t resolve.

What I remember is that Akin told me foodie films Big Night and Eat Drink Man Woman inspired the screenplay he wrote with Greek-German actor Adam Bousdoukos, his best friend since high school. It co-stars Head-On lead, Birol Ünel (considered by some as a modern Klaus Kinski) as a knife-throwing snobbish chef in the tale of a restaurant owner (played by Bousdoukos) doing whatever it takes to save his business from closing. Akin hinted at difficulties working with the “wild and free” Ünel, but hesitated to call him a “Kinski.” The story takes place in the German town of Wilhelmsberg, an enclave Akin said is coincidentally reminiscent of hipster-gentrifying Williamsburg, New York.

I told Akin that I thought he had a rock ‘n’ roll directing style. “I’d rather be a jazz filmmaker,” he countered, “It’s all about controlling the rhythm of my films.”

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