Towards the end of September last year, I wrote an article about a documentary film that I particularly enjoyed - Crossing the Bridge. This film was filmed and edited by Fatih Akin, the son of Turkish migrants who moved to Hamburg. His documentary film-making was, I argued, particularly moving because, as he explored the streets of Istanbul with Alexander Hacke, one could not but get this feeling that the author was both ‘rediscovering’ home as a Turk and ‘discovering’ the marvels of a city (...)
The other side of Fatih Akin
26 April 2008, by Paul Kirkness
No Country for Old Men - The return of the Coen brothers
4 February 2008, by Paul Kirkness
The Coen brothers are back. And this time with a dark and violent film...
Clearly, the Coen brothers have developed a great talent for moving from style to style. After the immensely successful The Big Lebowski which was released ten years ago, Ethan and Joel Coen must have realized they were standing before a wall. Indeed, how could they ever match the genius of such a crazy, hilarious and genius film? The truth is that, from The Hudsucker Proxy through Fargo to Lebowski, the brothers (...)
The sounds of Istanbul - Crossing the Bridge
30 September 2007, by Paul Kirkness
When Alexander Hacke, a German bass player, reaches the thriving city of Istanbul to find musicians who will help him to compose the music of Head On, he encounters the neo-psychedelic band Baba Zula. He is asked if he will play the bass for them when their own bassist leaves the band. Filmed by Fatih Akin, this documentary is about Hacke and his personal attempts at grasping the full richness of Istanbul’s musical scene.
The beauty of Istanbul is renowned. Thousands of years of history (...)
The Steven Soderbergh touch...
30 September 2007, by arthur, Paul Kirkness
As Ocean’s Thirteen was hitting the screens worldwide, we thought that the man behind the movie deserved one of our little general reviews. It is safe to say that Steven Soderbergh is one of the greatest American director’s living today. He is the writer and director of such remarked films as Sex, Lies and Videotape and Out of Sight. But it is also him that we must thank for less renowned movies such as Schizopolis, Full Frontal or Kafka... Who are you Mr. Soderbergh ?
Steven was born in (...)
The first in a bloody trilogy
11 November 2005, by Paul Kirkness
As children, it is easily enough that we succumb to the tricks of the playground magician. When he pulls out that rabbit from the hat, we do not ask ourselves how this happened, we look upon this as magic. As you grew older and started to understand the tricks, have you never profoundly wished that you could be blind to the conjuror’s methods?
Now imagine that the fortune teller, the sorcerer’s, the african “marabout” all really had some special powers... Imagine that you were wrong to stop (...)
George A. Romero’s comeback
26 September 2005, by Paul Kirkness
1968... It was nearly fourty years ago that George A. Romero wrote and directed what is now considered to be a milestone in horror film history, the sinister and aptly named Night of the Living Dead. Ten years later came Dawn of the Dead, followed by Day of the Dead which were equally frightening... The Dead trilogy is now world renowned and has allowed for Romero to impose himself over the years as the master of horror and gore. Film buffs queue up for hours outside premières of his movies (...)
Walter Salles - reaching for South American culture
12 March 2005, by arthur, Paul Kirkness
Soundsmag takes a quick glance at the man who contributed so greatly at re-launching Brazilian cinema on a worldwide level...
“I don’t think we can say what the Latin American identity is, but I think we can try to look for it, and look for the reverberations from it.”
This could be described as Walter Salles’ goal when he set out to enter the world of film-making. The Brazilian director really spearheaded the return of his countries movies on the international scene in the 1990’s. (...)
Everything you wanted to know about Bush but couldn’t find in the US Media
30 July 2004, by Christopher Montel
Michael Moore had an immediate taste of the effects the attacks on the World Trade Center Towers had on the american public scene, when he was asked at the last minute by his editors to take out some of the heat condensed on his then latest work, Stupid White Men, scheduled for release the same week. But asking Moore to step into line is giving him a new reason not to, its now a well-known fact. And its partly one of the reasons which eventually led to the release of Farenheit 9/11, to show (...)
Alejandro González Iñárritu
27 July 2004, by arthur
As his second film is released and adored, we already feel like writing a "complete works" review. We have been blessed with a sort of faith... and we want to spread it.
Alejandro González Iñárritu has to this date only directed two full features : "Amores Perros" and "21 grams". His other contribution to the film industry are one of the BMW shorts (if you don’t know what they are, look them up) and one of the shorts in "11’09’’01 - September 11" a project that brought together a number of (...)
Kill Bill, Part 1
1 December 2003, by Christopher Montel
Remember Fox Force Five, the unsuccessful TV show pilot Mia Wallace talks about in Pulp Fiction? Well, Uma Thurman is back in this new Tarantino release, not as a police chick expert in knives, but a katana-slashing killing machine seeking revenge on ex-colleagues of an organisation of female assassins.
Uma Thurman is only known in this first installment as "The Bride", and her real name is not revealed. Its not that important anyway, since she is better known by the people she is hunting (...)