Akin’s Soul Kitchen on Christmas menu
by Bénédicte Prot
24/12/2009 - In Germany, one of the most tempting cinematic treats in the December 24 line-up is without doubt Fatih Akin’s latest film, Soul Kitchen [trailer]. Since it won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival in September, the film has been a favourite at festivals (from Toronto to Tallin, Ghent, Thessaloniki and Gijon).
This new title is produced by Akin’s company, Corazón International, in co-production with Hamburg-based NDR and Pyramide Productions, and in collaboration with Rome’s Dorje Film. Here, the young director of Head-On [trailer] (Golden Bear at Berlin in 2004) and The Edge of Heaven [trailer, film focus] (Best Screenplay at Cannes in 2007) veers away from the dramatic tone of his previous films and opts for frenzied comedy.
Co-scripted by its lead actor, the film recounts the misfortunes of restaurant owner Zinos (Adam Bousdoukos), whose girlfriend has left him to join her new love in Shanghai and whose brother (Moritz Bleibtreu), recently released from prison, makes an unreliable partner and puts his business in jeopardy. While Akin completes his next project (a more serious documentary entitled Garbage in the Garden of Eden), this virtuoso farce is being released by Pandora. Polyfilm is launching it on Austrian screens the following day, Christmas Day.
The two other German titles in this penultimate 2009 line-up (December 30’s programme is decidedly sparse) are Leander Haußmann’s comedy Dinosaurier, about an elderly couple who are bursting with energy (distributed by Constantin); and Gavin Millar’s documentary Albert Schweitzer, co-produced by South Africa (distributed by NFP).
The other European title competing for audiences alongside this week’s US blockbusters, Fame (distributed by Universum) and Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 (Fox), is Jane Campion’s UK co-production Bright Star [trailer], which traces a poetic portrait of John Keats’ great love (distributed by Tobis).
Among the six new releases in store for December 30 are Lucien Jean-Baptiste’s French comedy Meet the Elisabethz [trailer] (distributed by Kool), and collective German/Czech documentary Breathless: Dominance of the Moment (distributed by RealFiction).
(Translated from French)