I wanted to congratulate Los Angeles for the success of its first CicLAvia on Sunday. Modeled after the original "Ciclovia" of Bogota Colombia, CicLAvia will hopefully become a monthly tradition in Los Angeles as it has in some other US cities and slowly bury its reputation as an auto-dependant city.
CicLAvia's blog: http://ciclavia.wordpress.com/
Now... Gumshoes Reviews: Soul Kitchen (2010)
The 3rd directorial effort by director Fatih Akin, Soul Kitchen is a quarter-life crisis comedy a la Friday and is equally as good. It follows Zinos (co-screenwriter Adam Bousdoukos), a struggling restraunteur in Hamburg who looks like Jim Morrison and named his restaurant after the song "Soul Kitchen" by The Doors. Zinos’s Soul Kitchen, is a depressing chow house that caters to a steady clientele of dock hands and warehouse workers. When his girlfriend Nadine moves to Shanghai for her career, Zinos becomes dead-set on joining her there. In order to get to Shanghai, Zinos must spruce up Soul Kitchen and sell it. This proves to be a troublesome endeavor that leads to a rollercoaster of misfortune and crime punctuated by exhuberant dance parties.
The comedy pushes hard to breach the heavy layer of trial and tribulation that drives the story and some reviewers have considered of the gags forced, but maybe that’s the point. Zinos is constantly frustrated by life's little snags, a character trait that gets him into bigger trouble. The bursts of comedy provides us with a way of relief from the heaviness of Adam's perpetual frustration, allowing us to stick with him emotionally, which is important because, aside from his temper, he's a great guy. Every performance shines and the soundtrack is full of both contemporary and classic dancehall jams. Akin and Bousdoukos play with their ethnic heritages (Turkish and Greek respectively) and turn Soul Kitchen into a multicultural salad bowl of eccentricity and camaraderie. Ultimately a feel good movie about self-discovery, Soul Kitchen will appeal to anyone who's every been young, confused, and frustrated.
Fatih Akin's dizzying directorial style has all the sass of Martin Scorsese, but with focus on stylized violence and more on character (yes, I'm implying that he's more emotionally mature than Marty). He's THE young filmmaker I'm keeping my eye on right now. Be sure to catch his directorial debut, Head-On. I think it is one of the greatest movies about agonizing whirlwind romance ever made.
Feel free to comment. Peace!