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"Crossing the Bridge": Perky, quirky music from Turkey
Seattle Times movie critic
To know a culture, advises a Confucius quote that opens this tuneful documentary, listen to its music. Fatih Akin's "Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul" takes us quite literally into the streets of its city, illuminating it through a joyous tangle of noise. Akin, who previously directed the award-winning drama "Head-On," follows musician Alexander Hacke (of the German band Einstürzende Neubauten) into the heart of Istanbul as he narrates a colorful tour that's at times so vivid, you can practically smell the streets.
Hacke, who captures the sound on his own mobile recording studio, clearly has eclectic taste. We meet the psychedelic rock band Baba Zula, the rock/punk band Duman (whose members lived in Seattle for a few years) and the old-school Turkish rocker Erkin Koray (now past 60). Youth is represented in the break-dancing troupe Istanbul Style Breakers: teens who nimbly twist their bodies into knots.
www.nwfilmforum.org, through Thursday. Tonight's 7 p.m. screening will be introduced by DJ and radio host Darek Mazzone.
Mercan Dede, a postmodern whirling dervish, demonstrates how he finds stillness within the center of movement; watch for a lovely shot as we see only his hands in the darkness.
Folk singers chime in, buskers explain their craft and the legendary Turkish pop star Sezen Aksu (who's adored by the young rockers) soulfully croons "Memories of Istanbul." It's a heady, occasionally free-floating mix, and a feast for music lovers.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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