Interview: Emre Kayiş – Anatolian Leopard
The old adage (and threat) of out with the old and in with the new is especially true in Emre Kayiş‘ directorial debut. It’s the type of cityscape pocket in Turkey where the best of times are indeed in the past and where a new coat of paint, change in personnel or new business practices would do very much to change course. Grabbing hands and influx of outside opinions don’t jive well with chain-smoking Fikret (a rugged looking Uğur Polat) who is (almost) at the end of his rope as a middle-aged zoo manager and while she might be younger, his sidekick in sorts in Gamze might be even more cunning in her philosophical views. Anatolian Leopard is about the people, lieu and way of life that are rare sight to behold and something to possibly “hold” onto.
With a dark overcast, not so sinister mishandling of events and a text that embeds a good dose of cynicism, this new voice in Turkish cinema presents us with a sly film with penetrative noir humor that will recall of tragi-comedies in the likes of Kaurismäki but more refined commentary we’d see in Romanian New Wave examples such as Porumboiu’s Police, Adjective. Selected to have its world premiere in the Discovery section at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, I had a pleasant chat with Emre Kayiş to discuss narrative and technical aspects of this debut.