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Soundtrack review: Kedi (Kira Fontana – 2017)

Documentary

Soundtrack review: Kedi (Kira Fontana – 2017)

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“Kedi” is a 2016 Turkish documentary film directed by Ceyda Torun about the many stray cats that live in Istanbul.[3] It premiered at the !f Istanbul Independent Film Festival on 21 February 2016 before being given a North American theatrical release on 10 February 2017. Thousands of street cats live in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, as they have for centuries. Some are wild and fend for themselves, while others are tamer and are cared for by people. Kedi depicts these cats, and includes many interviews of the people who interact with them. It focuses on seven of the cats, who are named Sari, Duman, Bengü, Aslan Parçasi, Gamsiz, Psikopat, and Deniz. Kira Fontana wrote the score.

Heh, this is one of those rare occasions when the review will focus exclusively on the music. Kira Fontana is a new name for me and I am always up for listening to a female composer. She opens with the title theme which is a jolly piece of music played on an instrument that makes me think of the xylophone. It’s the same instrument that takes centre stage in “City life 1” and indeed the chime like, sparkling sound makes me think of the numerous lights of a city like Istanbul; it’s an interesting texture because it doesn’t morph into a theme, it plays like an eternal introduction or warm up to something, an open end story, an unanswered question. “They know God exists” is the first cue where I hear emotion with a poignant ambient motif. As the score develops I slowly identify a duality in the music between the mystery of the ambient motifs and the jolly stride of the fast paced one introduced from the opening cue.

Listening to that chiming motif long enough makes me start to like it. It’s simple theme that recurs all through the score in a repetitive manner and it’s optimistic and melodic and it grows on me. I like the soothing wooden sound, it calms me down, but I drift away even during this short score because there is little variety. I like the motif, but I keep expecting something more, or a slight change in the rhythm. My favourite moment of the score though is “Longing for lost ones” but that’s just because of the way I am constructed, more towards the quiet, reflective pieces, towards the emotional.

“Kedi” is a pleasant score to listen to; it’s true that once you heard the first couple of cues, you heard it all, but the music is enjoyable and quite joyful. It’s a good background for dreaming.

Cue rating: 83 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 2 / 25

Album excellence: 8%

Highlights:
Bosphorus Night
Longing for Lost Ones

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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