Less than a month ago, the directors of the Haifa Festival were still optimistic and came out with the announcement that the event will take place in a limited and time-adapted screening format, alongside online screenings. Today it is clear that this is an alternative reality, and following the closure the festival will be held this year only online. Starting this coming Saturday and for ten days, the festival will offer a large selection of movies to watch online. Ynet film critics, Shmulik Duvdevani and Erez Devorah, watched some of them and came back with recommendations.
The name of the composer of German descent, Max Richter, became famous, among other things, thanks to the soundtrack he wrote for Ari Folman’s film, “Waltz with Bashir” and HBO’s “The Remainers” series. Natalie Jones’ documentary traces the foundation of his professional path, and she emphasizes his great musical work, “Sleep” from 2015 – an 8.5-hour concert designed for listening from sleep (the work’s name probably refers to his film of the same name). Andy Warhol from 1964 who documented for about five hours an old man). The particular performance that the film documents was held at the Grand Park in Los Angeles, but the film also includes excerpts from the show in Berlin, Sydney and Paris.
Imagine, then, musicians surrounded by people sleeping on beds, some of them youthful during the piece, walking as if out of sleep, sinking into a kind of trance. A lullaby for the masses who experience the music, more than listen to it. Converge into an imaginary womb and at dawn as if born again. In one wondrous moment, Richter leaves the stage (on which he is present for almost the entire duration of the piece), descends, and wanders between the beds. Turns from an operation – to a farm. Indeed, this excellent film best conveys the meaning of the concept of a transcendental experience, and the untranslatable effect of words of art on those who experience it. Hopefully in the foreseeable future we will be able to sleep to the sounds of creation here as well. Just no snoring please. (Shmulik Duvdevani)
A documentary created following an autobiographical book from 2007, written by a 13-year-old Japanese autistic named Naoki Higashida. The importance of the book is in the perspective it gives readers about the different ways of perceiving and reacting to those on the spectrum. Director Jerry Rothwell has selected characters from five autistics around the world – India, the UK, USA and Sierra Leone. Each has different difficulties and challenges. The film’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it seeks a way to experience the gaze of its protagonists from within: using cinematic technology to Create for viewers an illustration of a perception of time and space that is unfamiliar to them.The exciting film won the Audience Favorite Award at the Sundance Film Festival. (Erez Deborah)
A spectacularly animated version of Shostakovich’s opera based on Gogol’s famous story, “The Nose,” becomes an extraordinary salute to the avant-garde artists of the Soviet Union, who were oppressed by Stalin’s reign of terror. The esteemed Russian animator, Andrei Kharznovsky, one of the most important animators in his homeland, combines different artistic styles in the film, as well as references to writers (Bulgakov), theater people (Meyerhold), painters (Pilonov) and film directors (Eisenstein) of that era. By the way, the artist’s son, Ilya Kharzhanovsky, is responsible for the ambitious and huge cinematic project, “Dow”, one of the episodes of which will be revealed to the Israeli audience at the festival.
Shostakovich himself, as early as 1966, gave Kharzhanovsky his consent to adapt his opera, which at that time had not yet been staged since it was written in the 1920s. The film itself is divided into three episodes, “Dreams,” the first of which is the opera itself; The second tells the story of the writer Mikhail Bulgakov, who in his despair that his plays do not bring up a letter to Stalin following which the two became friends. The third dream deals with the results of Stalin’s teaching to condemn any form of formalism in art, and to prefer socialist realism over it (according to the film, in response to a traumatic viewing of his entourage in the avant-garde opera “The Nose”). The combination of illustrations, avant-garde painting, propaganda posters and excerpts from period films, led by Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, makes the film a condensed, conceptual and historical work that is a must for anyone interested in Russian art in one of its great and difficult hours. (Shmulik Duvdevani)
Very few productions in the history of cinema can be compared to the utter madness of the “Dow” project of the Russian director Ilya Kharzhanovsky. Between 2009-2011, the “Institute” was built in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, a 12,000-square-foot set that recreates the world of the Soviet Union from the 1930s to the 1960s. The extras lived for months in a huge space where cameras and microphones were scattered without them knowing their location. Participants were required to dress, behave and speak according to the strict rules set by the director, and in accordance with the reconstruction of the past world that surrounded them. In total, just over 350,000 people were involved in the project.
Years after the filming ended, it seemed like we would never see the products of 700 hours of filmed material. In 2019, a huge exhibition opened in Paris, and with it the first of the 13 promised films began to appear. The Dow Natasha, which won the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, is a first introduction to a fascinating and morally challenging project. The protagonist, a buffet operator who hosts physicists working in a nearby laboratory, contacts a French scientist. The connection later leads to a proper turn for life under totalitarian rule. The sex in the film is not “worn out” and the violent moments reach a degree of brutality that would make even Lars von Trier hesitate. The film is restricted to ages 18 and up. For those who are interested in cinema in its extreme form, this is probably the film that should not be missed at the festival. (Erez Deborah)
Think of the “Eighth Traveler” meeting the “water form” in the Soviet Union of the late Cold War. The year is 1983, Yuri Andropov is serving for the short term as Secretary General of the Communist Party, and two cosmonauts return from space travel with a foreign invader nesting in the body of one who hatches at night. A young scientist who is recruited to find a way to sever the symbiotic connection between the parasite and the host body.
This is Igor Abramenko’s first film – marked here as a promising talent – and it was an impressive success when, because of the Corona, it was distributed in his homeland through streaming services. One can certainly identify in it a contemporary political critique, as well as familiar themes from David Cronenberg’s early films that dealt with the blurring between physical and emotional states. But when the story turns for example into the lie of national heroism and tormented motherhood – something begins to go wrong. What could have been a truly intelligent horror-movie is fading into a collection of routine scenes. Still, it’s a pretty effective movie. (Shmulik Duvdevani)
British director-screenwriter Gerard Johnson’s third film is a dark comedy thriller about the implications of physical transformation. 40-year-old Simon is a frustrated employee in a worthless job at telemarketing scam. His relationship with his girlfriend is rapidly fading and the foreseeable future offers only an acceleration of the deteriorating trend in his life and body. When he signs up for a neighborhood gym he makes contact with Terry, a bodybuilder, a sort of combination of a major sergeant and a hooligan. In a sort of “battle club” combination (without any brilliance or charisma) and dark and claustrophobic power relations dynamics like Harold Pinter The relationship with Terry will take over and change Simon’s life in a way that leads to the illusion of restoring masculinity to a dark and confusing world. (Erez Deborah)
Lithuanian director Sharonas Bertas is one of the most fascinating cinematic voices in Central and Eastern European cinema after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and his films take place against the backdrop of the trauma of the Soviet occupation of his homeland (which began in World War II), human rigidity and gloomy landscapes. He is a “festival director” in the most extreme and rare sense. His new film, which was included in the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival (which did not take place this year) and has just been screened at the Saint-Sebastian Film Festival, is a powerful work set in 1948, with partisans fighting in forests and villages against Soviet forces, reminiscent of Elm’s great war drama. Klimov, “Go Out and See” (1985).
The protagonists of the film are a simple villager and his wife is serious-minded, a member of an aristocratic family who does not really tolerate her husband as well as their adopted son. The difficult routine of existence is in any case violated when Russian soldiers come to the village in order to obtain money from its poor residents, and hunt down the partisans hiding in the forests, and gain the cooperation of the villager and his son. There is nothing heroic or romantic about the War of Survival, says the film, which also shows how Forrero shares the partisan fighting from within (Bartas was helped write the script by stories he heard from his parents and grandparents), Arvides Depsis.) Take a deep breath and succeed in this movie. (Shmulik Duvdevani)
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth, and 10 years since the death of Jean-Marie Morris Scherer – known to film lovers by the name he signed his films with. He was part of a group of members of the French magazine “Cinema Companies” who in the late 1950s became the five creators of the “French New Wave”. He directed the debut film “Lion’s Sign” in 1959, and then returned to edit the magazine for four years. He started making feature films on a regular basis only in 1967 and 40 years later he directed his last film.
Rohmer is not a director of cinematic pyrotechnics. His style, simple and refined, gives the whole stage to the characters and (many) words he puts in their mouths. Ironically, it is the older creator of his age who specializes in elegant and witty films full of young people’s hearts. American critic Richard Corlis described the protagonists of his films as “young and handsome people who fall in love, or fall in love with the idea of being in love.” The thought of the act, the talk of the feelings, are the essence of the moral reflection that Rohmer offers on man.
The festival presents seven films from the core of Rohmer’s making, films that belong to the film series whose names hint at their content. “Six Morals Stories” series from the early ’60s to the early’ 70s (“My Night at Maude’s”, “Claire’s Knee”, “Love in the Afternoon”), “80s Comedies and Complements” (“Pauline on the Beach”) “,” Summer “) and the” Seasons “series of the 90’s (” Winter’s Tale “,” Autumn Story “) – all highly recommended, along with a warning to avoid viewers who have lost the ability to listen to words and notice nuances. , To quote a famous drop on Rohmer’s films, for “Observing a Drying Color.” (Bee cedar)
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