"World Cinema: Israel"

My book, "World Cinema: Israel" (originally published in 1996) is available from Amazon on "Kindle", with an in-depth chapter comparing and analyzing internationally acclaimed Israeli films up to 2010.

Want to see some of the best films of recent years? Just scroll down to "best films" to find listings of my recommendations.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Footnote Wins the Israeli Oscar

Last night, the film Footnote by Joseph Cedar was the winner of nine awards at the Ophir Awards ceremony.  The Ophir Awards are tantamount to the Israeli Oscars and the winner represents Israel in the American Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language film. 

Footnote won the biggest awards including: best film, best director, best screenplay, best actor for Shlomo Bar Aba and best supporting actor for Lior Ashkenazi. 

In addition, it should be noted that Footnote won the prestigious award for best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival this past May. 

The award for Best Documentary went to Arnon Goldfinger's The Flat.

Both films have previously been reviewed on this blog.

If you haven't seen either film yet, go and see them! 

If you have already seen Footnote, then read on…

I want to share a small story -- on July 15, 2011, at the Jerusalem Film Festival, there was a session called Cinema Jerusalem, moderated by Micha Shagrir.  Shagrir interviewed some of the film's professional crew, including the editor of the film, Einat Glaser-Zarchin, who talked about the importance of pacing and construction.  As her example, she discussed the sequence in the film when the young female journalist comes to interview the older Prof. Skolnick (Shlomo Bar Aba).   Just to review – the young journalist comes to the door to interview Prof. Skolnick who has been notified that he's receiving the prestigious Israel Prize.  His wife opens the door and invites the young woman into the house.  Prof. Skolnick comes out and leads her into his study to sit and talk.  Then we realize that there are two parallel stories here. Skolnick-the-father is being interviewed and he doesn't know the truth about the prize.  While that is going on, Skolnick-the-son (Lior Ashkenazi) is writing the false comments from the judges of the prize.  The father is saying things against his son, while the son is writing praise and love for his father. This was a superb example of a sequence in which the editing creates the tension between the two heroes, between the two parallel stories. 

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