"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.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tel Aviv -- the city that never sleeps

Tel Aviv is an amazing and vibrant city that is almost impossible to define or describe.  But filmmaker Nellu Cohn does an amazing job of capturing what is unique and special about the city in Tel Aviv Live (documentary, 50 minutes).  This is a stupendous film about art and artists and about the culture of a city.

Tel Aviv is a city of festivals, dance, music, theater, opera, cinema, beach parties, night life, literature, concerts and parades.  This film provides some historical context for all of these art forms, and at the same time, permits us to hear from some of the greatest artists themselves.  Menashe Kadishman, painter and sculptor, talks about some of the early influences on his work.  Author Etgar Keret says that you can find in the local art a search for what it means to live in Tel Aviv.  Singer Noa (Achinoam Nini) talks about how you can see, in Tel Aviv, the roots in people's art, but also their need to break free. She says that Tel Aviv "offers progress, release, joy!"

There is also a discussion of the role or place of politics in cultural expression.  Graphic artist and designer Tartakover focuses on the fact that the Occupation influences absolutely all cultural expression in this country. Obviously fringe theater deals head-on with political complexity, but repertory theater quite blatantly ignores political expression.  Etgar Keret admits that his writings offer a reflection of human complexity and less so deal with political issues.  Noa, on the other hand, talks about her collaboration with Palestinian singer, Mira Awad, as a form of political expression. She knows that most popular singers do not express political opinions but she feels obligated to do so.

This is a superior film dealing with artists and cultural expression, which captures the essence and vitality of a city.  Tel Aviv Live  is available from Ruth Diskin Films. 

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