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Archive for the ‘Israeli Films’ Category

Best Films of 2011

Posted by Web Manager on December 30, 2012

Now that 2012 is coming to a close it’s time for Fucky Film Review’s TOP 25 FILMS of 2011 *

1. My favorite movie was A Separation. I was just absorbed in everything that happened in every scene.  Literally on the edge of my seat.

2. The Skin I Live in was probably my second favorite of the year.  I think I already reviewed it.

3. The Kid with a Bike. It’s rare to watch a film that moves without feeling pushed, with characters that are vivid and compelling and real.  I enjoy being manipulated by The Dardenne brothers.

A Separation

Fucky Favorite: A Separation

4. Got to go with Drive next, but I don’t have much to say about it.   It had a special kind of economy that shows itself here and there in other movies, but in Drive it was all the way through.

5. Lincoln Lawyer.  Surprise, right? This movie kind of owns it and I love the Bobby Blue Band Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City opening credits.

6. Donoma. The no-budget movie from France blew my mind. It was long as hell – I am not exaggerating at all, my watch stopped and I really thought I’d been in the theater for three and a half hours (aka hell). Still it was totally worth watching the parts they should have cut to see the rest.

7. Policeman.  Israeli film that probably played to an audience of about 5,000 worldwide.  Reviewed on Fucky.

8. Tree of Life. Thank God for Terrence Malick in 2011, but I groaned when the dinosaurs came out.

9. I would like to have hated Melancholia, just because it was so clear that I was supposed to like it, but I didn’t hate it at all. I liked it, mostly because it’s good, but also because it also had some of that Drive economy, especially in the first half.

Donoma - French Guerrilla Film

Donoma – French guerrilla film

10. Cedar Rapids. Maybe it’s not that good.  I just really liked it and you need a comedy in your top ten.

11. Bombay Beach.  Among the most beautiful documentaries I have ever seen – totally absorbing.

12. I didn’t enjoy Take Shelter very much but I kept thinking about it for days afterwards.

13. Hanna.  There have been a bunch of action movies lately about young girls who kill people.  That should be noted.  This is the one that works the best.

Bombay Beach – Gorgeous documentary

14. Carnage. Four great film actors, directed by one of the world’s greatest living directors, in an adaptation of Yazmina Reza’s play.  I’d rather have seen it as a play in the theater, but given that I didn’t, and that I might not, I’m glad I got to see it like this.

15. Descendants. I really liked the opening voice over. Afterwards it kind of goes downhill but there are little gifts along the way that make it OK.

16. Shame has some problems but I think they are problems that will seem less like problems over time, and over time this will be a great movie, and the mix of overwriting and underwriting and overacting and under-acting will sit better.

17. Living in a Material World.  Three hours of George Harrison – what could be bad?

18. Source Code.  Think I already reviewed it.

19.Contagion. Hyper and taut.

20. Barney’s Version.  A funny warm story about a Jew from Montreal who lived large, loved and lost.  I like that shit.

descendants

The Descendants. Clooney is confused.

21. Footnote. Israeli movie about intellectual rigor and father son dynamics. Very clever at times.

22. I like that the Bridesmaids never actually go to vegas. And I love Kristen Wiig.

23. Cave of Forgotten Dreams.  The only justified use of 3-D I’ve ever seen.  Werner Herzog is funny.

24. Le Havre. Kurosmaki’s sentimental tale about old men and immigration.

25. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.  Already reviewed it.

Special Mention: Moneyball, Certified Copy, In Time.

* NOTES ON THE FILMS I SAW AND THOSE I DIDN’T:

I saw Super 8, Hugo, Adjustment Bureau, X-Men First Class, Friends with Benefits, and the Muppets on planes.  I liked them all but I can’t really put them in this list because it’s like the worst possible way to experience a good movie (and the best possible way to experience a bad movie). Also I didn’t finish the Muppets.

There are so many films every year.  Here is a partial list of 2011 movies that I want to see but haven’t gotten around to yet:

Into the Abyss,Bill Cunningham New York, Pina, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Terri, The Future, Higher Ground, Meek’s Cutoff, House of Pleasures, Into the Abyss, The Interrupters, Margaret, Tabloid, The Arbor, Submarine, Win Win, Super, Hall Pass, Your Highness, The Conspirator, Straw Dogs, The Guard, Restless, Killer Elite, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Fincher version), A Dangerous Method, The Devil’s Double, Attack the Block, My Week With Marilyn

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Policeman

Posted by Web Manager on January 13, 2012

Nadav Lapid 2011

I didn’t see many Israeli movies this year but this was definitely the best I saw.  It was also one of my all-around favorites of the year (list forthcoming).  It’s follows two stories, and part of the fun of the movie is watching them develop and come together, so I won’t say anything about it.  But it captures something very deep and sad at the heart of contemporary life – more true of Israel and Tel Aviv, but probably also true of many other places.

Posted in 2010's, Israeli Films, Movies | 1 Comment »

Infiltration (Hitganvut Yehidim)

Posted by Web Manager on November 18, 2011

Dover Koshashvili

Lots of mustaches in this Altman-esque study of an Israeli rear-echelon military base, circa 1950s.  Standout performance by Michael Aloni.

Posted in 2010's, Israeli Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

Avanti Popolo

Posted by Web Manager on January 18, 2011

Rafi Bukai 1989

Two shell shocked Egyptian soldiers wander through the Sinai, haplessly trying to find their way back to Cairo in the disastrous aftermath of the 1967 War.  Contemplative, symbolic, poetic, dramatic, and warm – an early standout in the Israeli cinema.

Posted in 1980's, Israeli Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

Intimate Grammar

Posted by Web Manager on November 2, 2010

Nir Bergman 2010

Spiritually bankrupt; a complete waste of time and effort.

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Z32

Posted by Web Manager on October 31, 2010

Avi Mograbi 2008

Documentary about an Israeli man in his late twenties (and his girlfriend) trying to come to terms with his participation in a revenge ambush on Palestinian policemen during the second intifada. Interesting use of compositing to obscure/collectivize the protagonist’s identity. I understood the need for interludes but not so much the need for Mr. Mograbi to sing.

Posted in 2000's, Israeli Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

The Troupe (Ha-Lahaka)

Posted by Web Manager on June 1, 2010

Avi Nesher 1979

Classic; the only Avi Nesher film I recommend.

 

Posted in 1970's, Israeli Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

Sweet Mud (Adama Meshuga’at)

Posted by Web Manager on May 31, 2010

Dror Shaul 2006

There’s an interesting scene with a cow which might disturb some audiences.

Posted in 2000's, Israeli Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

Ajami

Posted by Web Manager on October 23, 2009

Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani 2009

 

Powerful cinema verite on the mean streets of Jaffa.  Superb acting and directing – throughout the film, wonderful little moments that gave layers of depth to the characters’ lives.  I read somewhere that in the international release, there is no way for people reading the subtitles to know whether the characters are speaking Arabic or Hebrew.  This is a shame because a lot of insight and nuance comes through the interplay between the languages.  Still it’s totally worth checking out – expect to see it in a lot of major festivals, and in theatrical release in Europe (and maybe even America).  FFR’s Fall 2009 Favorite Film Seen in the Theater.

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My Father My Lord (Chufshat Kayitz)

Posted by Web Manager on August 31, 2009

David Volach 2007

Depressing Israeli film about ultra-religious people and the strange things they do. Made by an insider with a very soft touch and some especially poignant and touching scenes.

Posted in 2000's, Israeli Films, Movies | Leave a Comment »

 
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