Thanks for the Use of the Hall - Archive

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Name: Dan Sallitt
Location: New York, New York, United States

Monday, May 26, 2008

Late Marriage: Walter Reade, May 28 and 31, 2008

Dover Koshashvili's remarkable 2001 debut has, I believe, not had a NYC screening since its 2002 theatrical run, and is in some danger of being forgotten. The story, about the fierce resistance that an Georgian family in Israel puts up when its son (Lior Ashkenazi) falls in love with an Israeli divorcee (Ronit Elkabetz), primes the audience for a Romeo-and-Juliet-style, love-conquers-all drama. Instead of triumph or tears, however, we get a grueling analysis of the mechanics of social pressure, which thrives on the divided feelings of its targets, and which seems even more formidable here because of its psychological fluidity. Koshashvili stages the film in five or six large set pieces, played out in continuous time and space, but with large gaps in between. The structure made me think of Dreyer's Gertrud - and once that association was in my head, I also picked up more than a hint of Dreyer's quiet implacability in the way that Koshashvili observes the emotionally charged situation without endorsement, as if there were no point in rooting or protesting. Late Marriage screens twice in the Walter Reade's Israel at 60 series: on Wednesday, May 28 at 4:15 pm, and Saturday, May 31 at 9:20 pm.

If you don't have a 9-to-5 job, you should also pay a visit to Keren Yedaya's daringly stylized 2004 Or (My Treasure), screening Monday, June 2 at 4:15 pm and Wednesday, June 4 at 4:30 pm. To my mind, these are the two finest films that Israel has produced.



Blogger Eric M. said...

I haven't seen either of those-I remember seeing the trailer for Or a few times.

I can throw in a recommendation for Ushpizin, which I saw when it came out three years ago and don't have that strongly a recollection of it, but remembered enjoying it very much.

May 28, 2008 4:08 AM  

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