Hor B'Levana (Hole in the Moon) (1964)
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Here's some sixties Israeli avant-garde. Before seeing this, my perception of Israeli film in 1964 was that the Israelis had no filmmaking experience or proper technology at the time (Sallah Shabati, for example, from the same year, looks quite dilapidated, with bugs visibly crawling on the camera lens, and the cinematographer was imported from Hollywood). This movie proves otherwise. The production values are quite good, and the filmmakers seem to know a lot about film. The movie interestingly juxtaposes Western cinematic and cultural ideas - Shakespeare, Felliniesque women, nods to the French New Wave, comedic theory - with content and identity that is uniquely Israeli - for example, the labor-Zionist propaganda film bits. So, while a Biblical-looking old man repeats 'To be or not to be,' the modern Israelis here contemplate what their main question is. It even has the self-reference element: the characters bring the shenanigans into existence merely by being filmmakers. Interestingly enough, the director/star, Uri Zohar, would eventually abandon filmmaking and its secular environment and devote himself to Orthodox Judaism. The duality never does go away.
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