Monday, July 10, 2006
Jerusalem Film Festival Opening Night
Every year the Jerusalem Film Festival screens its opening film in the "Sultan's Pool," a valley situated between the majestic walls of the Old City and the historical Yemin Moshe neighborhood. For a few hours that night the air above the valley is filled with the shouts, music, and dreams of whatever cinematic experience is projected onto the inflatable screen. The festival is a prestigious event, attracting film personalities from all over the world, with many international productions premiering. This year Jeff Goldblum and Debra Winger welcomed the crowd and officially opened the festival.
It's a sublime film-watching experience despite the fact that everyone shivers and freezes their tushis off EVERY year even though they know it cools down in Jerusalem at night. Luckily this year's movie did not inspire too many walk-outs as most of the crowd was glued to their bleacher seats, huddling to stay warm.
The film was especially significant given that it was a hometown tribute - "Someone to Run With" based on the book of the same name by David Grossman, a book that is so widely read and revered by Israeli teenagers and young adults that comparisons to Catcher in the Rye are bandied about. The plot centers around the misunderstood teenagers that populate Jerusalem 's street kids/musicians scene. Earnest and sincere, the film had a raw, unpolished look that allowed the powerful performances and narrative to shine through. The film was a resounding success with the audience whispering along to the breathy Israeli songs on the soundtrack and trying to figure out which Jerusalem locations they recognized. It was the equivalent of watching the home team grandslam in the most breathtaking stadium on earth.
Jeff Goldblum is SO excited to be in Israel. The country has been smitten with him ever since his role in Jurassic Park. He had us at "mathematician."