Quentin Tarantino thinks it's the Best Film of the Year. (That'll send some cinephiles, particularly those who love uber-violence, to the theater.) But I wonder what the Israeli powers-that-be, cultural and otherwise, have to say about the new movie BIG BAD WOLVES, which, of all the films to come out of Israel that I have so far seen, including Rabies (Kalevet), paints by far the nastiest picture of the place. Granted, this is a genre movie, of the type which, if we are to believe the very good article by John Anderson that appeared in the The New York Times of January 10, those cultural/political powers-that-be would prefer not be made by talented Israeli filmmakers.
Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado (shown above, with Mr. Papushado on the right), who also gave us the crazily enjoyable, if awfully bloody, 2009 Rabies. Their new one is so much more accomplished in most ways that I am guessing their budget may have doubled (or better).
Rotem Keinan, above) whom someone sort of suspects of doing this horrible deed, without -- from what I could tell -- having more than the very slightest circumstantial evidence with which to convict him. Involved in all this is a policeman (the fine Lior Ashkenazi, below, right) and his underlings; his boss (Menashe Noy, below, left); the father of the child victim (himself a former military man) played by Tzahi Grad, two photos above and in the penultimate one; and finally the father's own father. All the men in the movie turn out to be thugs of one sort or another (hence the title) -- except perhaps for our poor, put-upon victim, who teaches in a religious school (oh, yes: and an Arab who rides by on a horse from time to time).
Magnet Releasing and running a too-long 110 minutes, opens today in New York City at the Cinema Village and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Simultanesouly it will open in Chicago at the Music Box, and across Canada in Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria. In the weeks to come, look for it to open in another 20 cities (click here to see all playdates) across the USA, though oddly enough I don't see Los Angeles or Hollywood listed among them. I wonder why?