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Overall Rating

Awesome: 12.5%
Worth A Look: 12.5%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad75%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 2 user ratings

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by Greg Muskewitz

"Sharing ensemble boredom."
2 stars

Pretension is inherent in a movie by Amos Gitaï, but at least here he lacks his usual pedantry (Kadosh, Kippur).

Two-inglorious-hours with a dozen denizens of Tel Aviv, smothered in misery and minor misfortune, beginning with a father, his newly enlisted son, an ex-wife and her lover, an adulterating man, his mistress, and a handful of others from their love nest/complex who all turn up in random places. Gitaï is contented to boorishly pass the baton back-and-forth throughout the residents for the mere exercise of observation. Ensemble pieces are rarely so monotonous, usually gaining energy from trading around the storylines and never growing tired of any in the batch (think Thirteen Conversations about One Thing, or Magnolia, or Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her, et al.); Alila is the opposite with each set of characters being borne out of ennui and with each return to them more tiresome and less fresh than the last visit. Never has a rotation of trading one storyline for another been so entirely stale. Most of the performances at least fill up the space with competence, as does the sedentary camerawork (slowly panning back-and-forth between two talkers, occasionally getting up for a tracking shot) of Renato Berta (Not on the Lips, Same Old Song), but Gitaï solemnly sticks to doing nothing with them, and as a collection of daily lives living, it hardly seems to represent anything specifically about the Israeli way of life.

[Not to be bothered with.]

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originally posted: 05/12/04 02:20:52
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User Comments

6/08/04 Laura Raises a controversial question about mandatory military service in Israel. Great music too 4 stars
5/02/04 Ajeesh Supern 5 stars
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