sound like a law firm or an architectural partnership, but their relationship
is far from collegial. It starts with
revulsion on the former’s part and obsession for the latter, but quickly goes
downhill from there. There will be
plenty of stalking and assorted mind games in Oren Carmi’s Goldberg & Eisenberg (spoilery trailer here), which screened
last night at the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City.
Aviv is a happening city, but you would hardly know it from these two very
different losers. Goldberg is exactly the sort of awkward computer programmer
he looks like, who spends all of his free time getting rejected on internet
dating services. Eisenberg is just
off. The slovenly thug just seems to
loiter about Meir Park all day. When he
sees Goldberg, he immediately wants to be friends, or perhaps something
wants none of that. He is definitely straight. He just isn’t very good at it. Unfortunately,
rejection only makes Eisenberg more aggressive and erratic. Things will get ugly
and the cops will be as useless as all the other cops in previous
psycho-stalker movies. Yet, to his credit, Goldberg plugs away in his search
for Ms. Right.
the not so ambiguous nature of Eisenberg’s interest, it is highly doubtful G&E could be produced in America,
lest GLAAD be offended. It is decidedly
un-PC, but old school indie scenesters will dig its grungy 1980’s-Lower
Eastside vibe. Cinematographer Ido
Bar-On gives it a murky, dirty look, befitting the tunnel vision of its characters. Frankly, the first hour or so largely
consists of standard cat-and-mouse stuff, but Carmi totally pulls the rug out
from under the audience’s feet with an inspired third act. It goes from dark to pitch black, cranking up
the macabre irony.
Goldberg, Yitzhak Laor completely looks and acts the part of a nebbish, low
rent Frasier Crane. Likewise, Yahav Gal’s
Eisenberg is uncomfortably intense and clammy.
They fit their roles perfectly, but you wouldn’t want to spend much time
with either of them. On the other hand, the
charismatic Ronny Dotan shines in her too brief appearances as Noa, Goldberg’s
potential geekly chic girlfriend.
Initially viewers might think they have seen G&E many times before, but it is
worth staying with it. While it does not have the same manic energy and
sinister edge of Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado’s Big Bad Wolves or Rabies,
Carmi proves he has plenty of filmmaking potential. Indeed, it should be the
perfect film to see with an appreciative Park City crowd when it screens again
tomorrow (1/21) during this year’s Slamdance.
Labels: Israeli Cinema, Slamdance '14, Stalker movies