American actor John Malkovich arrived in Israel on Monday ahead of the 8th Eilat Chamber Music Festival, which takes place in the southern resort city this week.
Malkovich will play the lead role in successful musical-drama “The Infernal Comedy – Confessions of a Serial Killer,” which will be broadcast live on Ynet on Thursday.
This is Malkovich’s first performance in Israel. He visited the country in 2008 as the guest of honor of the Jerusalem Film Festival.
“The Infernal Comedy” will be shown both in Eilat and at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art as part of a collaboration between the Eilat festival and the 15th Felicja Blumental International Music Festival.
The latest film by Israeli director Ari Folman will open the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes International Film Festival next month, organizers said on Friday.
Folman, whose film “The Congress” will be screened on May 16, is no stranger to Cannes.
His anti-war film “Waltz with Bashir” was one of the films selected to compete for the top Palme d’Or prize in 2008.
Adapted from the sci-fi novel “The Futurological Congress” by Polish author Stanislaw Lem, Folman’s latest film is described as part animation and part live action film starring Robin Wright, Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm, Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston and Frances Fisher.
“Waltz with Bashir”, an animated documentary, told the story of Folman’s bid to unlock his repressed memories of his presence at the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinian refugees by an Israeli-backed Christian militia.
The other films in the Directors’ Fortnight will be announced on Tuesday.
The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15 to 26.
In between elections for Knesset and chief rabbi, Israel will hold a contest of a different breed on Friday, when an international team of judges at the country’s largest ever pet festival will vote for the Jewish state’s top dog.
The three-day Festi-Pet, organized by the Israel Kennel Club, already attracted thousands of Israelis Wednesday to the event at the historic Mikve Israel Agricultural School in Holon. The highlight is expected to be the crowing of the festival’s champion dog on Friday at noon.
More than 3,000 animals were presented Wednesday at the festival, which featured horse shows, dog agility contests, dozens of cats, and more than 100 reptiles, including non-poisonous snakes that visitors of all ages are invited to pet and put around their shoulders.
There were Irish wolf hounds and great Danes, which are the world’s largest and tallest dogs, and chihuahuas, which are among the smallest.
For children, there is an inflatable amusement park, arts-and-crafts activities, and a cafeteria with kosher-for- Passover food.
Top judges have come from around the world, including Japan, Germany, the UK, Russia, and the United States. Visitors braved traffic jams to come from as far north as the Golan Heights and as far South as Eilat.
Micha Katz, a dog breeder and groomer from Efrat, brought his toy poodle Jasmine, who won a prize in her category. Katz, who gained expertise in poodles from his years as a breeder and groomer, said he likes them because they are small, comfortable to have around the house, do not shed, and are hypo-allergenic.
“It was very exciting to see Jasmine win in her first show,” Katz said. “We are so glad we came.”
Source: TimeOUT Israel
The Piano Festival at Tel Aviv’s Suzanne Dellal Center, opening Wednesday and running for five days, will deliver on the audience’s expectations of witnessing the unexpected, says Etti Anetta-Segev, the festival’s artistic director.
“I think this festival is not entirely in the mainstream,” Anetta-Segev says. “This festival takes place in relatively smaller halls, it doesn’t need to attract audiences in the thousands, and therefore there is no justification for focusing only on the mainstream. Around a third of the performances are mainstream types; then there is the second group of promising young performers; and the last group consists of alternative works.
“The festival audience is looking for these things,” she says. “It’s a curious audience that is searching. They come thinking ‘let’s see what’s new’ and they know that we will select for them the most interesting alternative artists. The proof is in the fact that the concerts that sell out first are not necessarily the ones you’d expect to sell out. This year, for example, the Collective’s concert was one of the first and fastest to sell out.”
Anetta-Segev, who is in her fifth year as the festival’s artistic director, says “the first requirement of participating artists is to something different. There’s no point in coming to the piano festival to see a routine performance by, let’s say, Yizhar Ashdot.”
But the example Anetta-Segev gives actually reveals the dual nature of the piano festival, which does indeed like to experiment but is also careful not to exaggerate with the experiments.
Ashdot performed at the Piano Festival three years ago together with Rea Mochiach and assorted keyboards and other gimmicks. The piano on the stage remained idle. “I thought it was nice, it was an interesting interpretation of the concept of the festival,” says Anetta-Segev, “but some in the audience were disappointed. We received letters of complaint. But when I say ‘something different’ it need not necessarily be too large a deviation. Sometimes it’s enough if people limit the size of the band or bring a piano to a concert where there usually isn’t one.”
She says the piano is the codeword for the festival’s artistic concept: “A piano is an instrument with a tremendous range. It’s a string instrument and also a percussion instrument. It’s classical and also rock ‘n’ roll. It has an endless richness and it connects many loose ends. This is the source from which the various festival concerts are derived. The goal is numerous styles of music, to open up, expand and try to focus as much as possible: to choose the best things.”
Can she recommend a few notable concerts among the 35 in the festival?
“Firstly,” she says in an ironic teacher’s tone, “the tribute to Batzir Tov [in which Ilan Virtzberg, Eran Tzur, Yirmi Kaplan, Dana Adini and Daniel Solomon perform Virtzberg and Shimon Gelbetz's wonderful album of poems by Yona Wallach]. It’s an old dream of mine, and it’s one of the most beloved Israeli albums, an album that sounds great today as well.
“Another thing I’m proud of is the Yishai Levy concert,” Anetta-Segev continues. “He’s much more than a Middle Eastern singer. He’s always done things a little differently; his whole approach to singing, to the presentation of a text. He doesn’t live in the world of endless musical trills.”