In a post-industrial world people are no longer able to dream. A factory run by Mr Terrier sells the frightened, sleepless masses a dreaming experience. Sarah, the single surviving dreamer,... See full summary »

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Mr. Trrier
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Sarah Adler ...
Sarah
Uri Avrahami
Edna Blilious
Shay Cachlany
Shahar Cohen
David Fire ...
Didi
Emil Knebel ...
Mr. Coma
Penina Mezei ...
Veronica Nicole ...
Palma
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In a post-industrial world people are no longer able to dream. A factory run by Mr Terrier sells the frightened, sleepless masses a dreaming experience. Sarah, the single surviving dreamer, sets out to the only place that can provide answers to her strange night-time visions: the dream factory. Her arrival excites Mr Terrier, who is searching for a new dreamer. The visions of the old comatose man, whose dreams Mr Terrier taps into, have become repetitive and dull. He must be replaced. Didi, Sarah's lover, cuts and edits the dreams for Mr Terrier. To avoid Sarah turning out like the old man, Didi must save her. But for Terrier, Sarah holds the future of his company. He kidnaps her, tying her up then forcibly drugging her. After awakening, Sarah comes to realize the repercussions her dreams have had in the real world. Written by Anonymous

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2011 (Israel)  »

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2.35 : 1
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Leah: If the husband is a drunk, the wife is a martyr.
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The Disappointing Dreams of ANDANTE
8 July 2010 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

Given the almost generic trend of cultural drama (both dwelling on historical and current Jewish/Israeli themes) usually on view at the Jerusalem Film Festival, I was quite happy to come across a seeming existential sci-fi thriller like ANDANTE in this year's program and even more happy, given that I'd be stranded from this year's fest, to be invited to a special preview screening ahead of its premiere there. My excitement was dashed within minutes however. This is, without question, the worst film I've ever seen presented at JFF. I was familiar with the first-time helmer of the film, Assaf Tager. Tager had some marginal attention mid-decade with a few Israeli rock music projects (Ketamine, comes to mind). Tager's music projects tended to recruit some very impressive technical allies (such as Sonic-Youth famed producer Wharton Tiers) and the same is true with his first film, ANDANTE, which draws some regarded (at least in Israel) cast and crew members. But as with his music, this makes the eventual disappointment of the film all the more frustrating. As a singer, Tager's output tended to wear his influences almost embarrassingly on its sleeve, nearly to the point of uninspired plagiarism. The songs were always very sturdy and technically well-constructed, but there were no real ideas in them. Such is the case with ANDANTE, which takes its name after the city in the film--a city plagued with dreamlessness and reliant on a factory which farms dreams from old "Mr. Coma" the last known dreamer. A young woman, Sarah (played by Sarah Adler) takes to dreaming again, much to her confusion and much to the evil greed of those who wish to exploit her talents at their factory. Of course, there is a male love interest who is, of course, employed at the factory, who, of course, wishes to protect her from those who, of course, wish to pin her upon Mr. Coma's bed. I won't spoil the plot, though I'd be hard pressed to do so, as it spoils itself so extravagantly. Everything is tiringly obvious, right on down to the obvious source symbolism of the film's premise. Hollywood, long called the "dream factory" and the "boulevard of dreams", was always the metaphoric producer and supplier of dreams to an increasingly dreamless public. ANDANTE takes that cliché and simply makes it literal. A playful conceit in recognizing the obviousness of such uninspired symbolism would have done the film well. But it takes itself unbearably and fatally seriously. And there is not much to take seriously. Every shot, every scene, every line seems familiar. You could almost play a drinking game with the pilfered images from other films and music videos. The dream sequences, which might have promised so much potential, rely on stale Freudian constructs--the sort that bore you to death when friends force last night's dream upon you over dinner. It's all been done so often and so much better before, from the novels of Phillip K. Dick to the old film DREAMS THAT MONEY CAN BUY to Terry Gilliam, not to mention in far too many cheap comic books. And this is precisely what ANDANTE feels like: a confusing comic book with far too many panels missing. Tager, who seems as dreamless as the residents of his ANDANTE, would perhaps have done better with a different writer other than himself; his music outings always suffered most from poor lyrical writing and his pen fares no better within the confines of a 100-minute movie than it did in the confines of a 4-minute song. The film is clearly very expensive, which affords it a nice sheen. But that is its lone achievement. The cinematography, CGI, and production design, which are all sterile but nonetheless notable, are no more than symptoms of this hardy budget. There are simply and sadly no ideas delivered by it all. The story is clunky in design; there is no real awareness of plot structure or credibility (the scenes hardly justify each other at all). The film consistently mistakes pretension for poetry. Its philosophy is incoherent, understudied and confused. If it's intended as an art film, it's not very artful or insightful. If it's intended as a thriller, it's not very thrilling or even entertaining for that matter. In truth, it feels less like a proper film than it does a jumble of lost, over-quoted images. And it is safe to say, were this movie not among the very few produced yearly in Israel which the JFF plays exclusive home to, it wouldn't be showing at all. This sort of cultural incestuousness which burdens the programming of the festival is precisely why the JFF is not taken seriously and has no international esteem. I doubt ANDATE will play elsewhere, beyond its State-sponsored screenings, and I say so with real pity for those involved. I really wanted to herald a new talent; but there is none. Much money (and I can imagine time) seems to have been wasted on what appears to be a vanity project, an indictment which Mr. Tager's music projects have previously suffered in local circles. Unfortunately it seems, should this film ever find distribution, ANDANTE is destined for the same budget bins and obscurity Tager's music has suffered as well. The real crime here is that Israeli cinema does so desperately need a new wave of abstract and poetic films and, when pathetic films like ANDANTE are made, they cheat that new wave of its arrival by dwindling the ever-scarce national funds for new filmmakers. I've never heard so many insults and so much genuine rage from a crowd exiting a theater as I did tonight. And rightfully so. The waste on exhibit this evening was criminal. Such films' births baffle me. Their swift and tidy deaths do not, however. And so it will be with ANDANTE. Let's hope Mr. Tager has the good sense to return to his day job behind the guitar, where he at least achieves a dependable and proficient mediocrity.


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