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NewFest 2007 (May 31st – June 10th)

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*Updated 6/1/07. Please check back soon for more reviews*

The Bubble, directed by Eytan Fox. In Hebrew with subtitles. Three roommates, Noam (Ohad Knoller), Yelli (Alon Friedman) and Lulu (Daniela Vitzer), from a neighborhood of Tel Aviv, lead a relatively peaceful life until Noam has a romance with a Ashraf (Yousef ‘Joe” Sweid), which breaks their peaceful “bubble”. The plot feels slightly tedious in second act, but the convincing performances make this engaging drama. Co-writer/director Eytan Fox fails to include a strong enough script that allows for romantic chemistry between the Palestinian man and the Israeli man—Fox’s brilliant film Yossi & Jagger has a much stronger romance. It’s clear how their relationship jeopardizes their lives at home, though: Ashraf’s father doesn’t approve of his homosexuality while Noam’s roommates don’t like the idea of an intercultural relationship, especially given the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. A plot twist in the third act feels unnecessary and disappointed. Entertainment Value: Moderate. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Released by Strand Releasing. Opens September 7th, 2007.

Glue- Directed by Alexis Dos Santos. Three young, glue-sniffing adolescents, Lucas (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart), Nacho (Nahuel Viale), and Andrea (Inés Efron) come of age in a small Argentinean town. This tedious coming-of-age film says nothing new about adolescents nor does it have any interesting or poignant moments. Too many scenes feel either exploitative and pretentious or simply pointless. Moreover, writer/director Alexis Dos Santos includes nauseating cinematography using digital or Super 8 as a medium with many shaky camera movements. His unimaginative script with minimal character development makes for an excruciatingly dull experience, especially at an excessive running time of 110 minutes. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: High. Released by Picture This! Entertainment. No release date, yet.

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