‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ Film Quote about Being an Addict

Nothing has to happen for me to have a bad day.
That’s the thrilling part of all this.
It just comes and hits and runs me over like a goddam freight train.

Alice Green (Meg Ryan) – When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)


He Is the Greatest Israeli Soldier the World Has Ever Known

His training is lethal
And his skills are legendary
But it was time for a change
This summer
He is leaving it all behind
Entering a new world
And pursuing his dream
His old life
Is catching up with him

The trailer for Adam Sandler’s new movie ‘You Don’t Mess with the Zohan’ was recently released, and it looks like it is everything you would expect from a Sandler/Schneider film about an Israeli Mossad agent that fakes his death to become a hairstylist: lots of laughs, no need to think, your run of the mill summer hit.

The film features some Israeli actors (Ido Mosseri, Ori Pfeffer), some hot Israeli girls (Moran Atias, Yamit Sol), and some amazing Israeli scenery. You can check out the trailer here:


If you liked the music in the trailer you might be interested to know it is by Israeli funk band HaDag Nahash. You can check out the entire track here:

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Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Israeli architect and part-time blogger Sharon Raz meticulously documents decaying buildings all over Israel in his incredible Disappearing Architecture website (which has a less than incredible navigation interface).

Decaying Hadar Cinema in Haifa | Disappearing-Architecture.co.il

Here are four photo essays he posted documenting the decadence in Israeli cinemas (#1, #2, #3, #4). Living in a state that has a short history, with citizens that have a short memory, I found his ongoing project nothing short than brilliant.

Why I Saw So Many Bad Movies in the Eighties

Engbrew Translation 101: Film NamesAs a teenager during the 1980’s we went to the movies a lot. Before a movie came out there was no hype, no buzz, no trailers on YouTube, and no behind-the-scenes shown on TV, so picking what movie to see often boiled down to the single-colored text-only poster that each cinema in my hometown published on the public billboards.
I guess the Israeli film distributors were aware of these facts, and decided that if all they have to work with is the name of the film, then by golly they would make it work.

You see, I believe a movie is a work of art from beginning to end, including its title, and when distributing it in another country one should try to translate it with great respect and fervor. I guess the local distributors here do not share my ideas, as they pretty much translate the titles whichever way they see fit, or whichever way they think would make more money.

Sometimes these translations are far-fetched like ‘White Palace‘ (1990, Susan Sarandon, James Spader) that was translated to Hebrew as ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’, preceding the movie ‘When a Man Loves a Woman‘ (1994, Andy Garcia, Meg Ryan) that then had to be translated to Hebrew as ‘The Love of a Man for a Woman’.

Other times it seems the distributor was on vacation, as the movies were just phonetically translated and so Big (1988, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins), Heat (1995, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro) and Elephant (2003, by Gus Van Sant) remained the same words spelled phonetically in Hebrew: ביג, היט, אלפנט

But during the eighties the biggest film distributors’ shtick was riding the coattails of a successful film and naming an unrelated film in a way that would mislead a teenager to think this movie is a sequel to a movie he already saw.
The number one example for that is ‘Police Academy‘ (1984, Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall), originally translated to Hebrew as ‘A Drill for Novice Policemen‘. After the movie became successful there were six sequels made, but in Israel all of a sudden many unrelated films became ‘A Drill for Novice Something-or-the-other’.

Here is a partial list:
Gotcha! (1985) – A Drill for A Novice Spy
Doin’ Time (1985) – A School for Novice Convicts
Bad Medicine (1985) – A School for Novice Doctors
Buy & Cell (1987) – A Drill for Gambling Convicts
UHF (1989) – A Station for Novice Anchormen
Beach Movie (1998) – A Drill for Novice Surfers
Miss Cast Away (2004) – A Drill for Novice Models
Gladiatress (2004) – A Drill for Novice Gladiatresses

The really sad part is that I actually fell for it and went to see most of these movies.

If you ever need to decypher the original name of a movie, you can check out Targumon, a website dedicated just for that purpose.

Watch This Film and Become a Better Citizen of the World in 90 Minutes

I have recently watched ‘No End in Sight’, a jaw-dropping documentary that chronicle the reasons behind Iraq’s descent into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy. While essentially a talking heads film, it is the ultimate insider’s tale of wholesale incompetence, recklessness and venality. Watching the film guarantees you would have a better understanding of our world and the political forces that drove it to its current state. The film provides a candid retelling of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003 by high ranking officials such as former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Ambassador Barbara Bodine (in charge of Baghdad during the Spring of 2003), Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, and General Jay Garner (in charge of the occupation of Iraq through May 2003) as well as Iraqi civilians, American soldiers, and prominent analysts. The movie shows how the use of insufficient troop levels, allowing the looting of Baghdad, the purging of professionals from the Iraqi government, and the disbanding of the Iraqi military – largely created the insurgency and chaos that engulf Iraq today.

No End in Sight

How did a group of men with little or no military experience, knowledge of the Arab world or personal experience in Iraq come to make such flagrantly debilitating decisions? ‘No End in Sight’ dissects the people, issues and facts behind the Bush Administration’s decisions and their consequences on the ground to provide a powerful look into how arrogance and ignorance turned a military victory into a seemingly endless and deepening nightmare of a war.

You can watch the movie trailer here and purchase the DVD here.

Was the Chicago Film Hunyak Wrongfully Convicted And Executed?

Was The Chicago Film Hunyak Wrongfully Convicted And Executed? 

In the musical film Chicago we are introduced to 'the six merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail' during the Cell Block Tango number, one of the strongest dance numbers in the movie, in my opinion. Each of the 'merry murderesses' describes why the victim 'had it coming' and why she is innocent, as 'it was a murder, but not a crime'.

In the dance routine, five of the women have red handkerchiefs and the Hunyak has a white one, which made me assume it is a symbol for her innocence. I have been searching online for discussions about the Hungarian's innocence, but the most I could find were pages where she is called innocent without any proof or self-doubt. So here are my two cents on this important subject:

Was The Chicago Film Hunyak Wrongfully Convicted And Executed? 

To prove the Hunyak's innocence we first need to prove that the red handkerchiefs are symbols for the murders and thus the white handkerchief symbolizes her innocence:

  • The red handkerchiefs are used in lieu of the actual weapons, and each of the women simulates the killing with the garment. After a short glimpse at the attached photo mosaic one can easily see who killed her male partner by:
    • firing a shotgun into his head
    • putting arsenic in his drink
    • stabbing him with a knife

    The other three modi operandi are not described.

  • Velma Kelly who killed both her husband and her sister has two red handkerchiefs, one for each of the murders.
  • The Hunyak has a white handkerchief and does not simulate a killing on her male dance partner. She just subserviently reveals her white handkerchief, while white limelight floods her dancing area, creating a sharp contrast with all the other dancers who are lit in red.

While all of this is just circumstantial evidence, I believe the Hunyak, played by Ekaterina Chtchelkanova, was wrongfully accused, convicted and executed.

Was The Chicago Film Hunyak Wrongfully Convicted And Executed?

If per chance you do not own a copy of the Chicago movie, you are more than welcome to purchase it here.

Third Generation Holocaust Survivor Reviews Second Generation Holocaust Movies

On the last annual Holocaust memorial day, my friend jokingly suggested that I was actually keenly awaiting this day the whole year round, as on that particular day I finally blend into the crowd with my talking about Holocaust related issues, as opposed to any other day of the year, when people are sometimes caught off guard with my expressing my opinions.

I am not sure why a thirty year old, third generation Holocaust survivor would be so talkative or influenced by it, but for the last couple of years, I just am.
I have also noted my interest has shifted to a new phase of knowledge seeking: if phase one was watching black and white ‘evidence’ films until about the age of twenty, and phase two was acknowledging I know what happened and rejecting any more ‘evidence’, it seems that this phase three I am in is all about watching what I call ‘second generation’ films, that do not deal directly with what had happened, but with related issues.

One such film is ‘Forgiving Dr. Mengele‘ (2005) which I just finished watching. It is a documentary film that tells the story of Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor, who was a victim of Mengele’s infamous twin experiments, and in an act many survivors cannot understand, chose to offer her forgiveness to the SS doctor and all other Nazis. It is an insightful movie that tells a survivor story that is different from every other one I have heard, in that that it challenges the very nature of hating your haters, a tradition deeply routed, in my opinion, in the Israeli upbringing.

“Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” — Unknown

Another ‘second generation’ film I have seen this year is ‘Paper Clips‘ (2004), a documentary about a Tennessee Middle School who ran an experiment to try and grasp the concept of six million Holocaust victims by trying to collect six million paper clips, one for each of the Jews who had perished. It is an inspiring film that depicts the teaching of diversity and acceptance in a small homogenous community.

A third ‘second generation’ film I have watched this year (seems my insinuating friend was right) is ‘Freedom Writers‘ (2007), a dramatization of a real story about a teacher of urban underprivileged students who tries to let her students write down the survival stories of their undeclared war on the streets, trying to open their eyes to the experiences of those suffering intolerance throughout the world, trying to educated the kids from the ghettos of California about the kids from the ghettos of Europe.