My Top 10 List of Brilliant Films Where Nothing Happens

Can I be alone in my longing for inarticulacy, for a cinema that refuses to join all the dots? For an arrhythmia in gesture, for a dissonance in shape? For the context of cinematic frame, a frame that in the end only cinema can provide, for the full view, the long shot, the space between, the gaps, the pause, the lull, the grace of living.
  
  – – Tilda Swinton‘s State of Cinema address, San Francisco Film Festival

I have compiled a list of movies I really like where pretty much nothing happens. In this age of nonstop-action films, these films dare to show the pause, the lull, the in-between, that which we call life. To say that nothing happens in these films is, of course, an oversimplification, and while these films are not boring, not by any stretch, they are the furthest thing from the climatic feeling you get in other films where a mystery gets solved, or when the two main characters finally fall into each others’ arms.

These films are certainly not for anyone, but those willing to risk losing ninety minutes off their lives, might gain so much more.

 
Lost in Translation (Japan, 2003) – Director: Sofia Coppola

 
Himalaya (Nepal, 1999) – Director: Eric Valli

 
The Band’s Visit (Israel, 2007) – Director: Eran Kolirin

 
The Way Home (South Korea, 2002) – Director: Jeong-hyang Lee

 
Elephant (USA, 2003) – Director: Gus Van Sant

 
The Mailman of China’s Mountains (China, 2003) – documentary

 
Our Daily Bread (Germany, 2005) – Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter – documentary

Top Ten Most Offensive Israeli Ads – Part 2

Over the years, the Israeli ad agencies seem less and less connected to the human experience and more and more willing to use anything to sell everything. In this list I attempt to countdown the most offensive advertisements created in Israel in recent years, in the hope of using shame as an incentive to be more creative.

While part 1 of this list focused on ads that were particularly insensitive towards historical tragedies of other nations, part 2 focuses on ads that use sexual harassments and hints of pedophilia as their storyline. Every time each of the following ads was criticized by the media and by consumers, the admen had the same exact response, claiming it was all done with a tongue-in-cheek approach, accusing the critics of being humorless sticks-in-the-mud.

2006 – Chipsi Free TV Ad – McCann Erickson

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71sT12KwS84

A young boy in a Hugh Heffner bathrobe tells his mom to relax as he gets a visit from two teenage blondes. Had it been a young girl getting a visit from two high school guys, there is no doubt in my mind there would have been cries of pedophilia.

2008 – Nescafé Taster’s Choice TV Ad – McCann Erickson

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIPk2aad874

The new Mrs. Robinson apparently now has a craving for instant coffee and a different bachelor, dispensing sexual innuendos that would have been considered too shallow and obvious by 1980s porn directors. Nothing new, just your run-of-the-mill insult to intelligence.

2008 – Kotex Dry & Soft Night TV Ad – McCann Erickson

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAX0rDqLCdo

This is another example of a brainstorming joke that should have never left the ad agency’s conference room. Parents watching this ad with their kids are not only forced to answer questions about doggy style and the meaning of 69, but are also forced to try and explain how sexual positions correlate to female hygiene products. Totally inappropriate.

2007 – Lighting Warehouse TV Ad – Inbar-Merhav-Shaked

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS1muFSM8ZU

Miki Buganim, an Israeli hairstylist and a D-List celebrity, harasses salesmen with lighting-related sexual innuendos, looking for something for his bedroom, appreciating the fact that it bends – the light fixture, that is – and upon hearing about the 70% discount, stating he would have also agreed to 69.
Since I find a good portion of all Israeli ads to be superficial and insulting to the intelligence, I actually consider this ad to be refreshing, believe it or not. Buganim, an effeminate gay guy, sexually harassing other people in a commercial, is actually progress in a twisted kinda way. Just like gay couples who want to hop on the marriage wagon, clearly seeing that half of the straights experience buyer’s remorse – when a gay guy sells, you know Israeli society had made some progress.

Top Ten Most Offensive Israeli Ads

Over the years, the Israeli ad agencies seem less and less connected to the human experience and more and more willing to use anything to sell everything. In this list I attempt to countdown the most offensive advertisements created in Israel in recent years, in the hope of using shame as an incentive to be more creative.

2005 – Yes Satellite TV Ad – McCann Erickson

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4i4LAIat-Y

With millions of Vietnamese dead and 60,000 Americans dead, this ad counts on its viewers inability to feel any empathy to casualties of a war that is not their own.

2002 – Yes Satellite TV Ad – McCann-Kesher-Barel

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUWppnpBae0

With more than 1500 people who drowned in one of the worst maritime disasters, the creative genius of Israel’s leading advertising agency adds insult to injury and in an impressive juglling act puts the wheel of the liner in a woman’s hands.

Continues here.

Top Israeli Advertisement Campaign Fiascos

2005 – Cellcom I Mode – McCann Erickson
Three million dollars to teach Israelis to count to three in Japanese

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlJ9MWQ9vnw

Israeli wireless telecom provider Cellcom imported from Japan DoCoMo’s I Mode, a cellular content platform. Sure of itself, as companies tend to be in this period of late capitalism, the company did not bet on its customers’ positive experiences to gradually conquer the market. Instead Cellcom spent 3 million dollars (count them, ichi, ni, san million dollars) on a marketing campaign that would not stop.
After weeks of broadcasting a teaser, promising, how cliché, ‘the next big thing’, the company used TV ads to introduce the technology, and newspaper ads to explain why we must have it.
Surely enough, with so much hubris – the wrath of the gods had to produce a tragic end. The service was a complete failure and people today do not even remember what Cellcom I Mode is.

2005 – Tnuva – Shoko Shock Milk Chochlate Drink – McCann Erickson
10 million dollars to downgrade a succesful product

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgqMCe3YHRg

Leading Israeli food company Tnuva, have launched a new product, investing 8 million dollars in research and development, and 1.5 million dollars in marketing. This might be a good example of ad agencies creating a need for their own services, as the new product, Schoko Shock, replaces two older products, Schoko Carlo, and Schoko Buddy, which were very popular. Of course, Tnuva could not be bothered with its customers trying out the product and deciding for themselves. Oh, no, the company would have none of that. Instead, as part of the marketing campaign, the company published an apology in the newspaper, falsely stating it cannot produce the product fast enough, as it is flying off the shelves.
Surely enough, with so much hubris – the wrath of the gods had to produce a tragic end. After so much money spent, the new product sold less than the old products, as it did not have their good reputation.

End of Part 1