Film

Best Actor: Ohad Knoller -- 'Yossi'

Jose is over 2012 and moving right along to Best Actor 2013...

The 2012 awards season may not be over yet, but if like me, you’re already fed up with all the Argo nonsense, it’s a perfect time to take a look at the movies of 2013. I originally saw Yossi last year but was pleased to realize that it hadn’t been released in the United States, therefore making it eligible for awards consideration this year. The movie was released a few weeks ago in NYC and is currently playing in a couple of arthouses. If you haven’t seen it, run to the theater. Movies released early during the year are usually forgotten by the time all the Oscar juggernauts arrive...

Yossi is the unexpected sequel to 2002’s miniature masterpiece Yossi & Jagger, a movie which back then tapped into something that seemed scandalous (gay men in the Israeli army!) but proved to be much more sensitive and subdued that anyone expected. Director Eytan Fox went on to direct other movies in the years since, all of which dealt with sex and young people, but none of them were able to capture the rich humanity of his film about gay soldiers.

Yossi & Jagger wasn’t a box office hit and might be somewhat of a cult movie, but that shouldn’t discourage audiences from watching its sequel. The movie catches up with the title character a decade after the first movie and we see the effect of Jagger’s death in his life and how he has to deal with his sexuality. But this shouldn’t be a movie review (although again, go watch it while you can!) instead this piece is all about how brilliant Ohad Knoller is in the part.

Ten years ago, his sad puppy eyes and buff body gave him a strange attractiveness, his angry passion and sexual cravings reminiscent of a young Brando. Ten years later we see him as a man coming to terms with the sad loneliness of gay life. He has left the army and is trying to keep his personal life a secret from his colleagues, we see him as a doctor who is too old and not attractive enough to fit in with the Grindr culture. He uses old pictures on dating sites and awkwardly smiles at men he finds cute.

What’s remarkable about Knoller’s performance is how easily he becomes Yossi. Even if the actor has done many other movies (he had parts in the Oscar nominated Munich and Beaufort) in the ten years since he first introduced this character, a single look at him in this sequel is enough for us to see the pain he holds inside, the longing and terror that fills his soul. The movie is directed with a caring hand by Fox who gives Yossi a second chance at happiness (in the form of a beautiful young man who might have actual feelings for the doctor), but the movie belongs to Knoller’s sensitive performance, you mostly want to reach out to the screen and give him a hug even if you know that Yossi would probably refuse it.

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

Electronic music is one of the broadest-reaching genres by design, and 2017 highlights that as well as any other year on record. These are the 20 best albums.


20. Vitalic - Voyager (Citizen)

Pascal Arbez-Nicolas (a.k.a. Vitalic) made waves in the French Touch electro-house scene with his 2005 debut, OK Cowboy, which had a hard-hitting maximalist sound, but several albums later, Voyager finds him launching into realms beyond at his own speed. The quirky, wallflower vocals and guitar snippets employed throughout Voyager drop a funk that brings to mind WhoMadeWho or Matthew Dear if they had disco-pop injected between their toes. "Levitation" is as pure a slice of dance floor motivation as theoretically possible, a sci-fi gunfight with a cracking house beat sure to please his oldest fans, yet the album-as-form is equally effective in its more contemplative moments, like when Miss Kitten's vocals bring an ethereal dispassion to "Hans Is Driving" to balance out its somber vocoder or the heartfelt cover of "Don't Leave Me Now" by Supertramp. Voyager may infect you with a futuristic form of Saturday Night Fever, but afterwards, it gives you a hearty dose of aural acetaminophen to break it. - Alan Ranta


Keep reading... Show less
Film

Hitchcock, 'Psycho', and '78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene'

Alfred Hitchock and Janet Leigh on the set of Psycho (courtesy of Dogwoof)

"... [Psycho] broke every taboo you could possibly think of, it reinvented the language of film and revolutionised what you could do with a story on a very precise level. It also fundamentally and profoundly changed the ritual of movie going," says 78/52 director, Alexandre O. Philippe.

The title of Alexandre O. Philippe's 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017) denotes the 78 set-ups and the 52 cuts across a full week of shooting for Psycho's (1960) famous shower scene. Known for The People vs. George Lucas (2010), The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus (2012) and Doc of the Dead (2014), Philippe's exploration of a singular moment is a conversational one, featuring interviews with Walter Murch, Peter Bogdanovich, Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Osgood Perkins, Danny Elfman, Eli Roth, Elijah Wood, Bret Easton Ellis, Karyn Kusama, Neil Marshall, Richard Stanley and Marli Renfro, body double for Janet Leigh.

Keep reading... Show less

Mary Poppins, Mrs. Gamp, Egyptian deities, a Japanese umbrella spirit, and a supporting cast of hundreds of brollies fill Marion Rankine's lively history.

"What can go up a chimney down but can't go down a chimney up?" Marion Rankine begins her wide-ranging survey of the umbrella and its significance with this riddle. It nicely establishes her theme: just as umbrellas undergo, in the everyday use of them, a transformation, so too looking at this familiar, even forgettable object from multiple perspectives transforms our view of it.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Those who regard the reclusive Argerich as one of the world's two or three greatest living pianists—classical or otherwise—would not have left the concert hall disillusioned.

In a staid city like Washington, D.C., too many concert programs still stick to the basics. An endless litany of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky concerti clog the schedules and parades of overeager virtuosi seem unwilling to vary their repertoire for blasé D.C. concertgoers. But occasionally you encounter a concert that refreshes your perspective of the familiar. The works presented at The Kennedy Center on 25 October 2017 might be stalwarts of 20th century repertoire, but guest conductor Antonio Pappano, leading the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, reminded us how galvanizing the canonical can still be. Though grandiose executions of Respighi's The Fountains of Rome and The Pines of Rome were the main event, the sold-out crowd gathered to see Martha Argerich perform one of her showpieces, Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto. Those who regard the reclusive Argerich as one of the world's two or three greatest living pianists—classical or otherwise—would not have left the concert hall disillusioned.

Keep reading... Show less
9
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image