Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Israel Film Center Festival Spotlight: The Electrifiers

I’m pleased to be covering the 8th Annual Israel Film Center Festival at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, which is running virtually June 7th-14th.

The Electrifiers
Directed by Boaz Armoni
Available June 7 – June 14

It’s not easy to break into the music business, and possessing youthful energy is helpful in countering the many setbacks and false hopes that come along the road to success. There are many artists who emerge with one breakout hit and then can’t hope to fulfill its promise, relegated to being known for just that track and destined instead for futures in other industries or careers. Bands well past their prime have been featured in films before, and spotlighting a group that thinks they might still have it and could still make it big is usually a recipe for humor.

Mickey (Zvika Nathan) is the lead singer for the Electrifiers, who won the Best New Artist prize in 1984 and haven’t done much since then. Along with bassist Nissim (Yigal Adika), keyboardist Roni (Sharon Alexander), and drummer Avi (Uri Hochman), Mickey now plays lackluster gigs and often ends up owing more money than he makes to his agent Victor (Eli Yatzpan) while he lives in a trailer outside the home of his ex-wife (Odelia Mora-Matalon). Enticed by the opportunity to perform in America, Mickey enlists film student Yotam (Elisha Banai), who is also dating his daughter Chen (Ella Armory), to update their last video, which exists only in VHS form, and teams with a talented young singer, Anna (Tamara Klingon), who is described by Victor as having a “gimmick” – being in a wheelchair.

This film is most definitely about men much past their prime who still believe they can become famous and be known first and foremost as musicians, despite the fact that they all, with the exception of Mickey, work other jobs to make a living. It’s a welcome comedic trip about trying to relive glory days that were never really all that glorious, particularly because Mickey is recognized most frequently for a track the band recorded when they were drunk called “Eli the Cat” which he hates singing. This journey is a familiar one, but it’s just as harmless and endearing.

The ensemble cast is key to this film’s success. Among the standouts are Adika, whose character is trying to plan a frugal wedding for his daughter, and Klingon, who embodies someone who has encountered a different kind of pushback to what she’s offering. Together, everyone makes this an enjoyable look at those who haven’t thrown in the towel just yet and have at least one last grand adventure in store. Assisted by great music, this lighthearted story is heartwarming, winning, and enjoyable.



Darshika said...
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Darshika said...
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