Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Zharira Charifai, Sarah Adler, Nikol Leidman, Gera Sandler, Noa Knoller
Director: Shira Geffen;Etgar Keret
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Winner of the Caméra d'or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, Jellyfish (Meduzot) is a richly imaginative portrait of three very different women emotionally adrift in Tel Aviv. Co-directed by acclaimed Israeli author Etgar K... more »
Living on the Lonely Rim of Life
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are an increasingly impressive number of films coming from Israel and MEDUZOT (JELLYFISH) is one of the more creative works of cinematic art in that rich catalogue. Shira Geffen (who also wrote the screenplay) and Etgar Keret collaborated on this seemingly small film and from a few threads of separate and disparate characterizations have woven a fascinating and deeply touching montage of the lives of several people whose destinies curiously intersect. The manner in which the film is presented is a graceful mixture of naturalism and fantasy and the directors know just how to combine the two approaches to maximum effect.
The film opens in Tel Aviv at a routine wedding reception where untidy Batya (Sarah Adler) works as a waitress, her life being recently shaken by the dissolution of her relationship. At this noisy and gaudy reception we also notice the bride Keren (Noa Knoller) who encounters an accident in the washroom that results in a broken leg requiring a cast and preventing her from a planned honeymoon (her new husband Michael - Gera Sandler - finds instead a hotel on the noisy boulevard which is less than romantic), and Joy (Ma-nenita De Latorre), a Filipino caregiver for older unwanted women who works to send support to her young son in the Philippines, and a young female photographer who captures it all on film. The owner of the catering business fires Batya and the photographer and the two share living space. While musing on the beach Batya finds a strange young mute girl (Nicol Leidman) wearing a circular floating device and when Batya cannot find the girl's parents she resorts to police help - a turn which only places Batya as custodian of the strange child.
Meanwhile Keren and Michael begin their disastrous honeymoon in the noisy hotel, discovering that the quiet top floor suite is occupied by a single woman poet whom Michael meets and eventually requests they trade rooms, a decision that leads to strange circumstances that affect all three people. And during this time Joy is passed among several older women, ending up with a cranky mother of an actress who speaks only Hebrew and German and takes her time growing into the kindness Joy offers her. Small incidents continue to occur, incidents that bind these people together in mysterious ways, some happy, some sad. And while the characters of this tapestry are very realistically drawn, there are moments of magical realism that embroider their lives with a glowing sense of fantasy - moments that address the topics of childhood memories, core needs, death, and that universal need to connect to others. This is a delicate work of crocheted art that remains in the mind long after the credits of this gifted cast and production crew complete the film. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Grady Harp, October 08"
Jellyfish: Poetic Beauty of Its Own
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 08/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In "Jellyfish" three stories about ordinary people, mostly women, unfold in the city of Tel Aviv. With very poetic, sometimes bizarre images that are often humorous in an unexpected way, "Jellyfish" shows the changes that happen inside these flawed, but ultimately lovable characters will eventually experience: changes that are very small, but big enough for them (or "Jellyfishes" ) to take a step out of loneliness into a new life.
French-Israeli film "Jellyfish" ("Meduzot") follows the events that happen to three women - Batia (Sarah Alder), a waitress whose boyfriend had just left her, and who meets a strange little girl at seashore; Joy (Ma-nenita De Latorre), a Filipino nurse and mother who had to leave her boy back in her country, and whose recent job is to accompany Malka (Zaharira Harifai), very difficult old lady; and Keren (Noa Knoller), a bride who had broken her leg at her wedding and whose relationship with her husband Michael (Gera Sandler), it is obvious, is on the rocks, partly because she suspects Michael is attracted to a beautiful, older woman staying at their hotel.
[THIS PARAGRAPH CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS] You will notice the same leitmotif used in the film's (seemingly) loosely woven stories. The three narratives are only loosely connected, but same images appear repeatedly - ships and water (or sea) most notably, plus shadow of death. Recurrent imagery implies the sense of connection between seeming strangers (compare carefully what Batia and the mysterious little girl do, and try to find the girl's float in Batia`s flashback scenes). Directors Shira Geffen and Etgar Kere concentrate the details associated with the characters they depict, making a frequent use of combinations and contrasts seen in images or characters' slight behaviors in order to tell us about the characters and their development.
Some things remain unexplained. Perhaps they should be so. Some people might say "nothing happens" in this small film. Actually something happens, but too obviously. The direction by Shira Geffen and Etgar Kere at times borders on pretentiousness, but the film's poetic charms remain the same."
A new favorite.
S. Terry | OH CRAP. | 08/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Jellyfish' is set in Tel Aviv and follows several women (a new bride, a wedding caterer, a photographer, and a caregiver) in an intersecting plot, which shows us touching, sad, and humorous moments of their lives. Really a beautiful film. There's a lot of depth of character but the feeling of the movie is always light. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for bonus features on the dvd release."
Dreamy surrealistic exploration of social isolation
Alan A. Elsner | Washington DC | 06/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The English title of this excellent movie "Jellyfish" is so much less evocative than the Hebrew "Medusas." A Medusa floats through the sea, its wavy strands of poison trailing around it, buffeted by the waves but still capable of delivering a nasty sting.
In this movie of three interlocking stories, people float through their lives looking for connections. Most of the film is realistic but occasionally it moves into dreamy surreal passages which illuminate the characters' inner dilemmas.
Batya, abandoned as a child by her warring parents, finds it hard to make connections. Her boyfriend leaves and her job as a waitress at a wedding hall mocks her own isolation. One day at the beach, she's approached by an adorable little girl with a red plastic life preservers around her waist. The girl never speaks but seems real. Others can see her too. It's only gradually we learn that she is a representative of Batya herself as a young girl.
Another plot concerns Joy, one of many Philippine women working in Israel looking after old people. She has to take care of an old lady who came from Germany many decades ago and speaks only German and Hebrew, neither of which Joy speaks. The old lady's daughter, who ought to be taking care of her, is too busy pursuing a mediocre career as an actress.
In the third story, a newly-married couple suffers through a honeymoon in a sleazy hotel where everything goes wrong.
This movie has moments of real poetic beauty. In the end, all the various plot strands come together and are in some sense resolved.