JWR Articles: Film/DVD - The Israeli Boys (Directors: Lior Soroka, Nizan Lotem, Lior Haen, Ori Aharon, Michal Hagag, Moshe Rosenthal) - February 19, 2020

The Israeli Boys

4.5 4.5
101 min.

Half a dozen shorts with stories to tell!

22 minutes, 2018
Lior Soroka
Four stars

Be careful what you wish for

Few would argue that all relationships need a little spice once in a while to keep the “fires” burning. For some, it’s a second honeymoon, others have each other for dessert after an equally sumptuous meal, but when a third party is invited into the bedroom (“just once…”) the results can be as unexpected as the notion seems exciting.

Architect Udi (nervously done up to a T by Tom Chodorov) is incensed when his partner of over two years, Nimrod (handsomely portrayed by the hirsute Asaf Peri)—an emerging artist—gamely suggests that his model (and medical student), Or (Or Rasher delights the camera and all comers), should share his “talents” with them both.

The resulting sex is tastefully shot (Cesar Birger provides inventive angles in and between the sheets), and ends with Udi and Or in loving embrace while Nimrod is left to himself.

From there, the outcome is predictable as the real problem with threesomes: inevitably, someone feels left out. Wiser couples have come to understand that foursomes (and beyond!) are far less dangerous if some extra heat is wanted to keep old/new flames alive.

As one of the songs says, “I never loved you like this…” JWR

A Trip to the Desert
11 minutes, 2018
Nizan Lotem, Lior Haen
Three stars

Three “sort of” amigos

One gay, one puzzled and one friend-to-all trio of young men take a stroll in the desert near Tel-Aviv. Feigning the need for a dump, perpetually silent Yossi grabs the roll of toilet paper (metaphors everywhere) and disappears, leaving queer Lior and, apparently, straight Elad to discuss their missing friend, but mostly whether or not kissing a man is enough grounds for never “seeing your children.”

With an Act I feel and no scant resolution, the remaining acts would be welcome. JWR

Rubber Dolphin
11 minutes, 2018
Ori Aharon
Four stars

Can’t let go

Here’s a two-hander (Chen Hefetz and Omri Laron giving, honest heartfelt/heart-crushed performances), exploring the intimate, sexual heat of two men having their first erotic coupling.

One of them is a determined top who’d rather not wear a “rubber dolphin…”, seemingly holds all of the cards over his smoother-bodied bottom who confesses to falling in love with any man who will penetrate him (notably, still single..).

You can feel their early love grow and evolve in need or not (the karaoke dance sequence is a gem, non-sexual—at first—of genuine lovemaking) as opposed to meaningless sex.

Telling the prophetic line “You find love very soon” has its payoff when a failed role reversal proves that, if you can’t “let go”, then it’s time to move on. JWR

10 minutes, 2018
Michal Hagag
Four stars

Who can throw the first jibe?

Sex for sale comes into seedy focus as a woman (Danielle Chamelink) who wishes to protect the less fortunate, searches for her 17-year-old ward (Toar Israel), who is making some much-needed cash letting horny, well-to-do men feast on whatever is on offer.

The relationship between the pair comes into play as their boundaries become fuzzier in a post-trick encounter that really just needs a hug (and perhaps a kiss?) to cement the bond.

Life is never simple: Hagag proves it. JWR

After His Death
11 minutes, 2017
Lior Soroka
Four and one half stars

Who is this man?

What does one do when, after dying, the father you thought you knew turns out to be an enigma? Here, the grieving daughter stumbles upon evidence that her dad loved another man. Stoic mom, shrugs it off as a generational gap. The graveside reunion—with all concerned briefly present—is an emotional knockout.

Those in the digital age, with secrets to tell, must assume that “all will be revealed.” JWR

Leave of Absence
19 minutes, 2017
Moshe Rosenthal
Three and one half stars

Oh flute!

On the eve of his leave of absence as a history teacher, Meir (done up with skill, verve and self-deprecation by Uri Klauzner)—and after an especially bad hair day—opts to sneak into the closed-to-the-public pool and share a wild evening with three of his buff students (Yoav Rotman, Chen Chefetz and Ben Heine equally alluring in clothes or just briefs).

And so a video—sure to go viral—is made (with Meir doing his best to make a recorder play like a flute)—before it’s everyone into the pool, providing a few moments of underwater ballet.

A timely escape from the authorities ensures Meir’s safety “mostly staying at home” in the coming year, bit it’s not hard to imagine a few more dips with the “boys” once his golden locks return to normal.

The Alberti bass electronic music (Gal Lev) serving as bookends, also keeps everything flowing. JWR

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