From the movie "Good Guys" (courtesy of United King Films)
We are currently in the midst of one of the most exhausting periods of all - the summaries of the year in cinema and in general.
When it's over, we'll start counting three years to Corona.
If we combine the two, we can declare two things: first of all, the film market will probably never return to the state it was in before the epidemic.
What state is he in now?
It depends on where you ask, because the picture varies from one country to another.
In Israel the situation is not bad, certainly if we compare it to the center of gravity of commercial cinema - America.
In the United States, almost every movie released recently has crashed like the German team in the World Cup.
The only exceptions are productions with a high budget and effects, mainly those based on comic books, but this genre is not immune either - "Black Adam", for example, did not live up to expectations, which accelerated the process of cleaning out the stables at the DC studios that stood behind it and were in crisis anyway.
All this reminds me of the well-known Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times".
Of course, things are not like the day before yesterday, but the sky is brighter than in the United States.
Thus, for example, "The Fiebelmen", Steven Spielberg's new and celebrated film, is comparatively much more successful in Israel than in the director's homeland.
Here we still respect the names we grew up with - not in America.
The local cinema market also benefits from the breadth of horizons and the cultural curiosity of the Israeli audience, who like to travel around the world and when they cannot do so physically, do so through the screen.
And so, "Lonana: There's a Yak in the Classroom", a film made in Bhutan that would not sell ten tickets in most countries of the world, tickled the threshold of one hundred thousand viewers.
Crashed in America, quite successful in Israel.
From "The Fivelmen" (photo: courtesy of United King Films)
With all due respect to Hollywood and Bhutan, there is nothing like home.
True, there were some painful failures in this sector this year, including high-profile films such as "The Silence", but overall, films made in Israel made a significant contribution to the recovery of the local market.
"Karaoke" became a hit, Maor Zagori's "Virgins" is currently filling halls and Erez Tadmor HaTala's "Bachurim Tovim" sold about 200,000 tickets - phenomenal numbers relative to the circumstances.
It is important to emphasize: even in Israel, there are many and many who have not been to the cinema for two or three years and have no intention of returning.
Sometimes it's because they prefer to watch Netflix, sometimes it's because they're still afraid to be in a closed and crowded place, and sometimes it's a combination of the two.
And yet, it seems that in our country they returned to the halls in greater numbers than in other places, and in this case too there are two reasons for this in my opinion.
One reason is that Israel knows better than anywhere else how to get back to normal.
We are much less hysterical than in America, and are simply not able to close in our shells.
Life returned to itself.
You see it in restaurants, exhibitions - and also in halls.
The second reason is a matter of marketing and prices.
In America, inflation is skyrocketing in all fields and also in cinema.
The price of a ticket, translated into our currency, is usually fifty shekels, and sometimes soars to sixty-eight shekels, without too many discounts or promotions at hand.
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The Borax movie will never die.
From "Good Guys" (photo: courtesy of United King Films)
"Third in Lakes" is a government initiative.
It proves that we still have remnants of a welfare policy and an appreciation for culture, even at the state level.
The rest of the marketing tricks we mentioned are simply an illustration of the fact that Israelis (and Jews in general) were and remain wizards at sales.
They know how to sell snow to Eskimos and they know how to sell a movie ticket to a consumer who has a Netflix subscription.
Finally, we will pay special attention to "Good Guys", which managed to become the successful Israeli film of the year even though it did not participate in any international festival, did not compete for the Ophir and, unlike many other contemporary films from our region, did not try to provoke a media/political provocation around it.
A formula for success.
From "Good Guys" (photo: courtesy of United King Films)
It's a well-made film, smart, relevant and enjoyable to watch.
Its creators, headed by director Erez Tadmor, love cinema, understand cinema and also love and understand the audience, and this is evident in every second of it.
Beyond that, there are other reasons for success: "Good Guys" deals with matchmaking in ultra-Orthodox society, and almost every local hit movie in the last decade dealt with religion or faith.
From "Filling the space" and "Going over the wall", through "Another story" and "Written" to this blockbuster.
One of the reasons for this is that the religious audience itself comes to these films, and the local cinema - just like the left-center parties - cannot win without this audience
The ultra-Orthodox guy at the center of "Good Guys" is an Ashkenazi, who falls in love with an ultra-Orthodox girl of Sephardic descent, despite the opposition of their families.
This makes the result a Borax movie, which is not a derogatory term but simply a technical definition for a genre that deals with sectarian tension.
Burkes films were the biggest hits here in the 1970s, faded in the 1980s and disappeared in the 1990s, but have made a big comeback in recent years.
We live in dynamic times, as wished by a terrible Chinese curse, but some things do not change.