Opening at the reRun Gastropub Theater in Brooklyn is Trance Dance, directed by Andrew Garrison. First and foremost, this warm, delightful and poignant doc puts a human face on job that too many people take for granted: garbage collectors in America. The camera follows choreographer Allison Orr as she befriends men and women who work hard at that job, and persuades them to join other sanitation workers for a garbage truck "dance" performance. That performance alone is worth the price of admission, but what makes Trash Dance rise above your average documentary is that you get to know the people driving those trucks as human, so there's a genuine emotional depth to the film. You'll never look at a garbage collector the same way again.
An alien (Yuval Ovadia) comes down to Earth where he trespasses inside the Mossad in Israel. The Mossad's interrogator (Shalom Sharon Raginiano) captures and interrogates him. Little does he know that there's more to the alien than meets the eye: he was sent to spread the teachings of the Kabbalah because many people, including the interrogator himself, have not been following the Kabbalah. Danny Steg plays the Devil who shows up in the second act.
How would it be best to describe the genre of Hamesima X? It's an amalgam of sci-fi, mystery, suspense, comedy and camp that's best experienced with an open mind and, preferably, while drinking a beer or two with friends around midnight. Co-directors Yuval Ovadia and Or Yashar take risks for combining all of those elements while making the most out of the low budget quality film. Much of the film feels weird and even dream-like which makes it all the more entertaining in a guilty-pleasure sort of way. The special effects look very low-budget as if this were a sci-fi movie from the 60's or 70's, but that simply adds to its many visual charms.
Admittedly, though, it takes time to get accustomed to the film’s many tonal shifts and bizarreness, so expect to be frustrated at first, yet never bored. Don't bother asking why a ninja appears in one particular scene in the Mossad. Concurrently, the mystery involving the alien's mission (Hamesima means "The Mission" in Hebrew) and a drawing that the interrogator finds from the Holocaust provide for some food for thought and a few surprises along the way. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the Kabbalic teachings that the films preaches somewhat heavy-handedly toward the end, one thing is for certain: you've never seen anything like Hamesima X before.
Pain & Gain