Last night’s screening at Makor (part of the renowned 92nd St Y) was fantastic. It was a little hectic at first because the venue had just about overbooked itself, but once the dust settled, it was all good on many levels. (Remember: the Tao. See 10/22.)
Typically, during the actual screening, when I run out of phone calls to make, I sit around outside picking my nose or something while I watch the minutes tick by until the Q & A. This is probably the least fun part about touring. At this screening, it turned out that Makor actually had a lovely little café downstairs, so I was able to wine and dine (OK, water-and-dine) publicist and friend Brian Geldin to thank him for helping spread the word in NY.
I ran back up in time to greet the audience for a very interesting Q & A. It was an eclectic crowd that contained some of my best friends and, most notably, cinematographer Steve Lerner. Steve is the only member of our crew who had not yet seen the movie on the big screen, as he moved to New York from San Francisco after his time spent in Israel. Actually, this was the first time Steve and I had seen each other at all since before he shot footage for Jericho’s Echo, over a year ago. Who would have guessed from our fateful rooftop meeting in fall 2003 that we would end up having a unique bond through shared affection for a bunch of scraggly Israeli teenagers?
Anyway, the Q & A was made all the more meaningful by the presence and participation of both Steve and Amir, lead singer of the Genders, an energetic Israeli rock band who happened to be on the NY stop of their U.S. tour and were able to come by the screening. For me, having Amir there was especially cool, because he had also been at the Tel Aviv premiere back in April. If you remember reading my blog entries from back then, it was difficult for some of the bands in the movie to have any kind of perspective, watching themselves on the big screen. They didn’t necessarily understand that, although they are its protagonists, they are not the target audience for the film. Apparently, Amir had a new appreciation of the film in seeing it through the eyes of an American audience. He said something to the effect of. “This movie is impossible to watch in Israel, but it’s totally different to watch it over here.” I hope some of the bands in the movie will get to have the same experience.
Afterwards, we had a little after-party at the aforementioned Makor Café. Makor was nice enough to provide us with 2-for-1 drink tickets and we had the musical accompaniment of some guy who, despite sounding like the equivalent of the Israeli Billy Joel, attracted quite a crowd on Makor’s lower level stage. That get-together was really trippy for me, as Heather, my pep-rally-queen, managed to wrangle a bunch of graduates from our high school class who are now living in NY. How amazing to see these people all grown up and looking good and leading interesting lives in the big city. Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make it a screening worth blogging about.
PS Heather, saving the day as always, took a bunch of photos that I will post once I get them from her.