Archive for April, 2012

I like detective or spy stories, but only those with soul and brains, and unfortunately there are not too many. I do not like conspiracy theories but I recognize that they make great thriller and action movies stuff – X-Files (arguably the best science-fiction series in the history of television) included. Rubicon is a combination of the two themes in the right ratio and is the best TV show I have seen in Israel this year. Unfortunately it was produced by a smaller American TV network, and did not enjoy the rating success that would allow it to survive more than one season. It happens unfortunately too often lately with shows I like – definitely my taste is not in tune with the one of the American mainstream viewers.




The detective theme of ‘Rubicon’ centers within a Manhattan based spy agency, one of the many which seem to divide in pieces of puzzle the American spying and counter-terrorism system. It’s employees are not supermen or action people, but smart bureaucrats or analysts as they call them nowadays, they do not call the president on daily (or weekly episode basis) as in ’24′ and if and when they carry a gun they do it with the same tremor as you and me would do it. They are usual people who deal however with the same global terrorism threats as 24′s Jack Bauer did, and they are pray to the same pressures as the CTU, or even larger, fighting not only the enemy out there but also a malefic conspiracy of riches trying to manipulate the whole world. Their position is much worse however, as the corruption seems to have infiltrated to the higher echelons of the reporting line. As in the best novels and movies of the spy genre (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy comes immediately to mind) nobody can trust anybody in the organization, and the corridors of the building as well as its outskirts are permanently infested with surveillance cameras, electronic bugs and suspicious eyes.


(video source Telestrekoza1)


The best part lies however in the characters building. If the spy intrigue remains sometimes cloudy and murky we do not care as much because we have real human that build themselves beautifully on the screen. The series starts as the Israeli ‘Special Team’ with a new boss nominated to the team Will Travers (James Badge Dale) who replaces the former team leader who apparently committed suicide, deals with all the conflicts and will pay the price of trying to do the right thing. His boss Kale Ingram (Arlis Howard)  happens to be gay, so he may be the good guy (one of the more recent stereotypes in American cinema and TV scripts) but who knows in this suspicion filled atmosphere. Assistant Maggie (Jessica Collins) and smart but drugs addicted analyst Tanya (Lauren Hodges) fight each their own daemons. There are more characters, and each of them is clearly and carefully designed and by the time the series end we care for all and understand their motivations. More than a spy drama ‘Rubicon’ is a psychological thriller and maybe exactly the qualities that I appreciate in the series are not the ones that broader audiences attracted by the more immediate striking emotions in action series are used to. I feel to be in complete divorce with the mainstream taste that dictated ‘Rubicon’ to be terminated.

‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ is designed on a very clear and often used formula of the Disney family movie with special effects, and it holds no surprises – in any case neither too bad, nor too good ones. A murky magicians legend told in a rather confuse manner sets the action some 13 centuries ago, then another prologue ten years before the action introduces the second set of characters who meet in contemporary Manhattan for a less than plausible magician film, with dragons and iron hawks fighting to save mankind. If it sounds kind of stupid this is because so it is. You do not expect too much logic in these scripts nowadays.




One does expect however magic to come from different sources in such movies, and I mean cinematographic magic. Special effects maybe, and here the film delivers at least in part with some nice ideas with a slight retro nuance. Sympathizing with the characters, here the success is partial, Cage is OK but the main young lead (Jay Baruchel) is as awful as a young nerd can be in real life and he could not convince me how the girl (Teresa Palmer, OK as well) fell for him with all his magic powers. We are thus left wondering why talents like Cage or Monica Bellucci sign for such films, and the answer is that they need to make a living while waiting for the next better script.


(video source DisneyMovieTrailers)


And yet, towards the final I started to care. This is not little thing taking into account the artificial characters and story. The final action scene was well done also. The other really good moment is the reference to the other apprentice, the one from the classical animated ‘Fantasia’ of Disney. If this film brought that superb classic to the attention of some young generation movie goers, than it had met at least one good purpose.

Pentru cinefilul din mine volumul de schite al lui Alexandru Petria ‘Denia neagra’ aparut la editura Herg Benet in 2011 se asociaza imediat cu cele doua colectii de filme scurte adunate de Cristian Mungiu sub titlul ‘Amintiri din epoca de aur’. Ca si acolo este vorba despre episoade disparate legate de trecutul apropriat dar ne-asumat inca in intregime al Romaniei – epoca zisa de aur la Mungiu, perioada zisa a tranzitiei la Petria. In ambele lucrari stilul este eclectic, sau altfel spus diferite episoade sunt abordate stilistic si narativ in mod diferit, dar asta contribuie in mod paradoxal la coeziunea fiecareia dintre colectii in parte dand senzatia de episoade culese din realitate. Episoadele daca ar fi luate in sine ar putea fi considerate ca lucrari umoristice unele, fantastice sau grotesti altele. Impreuna si combinate ele prezinta tabloul paradoxalei Romanii, cu oamenii ei si cu sistemele ei, comice daca nu ar fi tragice, tragice daca nu ar fi grotesti, tara la rascruce de imperii si permanent bantuita de spectrele celor doi Caragiale – Ion Luca si Matei.




Deania este liantul comun al schitelor lui Petria, orasel fara identitate intr-un Ardeal depersonalizat, evitand orice urma de ‘culoare locala’. 27 de schite, din care niciuna nu depaseste cateva pagini creaza imaginea unui mozaic parca incomplet, daca ni l-am imagina ca incadrat in spatiul unei picturi atunci aceasta ar trebui sa aiba multe pete albe.  Adjectivul adaugat in titlu sugereaza poate singura nuanta comuna de atmosfera, reprezentata de oroarea tragediei care pare sa se ascunda in randurile urmatoare ale povestirilor indiferent cum incep acestea. Insuportabila apropiere a tragediei si a mortii de viata de zi cu zi, precaritatea acesteia intr-o lume in care regulile sociale si plasele de protectie nu par sa ajute cu nimic in desenarea destinelor umane este o trasatura pronuntata a lumii descrise de Alexandru Petria.

Cateva dintre povestiri apartin universului copilariei confruntat cu cruzimea vietii, si cu experientele dureroase ale cresterii. ‘Prima zapada’ il confrunta pe eroul adolescent cu sinuciderea unuia dintre profesori si cu o initiere in furtisaguri care se dovedeste a fi frustranta. ‘Initierea’ se ocupa de un alt fel de prima experienta, cea sexuala, care se suprapune relatiei adolescentului cu o profesoara tirana. Un tip similar de initiere este descris in ‘Moartea pornoromancierului’ in  care figura bunicului apare nu atat ca o legatura cu o alta lume mai veche si poate mai buna, ci mai degraba ca o lansare initiatica venita dintr-o directie neasteptata.  ‘Casablanca’ este singura alta povestire in care legatura cu trecutul este explicita, dar aici apare spre final alunecarea in tragic.




Tragicul din schitele lui Petria are de multe ori o nuanta naturalista. Toporul de pe ilustratia copertei apare ca o aluzie de final intr-una dintre povestiri. In alta parte un accident se intampla ca o surpriza in mijlocul relatarii unei zile banal de fericita, taind rasuflarea cititorului si curmand destinul personajelor.

Cateva cuvinte despre stil. In schitele sale cele mai bine slefuite Alexandru Petria mi s-a parut a fi un prozator remarcabil, prin plasticitatea relatarii, prin concizie si economie de mijloace. Iata descriind un accident petrecut in armata in ‘Nu numai despre Liviu’ o schita de mai putin de doua pagini: ‘Glontul a ricosat din gard si i-a atins jugulara. Sangele a tasnit din gat pe peretele cazarmii, a simtit cum pamantul urca spre el pana cand si-a sprijinit capul pe ceva tare.‘ (pag. 17).

Relatiile in cuplu nu sunt niciodata nevinovate in schitele lui Petria. Am mentionat cele doua schite de initiere adolescentina care deschid volumul, ele sunt o initiere spre o lume violenta si depravata. Piesa mea preferata din acest volum se numeste ‘La masa’ si ea descrie in mod alternat gandurile unui barbat adulter, servit cu devotament de sclava culinara care ii este sotie si visand la nurii amantei. Fiecare rand aproape apartine unui alt plan relational, pana acolo incat in final nu reusim sa identificam cui ii este adresata ultima replica. Genial!


(video source victorpotra)


Critica sociala este extrem de acuta si cine a citit ziaristica sau blogul lui Alexandru Petria stie ca ea are adrese precise. In volum el reuseste sa abstractizeze adresele si cred ca este o alegere inteleapta, dand sansa acestor povestiri sa supravietuiasca mult dupa trecerea in uitare a vremelnicelor guverne si regimuri. Au sansa insa sa ramana intiparite in mintea cititorilor figura de Dandanache internetic a senatorului Dan Precup din ‘Alegerea’, farsa caragialeasca din ‘Trei oameni onesti’, experienta atat de tipica ‘tranzitiei’ din ‘Si garoafele au viermi’, si mai ales personajul din ‘Corul vanatorilor’ si destinul sau.

‘Deania neagra’ are multe pagini demne de orice antologie care vrea sa surprinda momentul literar romanesc de dupa 1990. Surprinzator insa, autorul ei a scris foarte putin si ramane de vazut daca va reusi in cele din urma sa creeze si o opera consistenta. Eu voi urmari cu interes.



These are maybe the most Israeli two days in the year. Memorial Day – the day we remember the soldiers fallen in the wars of Israel and the victims of the terror attacks against Israel precedes the celebration of Independence Day – the day of re-birth of the Jewish state.




On all holidays I search the Internet for information connected one way or another with the holiday. For Independence Day this year I researched a little the history Israeli rock bands and I picked a few relevant names, sounds and images. The search itself was interesting, as I found out that while building again the country and the nation, young Israelis had time to listen to what happened on the musical scene in the world and created a local musical scene that was for the last few decades challenging and interesting, searching for the ways of expressing the problems and the emotions of the young and not so young generations here. I hope that you will enjoy what I found.


(video source spirtw72)

The Curchills were one of the first Israeli bands to play psychedelic and hard rock in the 60s and 70s, they played in English most of their songs and worked with local star Arik Einstein.


(video source Korozzz)


Sipurei Pogy (Pogy’s Stories) is a collection of songs by Kaveret a band which became popular in the 70s, combining catchy songs and humorist texts. It is said that one of their concerts was attended by half a million people at the time the whole population of Israel was three million. I am not sure where these half a million people gathered, but even as a story this is record-breaking.


(video source lahatuna)


Tamouz founded in 1976 were short-lived, but they had a huge hit Sof Onat HaTapuzim (End of the Oranges Season) and launched the solo careers of two popular singers Shalom Hanoch and Ariel Zilber.


(video source speedyjew42)


This recording of Mashina dates back from 1992, at the Arad festival, which used to gather the best Israeli bands and singers until a tragic accident in which several young people died led to its interruption.


(video source 1975clum)


Zikney Tzfat (The Elders of Safed) brought for the few years of their existence a wind of punk and grunge on the Israeli rock scene.


(video source EifoHayeled)


Another popular band of the same period was Eifo HaYeled (Where’s the Child).


(video source taikang)


Crossing into the new millenium Beit HaBubot (House of Dolls) is one of the bands which focuses on melody and is closer to mainstream.


(video source hadagnahashofficial)


Formed in the 90s HaDag Nahash (The Fish-Snake) is one of the most influential bands today, combining rock and hip-hop, and bringing in their recordings and concerts a strong social and political message.


(video source fistuker)


One of the most popular bands today is HaYehudim (The Jews) formed also in the 90s and the name of the song is HaZman Shelach (Your Time).


(video source tseder3)


Last but not least, here are Etnix which combine rock with Middle-Eastern sounds.

Happy Birthday, Israel!

‘HaMeyuheded’ (The Special, or The Special Unit) is a half-baked tentative of the Israeli TV industry to create a high quality crime drama, a genre which is extremely popular in Israel on the cable and satellite TV thanks to imports from the US and from the UK.




It is certainly not easy to compete in a genre which brought to the small screen series like The Wire or Prime Suspect which are fine pieces of TV and cinema work on any scale of values, making of the  police section an universe populated by heroes which are hard to forget, and of the permanent was between the good guys and the bad guys much more than simple entertainment, action or detective riddles.  This is not because the Israeli reality would miss a large number of themes and subjects that could provide material for such successful endeavors. On the contrary, the mix of people and religions, social and political conflicts in the area , and the human mosaic of people who have roots here for centuries or even millenniums and other who came here from the four cardinal points of the world is explosive and fascinating. It is rather the limits of the Israeli TV productions, the real economic lack of means and the limits imposed by the creators themselves that prevent this series to realize its full potential.


(video source reshettv)


As in Rubicon, the American series that I watched almost in parallel and about which I will write soon in The Catcher, at the start of HaMeyuheded a new and young policeman is put as a head of a team following the sudden death of his predecessor. Also here we have a permanent mix of two story planes, the immediate cases that need to be solved in the day-to-day life of the unit and the longer thread which is impacted by the personal involvement of the head of the unit. The relations between the members of the team, each one with his own personality, all interesting and complex catch much of the attention of the viewers.

(video source  NahmanKhayet)


Here we can find the strength and the most interesting parts of HaMeyuhedet. Wonderful acting by Ofer Schechter, Shmil Ben-Ari, Gal Toren, Yael Sharoni, and Ester Rada make of each of the members of the team individual characters which are strong and difficult to forget. Sasson Gabai and Nathan Dantner borrow some of their time and talent for well conceived characters, and the rest of the distribution allows for episodic characters to show up in interesting supporting roles. All this micro-universe is nice to follow, sometimes even moving and beautiful but cannot sustain a detective series. The weak point is in the thin fabric of most of the one episode series, and in the lack of consistency in the following of the longer threads, some of which are left aside for many episodes of the season, some other left suspended with no resolution. This may be the preparation of the ground for a second season which I will certainly like to follow because the first season contained many promises, and also the last episode succeeded to bring up for once the short and long lived threads in one intrigue that was well written and contained also the so much needed percentage of suspense.



We succeeded last Saturday to catch the last day of the exhibition of Anselm Kiefer, without doubt one of the most important exhibitions of a non-Israeli contemporary artist to open in Israel in the last few years. The German artist is born in 1945, in last months of the second world war in the small town of Donauschingen in the Black Forest, which I visited two years ago, the place where the Danube starts its journey across Europe. Since his early days of his carer the main theme of his work was the recent history of Germany, the cultural identity and the relation between himself as an artist and his people with the past. The exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art was conceived together with the late Mordechai Omer, the former director and curator of the museum, who unfortunately did not live to see the exhibition open at the inauguration of the new Herta and Paul Amir building designed by Preston Scott Cohen.



The West-Eastern Divan is one of the works that best define this exhibition. It is inspired by Goethe’s collection of poems written between 1815 and 1819, inspired by his contact with the Muslim culture and poetry. As Goethe’s poems, Kiefer’s work does not address directly the theme, but uses concepts and forms derived from the contact of the civilizations. On two oposite walls 27 windows each comprise snapshots of the remote ‘exotic’ realities of the different landscapes, flowers, sands, as a scale up wonder box in the style of the 18th century travelers collections. On the wall connecting the two are inscribed the names of the German, Jewish and Muslim thinkers and artists who created works that bridge between cultures.

Maybe one of Goethe’s poems illustrates best the feeling. It seems fit to me, as it also includes the idea of turning water into crystals which connects with the esoteric alchemist tradition, another theme present in the work of Kiefer, also in this exhibition.

Minstrel’s Book: Song and Structure


LET the Greek his plastic clay

Mould in human fashion,
While his own creation may

Wake his glowing passion;

But it is our joy to court

Great Euphrates’ torrent,
Here and there at will to sport

In the Wat’ry current.

Quench’d I thus my spirit’s flame,

Songs had soon resounded;
Water drawn by bards whose fame

Pure is, may be rounded.

(source of translation



Ingeborg Bachman and Paul Celan are the two poets who strongly inspired Kiefer’s work. The Ashflower – For Paul Celan is dedicated to the Jewish poet, born in Bukovina in 1920, then part of Romania, who survived the Holocaust to become one of the first poets of German expression who tried to cope in poetry with his own personal tragedy (much of his family including his parents were assassinated in the Holocaust), with the relation between the Jewish and German nations, with the tragedy of the Jewish intellectuals of German expression torn between their own conflicting identities.

Here is one of his most famous poems written on this subjects – Death Fugue

Black milk of daybreak we drink it at sundown
we drink it at noon in the morning we drink it at night
we drink it and drink it
we dig a grave in the breezes there one lies unconfined
A man lives in the house he plays with the serpents he writes
he writes when dusk falls to Germany your golden hair Margarete
he writes it ans steps out of doors and the stars are flashing he whistles his pack out
he whistles his Jews out in earth has them dig for a grave
he commands us strike up for the dance 

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you in the morning at noon we drink you at sundown
we drink and we drink you
A man lives in the house he plays with the serpents he writes
he writes when dusk falls to Germany your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Sulamith we dig a grave in the breezes there one lies unconfined

He calls out jab deeper into the earth you lot you others sing now and play
he grabs at teh iron in his belt he waves it his eyes are blue
jab deper you lot with your spades you others play on for the dance

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at at noon in the morning we drink you at sundown
we drink and we drink you
a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Sulamith he plays with the serpents
He calls out more sweetly play death death is a master from Germany
he calls out more darkly now stroke your strings then as smoke you will rise into air
then a grave you will have in the clouds there one lies unconfined

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at noon death is a master from Germany
we drink you at sundown and in the morning we drink and we drink you
death is a master from Germany his eyes are blue
he strikes you with leaden bullets his aim is true
a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
he sets his pack on to us he grants us a grave in the air
He plays with the serpents and daydreams death is a master from Germany

your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Shulamith


(translation source –



Black Flakes belongs to the same cycle. The colors are mostly grey. Infinite and desolated fields are marked by structures left burnt by a devastating fire, dividing the universe in rows of symbols that cannot be read by humans. In the middle a Book, made of lead, it’s content impossible to read. Lead is one of the preferred materials of Kiefer, heavy but malleable, grey and yet the alchemists were dreaming about turning it into gold.



Cain and Abel connects the theme of the Holocaust with another major theme of this exhibition – the Bible as a root of the Jewish and universal civilization. The scorched fields are present here again, but over them are imposed two skis, one ascending, one descending, almost parallel but going on opposite direction, symbol of the contradictions of the human soul and destiny since the emerging of our species and back in the original mythic space. Kiefer’s works are large in dimensions, and they combine painting with materials applied that create another half of dimension, it’s a tormented variant of the antic art of the basso-relief.



With Samson we are completely emerged into the Biblical story, with another thematic element showing up – the codes of the Kabbalah, inscribed in the upper-left register.



Noah deals with two of the Biblical subjects present also in other works. The myth of Noah and his arch and the image of Mount Ararat, visually described in various manners. Is the submarine in the work (applied on the two-dimensional structure) a vessel of survival? This remains an open question, as no living soul can be detected. What is sure is that a catastrophe of large proportions took place and we are witnessing the aftermath. Are there any survivors?



The Breaking of the Vessels was specially created for this exhibition, part of it during an event which was caught up by a video that can be watched at the entry of the exhibition. It’s a complex work, in an almost enclosed structure. Broken glass is a painful symbol in the shared history of the German and Jewish people bringing back the memory of the Kristallnacht. Yet, the name of the work (in Hebrew Shevirat HaKelim) has a Kabbalistic significance, as the vessels of light were broken, but this is only the beginning of a cycle of personal and collective introspection, re-building and fixing of the world – Tikkun olam – one of the most beautiful symbols in Judaism.

I found the following text about the kabbalistic interpretation of the concept of The Breaking of the Vessel:

According to Luria, the ten vessels that were originally meant to contain the emanation of God’s light were unable to contain that light and were hence either displaced or shattered. As a result of this cosmic catastrophe, the Sefirot, the archetypal values through which the cosmos was created, are shattered and out of place, and the world within which we reside, is composed of the shards of the these broken values. It is significant that for the Kabbalists, only 6 of the 10 Sefirot (from Chesed to Yesod) were fully shattered (Malchut, the final vessel was broken partially). Had all of the vessels, including, Keter, Chochmah, and Binah, been shattered, the universe would have been thrown back into the state of complete and utter chaos, the toho and bohu prior to creation. As it is, the three highest Sefirot, which represent Will, Wisdom, and Understanding, remained intact; only the six Sefirot representing the spiritual, moral, aesthetic and material values were broken, and are, hence, in need of restoration or repair (Tikkun). Nevertheless, the Breaking of the Vessels is a truly cataclysmic event. Will, Wisdom and Understanding remain, but all other values, particularly those embodied in the cultural and symbolic order of mankind, have been shattered. Further, while certain forms (may) remain, their embodiment in matter, is chaotic and confused. The Breaking of the Vessels is, according to the Lurianic Kabbalah, a clearing of the decks, a fresh start, and a challenge to the structures that we equate with our own civilized life. It is, in short, an eruption of chaos into the heart of our spiritual, conceptual, moral and psychological structures.

(source and more


More information and articles about the exhibition:



Personajele cartii lui Gabriel Andronache se impart in doua categorii. O parte dintre ele, inclusiv eroul principal au nume generice, fie reprezentate printr-o simpla initiala kafkiana (eroul principal se numeste D.) sau prin pozitiile lor (Functionar, Sef, Director) in ierarhia Institutiei in care il gasim pe erou angajat la inceputul cartii. Institutia este ea insasi o alegorie a birocratiei eterne, care transcende timpurile si sistemele sociale, dar care pare a-si gasi locul cel mai firesc in Romania post-89. ‘Supunerea prin inutilitate parea a fi politica de spalare a creierelor promovata de catre mai marii institutiei. Orice initiativa era inabusita in fasa. Fiecare idee pusa pe tapet de catre vreun functionar ratacit era analizata de seful sau direct, primind invariabil un raspuns negativ. Maniera de respingere diferea de la caz la caz. Cu cat ideea era mai revolutionara, cu atat functionarul care o emitea era izbit mai puternic de perete de catre plutonul inchizitorial format din cei zece Directori. In schimb, daca propunerea functionarului vadea semne de banalitate, nepunand in pericol stabilitatea aparatului de conducere, acesta era privit cu compasiune, luat usor de mana si evacuat din incapere cu amabilitatea care se manifesta de obicei fata de un individ cu mintile ratcite. Sistemul de cenzura al oricarei inovatii, a oricarei evadari din rutina, era foarte bine pus la punct si daduse rezultate de succes.’ (pag. 21)




Exista insa in cartea ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ aparuta la editura Herg Benet Publishers in 2011 si o realitate alternativa, o lume care are logica, in care oamenii dovedesc respect unii fata de altii si au pana si nume. Nume germane desigur, caci acea lume este Germania cea ordonata si civilizata, prospera si care recunoaste identitatea umana si o respecta. ‘D. avea perceptia clara ca acolo, pe Konig Strasse, el isi va capata identitatea pierduta in marasmul umilitor la care fusese supus in cadrul Institutiei. Acolo, pe Konig Strasse, oamenii il vor asculta cu atentie, vor fi impresionati de cultura si inteligenta lui, ii vor aprecia si respecta modestia si bunavointa. (pag. 55)


Prima parte a cartii de debut al jurnalistului, scenaristului si acum romancierului iesean Gabriel Andronache descrie o realitate care penduleaza isteric intre anost si cosmar si care pare sa aiba o alternativa doar in planul imaginatiei. In a doua parte se produce saltul neasteptat al eroului in realitatea alternativa, ruptura de trecut si incercarea de a se integra in noua lume, confruntarea intre vis si realitate. Este un proces pe care l-au trait sub o forma sau alta toti cei care au petrecut o parte din viata intr-un sistem totalitar, cei care au visat la o alta viata, au avut curajul sa faca trecerea si au trait intr-o doza sau alta amestecul intre realizare si dezamagire. Intr-o forma sublimala, cu o intelegere surprinzator de profunda si matura, Gabriel Andronache reuseste sa sintetizeze aceste trairi, sa expuna in povestea unui singur personaj nu numai slalomul unui destin ci si diferite partii pe care intamplarile vietii ar fi putut sa-l duca pe erou.




Cu cele 120 de pagini si nici acestea tiparite cu o litera nesuferit de mica sau in randuri prea apropiate unul de celalalt, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’ pare a solicita intrebarea daca subtitlul -roman- afisat pe coperta este justificat. Cum definim un roman? Este numarul de pagini o conditie necesara? poate si suficienta? si care este acest numar minim? Daca acest criteriu este esential atunci raspunsul meu este ca numarul minim este 120 si dovada se afla in aceasta carte. Poate ca numarul de cuvinte si caractere este mai mic decat cel al multor alte lucrari etichetate de exemplu ca ‘nuvele’ dar exista in ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’destul material epic, dezvoltare a personajelor, destule surprize, si mai ales destule intrebari puse cititorilor care raman in minte si framanta dupa ce acestia au parcurs ultima pagina a cartii, precum la orice alt roman bun cu numar dublu sau triplu de pagini. Cititi de exemplu la paginile 91-93 portretul facut Taniei, personajul secundar care devine vremelnica partenera de viata a eroului principal. In mai putin de doua pagini este redata complexitatea unui destin. Concizia devine calitate. Less is best.


Nu voi dezvalui finalul pentru a nu rapi placerea unei lecturi pe care o recomand. Voi spune doar ca lozinca lui Kennedy din titlul cartii, simbol al unui moment istoric in care Berlinul parea a reprezenta o aspiratie universala capata o dimensiune neasteptata si ironica. Si nu, numele eroului nu ne este dezvaluit, el ramane o initiala, asa cum identitatea sa ramane si ea ceea ce era. De sub steaua sub care te-ai nascut nu poti fugi.


Teatrul cu adevarat interesant de multe ori nu se petrece in marile teatre de repertoriu ci pe micile scene, in cluburi si in cafenele.  Acest adevar cunoscut de iubitorii de teatru din intreaga lume incepe sa se petreaca si in Bucuresti. In conditiile in care la spectacolele bune de la Bulandra sau National gasirea unor bilete are cam aceeasi probabilitate de reusita ca si castigul la loterie mai ales pentru vizitatorii ocazionali, teatrele mici, independente, cele pe care in New York le-am numi off-Broadway sau chiar off-off-Broadway au din ce in ce mai multa cautare, succes si dupa cum arata acest spectacol si reusita artistica. De fapt  ArCuB nu poate fi caracterizat chiar ca un teatru mic si in plus beneficiaza de o locatie ultra-centrala in fosta sala ARLUS. Cum-necum saptamana trecuta a fost prima data cand am ajuns in acea sala, spre rusinea mea de bucurestean la origine. Rau nu mi-a parut.




‘O lume pe dos’ este o colectie de trei piese scurte apartinand unor autori americani contemporani, avand in comun personaje care sufera de o imensa singuratate si isi cauta alternativa in bizarerii si sexualitate, un actor exceptional (Tudor Chirila, talent multiplu, actor, textier si solist la Vama Veche) pe care l-am vazut cred pentru prima data, si regia Iarinei Demian (si ea un talent multiplu, regizoare si actrita, si nu in ultimul rand mama lui Tudor :-) ). Prima piesa ‘Preludiu si Liebestod’ a lui Terrence Mcneil (autor nascut in acelasi oras in care s-a nascut si Janis Joplin) este si cea mai complexa ca psihologie si structura, construita fiind in jurul dirijarii unei bucati muzicale compuse de Wagner, cu dirijorul ca centru al universului scenic. Acest prim act ii prilejuieste si lui Tudor Chirila sa-si dovedeasca talentul exceptional, si Iarinei Demian sa gaseasca o solutie scenica ingenioasa pentru un text care reprezinta o piatra de incercare pentru orice regizor.





A doua parte a spectacolului ‘Problema’ este razboi in cuplu presarat cu surprize si intoarceri de situatii si cu un text (semnat de A.R.Gurney jr.) care in momentele cele mai bune are nuante ionesciene. Smaranda Caragea da aici o replica excelenta lui Chirila, si este vorba aici despre inca o actrita pe care departarea de scenele bucurestene la care ma gasesc in cea mai mare parte a anului nu mi-a dat ocazia sa o cunosc.





In a treia parte intitulata ‘Naomi in camera de zi’ avem bucuria de a o vedea pe regizoare alaturandu-se celor doi actori principali pentru a juca rolul unei mame ramasa cu trairile (sau poate readusa de vreo boala degenerativa) in perioada flower power si careia cuplul format din fiu si nora este obligat sa-i joace in struna. Din pacate aceast al treilea text apartinand Christopher Durang este si cel mai firav in continut, si spectacolul se incheie din aceasta cauza cu o usoara dezamagire.


(video source agentiadevise)


Din fericire sunt multe alte motive de satisfactie in aceasta seara de teatru solid, si uneori, mai ales in primul act, captivant. ‘O lume pe dos’ ofera alternativa unei seri teatrale de calitate pe care o puteti risca chiar si in alte situatii decat cea in care nu ati mai gasit bilete la Nationalul vecin. Veti ramane poate ca si mine pentru multa vreme in memorie cu imaginea Dirijorului asa cum nu il vedeti de obicei in concerte, cu fata indreptata spre public, dirijand muzica si sentimentele din sufletele spectatorilor.





peste tot


Horatiu Malaele este una dintre acele personalitati artistice complexe care resping categoriile si categorisirile. Unul dintre motive este desigur multitudinea de talente si de ocupatii artistice – actor, regizor, caricaturist, patron de galerie, poet. Alt motiv este ca talentul sau (ma sfiesc dar sunt nu departe de a folosi cuvantul G….) transcende genurile.




L-am vazut acum o saptamana pe scena Teatrului de Comedie din Bucuresti. Norocul face sa fi avut ocazia de a ma ‘intalni’ cu el si cu ocazia turneului sau in Israel acum doi ani, si in vizitele mele in Romania, desigur el in rolul de creator, eu in cel de consumator, amator si avid, al artei sale, fie ca spectator in sala, fie ca vizitator al Atelierului de Caricatura pe care l-a infiintat in zona renascuta a Lipscanilor si Blanarilor.


Atelierul de Caricatura


Eu sunt orb este un recital care dureaza ceva mai mult de o ora, in care Malaele, singur pe scena, cu o minima ilustratie muzicala dialogheaza cu publicul, recita din Nichita si din Brumaru si din Paunescu si din altii, povesteste, tace. Este un dialog intens, in care actorul-recitator-improvizator reuseste sa capteze permanent atentia publicului din sala si sa-l faca sa vibreze cu trairea sa de interpret. Pe mine m-a captivat chiar si atunci cand nu am rezonat deplin cu textele, caci arta sa de interpret transcende continutul, chiar cand recita din Paunescu sau isi asuma o versificatie cu tenta nationalista. Improvizatia nu lipseste, dar raportul dintre text si improvizatie este mai degraba in traditia spectacolelor de muzica si poezie incepute la Bulandra la inceputul anilor 70 de Pittis si Caramitru (acompaniati in timp de muzicieni ca Dan Aldea sau Anda Calugareanu), si la fel se simte respectul profund al marelui actor roman care a devenit Malaele pentru scrisul literar si mai ales pentru poezia romana.


(video source vicontele13)


Desi respectul fata de textul scris pare a fi o preocupare importanta, Horatiu Malaele vizibil a ajuns la o treapta de desavarsire a artei actoricesti si la o relatie cu publicul in cadrul unui recital in care aproape nu mai are nevoie de text, sau nu prea mai conteaza ce spune. Este suficienta prezenta sa fizica, tacerile creaza tensiunea artistica in aceeasi masura cu vocea sa inimitabila. Este deja la nivelul de maturitate la care ajunsese Toma Caragiu la apogeul carierei sale. Un compliment mai inalt nu stiu a scrie.


Expozitiile de arhitectura reprezinta o calatorie in timp, in istorie, in viata unor oameni fascinanti asa cum au fost si sunt marii arhitecti. Nu este o exceptie expozitia dedicata arhitectului Horia Creanga pe care am vizitat-o in sfarsitul trecut de saptamana la Muzeul National de Arta al Romaniei din Bucuresti. Expozitia accesibila de la intrarea Kretzulescu a palatului ramane deschisa pana la mijlocul lunii iunie si o recomand cu caldura tuturor bucurestenilor si celor care vor trece prin Bucuresti in aceste luni.




Despre Horia Creanga – biografia si lucrarile sale puteti afla multe de la Daca este sa aduc o critica acestei expozitii este lipsa unui panou care sa includa o cronologie a vietii si operelor arhitectului, cum se obisnuieste mai la toate expozitiile dedicate unui artist sau arhitect in acest caz. Nepot al lui Ion Creanga, cu care de altfel pare sa fi semanat izbitor la fizionomie, Horia si-a facut studiile la Paris imediat dupa primul razboi mondial in care luptase pe front. Aici a absorbit principalele curente ale epocii de la Bauhaus, modernismul lui Le Corbusier si pana la conceptia organica a lui Frank Lloyd Wright.




Reintors in tara Horia Creanga se gaseste in scurt timp in fruntea valului de arhitecti care inoiesc viziunea arhitecturala romaneasca, o sincronizeaza cu curentele moderne si de avangarda din lume si incep sa refaca Bucurestii propunand transformarea capitalei Romaniei intr-un oras european modern. Din pacate lipsa de conceptie sistemica si evenimentele politice care incep la sfarsitul anilor 30 aveau sa intrerupa in mod brutal acest proces, si din Bucurestii visati de aceasta generatie de arhitecti ne-au ramas fragmente disparate, ranite si acestea in zdruncinarile istoriei. Una dintre cladirile emblema ale epocii, proiectata de Creanga este blocul ARO din Bucuresti inagurat in 1930, care astazi gazduieste cinematograful Patria.




Horia Creanga se implica in proiecte publice si particulare, comerciale si industriale. Daca Marcel Iancu, colegul sau de generatie este influentat in special de stilul Bauhaus, la Creanga vedem o adaptare mult mai flexibila la specificul proiectelor, folosind tehnici inovatoare si elemente stilistice apartinand diferitelor scoli si curente. Dintre proiectele particulare am ilustrat aici vila Ion Miclescu, care este prezentata in starea sa initiala in fotografia de mai sus, si apoi, in fotografii in expozitie peste decenii si scurgere de istorie, in felul in care a supravietuit pana astazi. Juxtapunerile proiectelor initiale (fotografii, prea putine planuri) si a starii actuale a lucrarilor reprezinta punctul forte al expozitiei si merita sa fie examinate pe indelete. Recomand de asemenea vizionarea celor doua filme documentare din a doua sala care au o tematica asemanatoare.




Una dintre colaborarile cele mai roditoare ale arhitectului Creanga a fost cu industriasul Nicolae Malaxa pentru care a proiectat o parte din halele Malaxa (inclusiv uzina de tevi din fotografie), devenite in timp uzinele 23 August si apoi Faur. Dupa cate am aflat din textele care insoteau aceasta sectiune aceste pavilioane industriale se afla in decadere dupa privatizarea pe bucati urmata de inchiderea unitatilor industriale, si aceasta in pofida faptului ca halele au fost declarate ca apartinand patrimoniului national. Alte brazdari ale istoriei.




Tot din colaborarea Creanga-Malaxa a rezultat design-ul a o parte din caroseriile automotoarelor produse de Malaxa, una dintre realizarile industriale cele mai remarcabile ale industriei romanesti interbelice.




Prietenii mei arhitecti stiu desigur mult mai mult decat mine si ma vor completa si corecta daca doresc. Eu inchei repetand recomandarea de a vizita expozitia si mai mentionez inca o lucrare mai diferita in contextul celor create de Horia Creanga – restarantul Pescarus de la Herastrau din 1938, in care Creanga a proiectat interiorul si exteriorul din acelasi material lemnos aparent, reverenta stilului organic al lui Wright.