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Antartica

It takes considerable time to sort out all the twenty-to-thirtysomething gay Tel Aviv residents looking for love -- or just a hookup -- in "Antarctica." Viewer effort goes unrewarded, however, as the final pair-offs seem like the momentary whims of characters with short attention spans.

Cast:
With: Guy Zo-Aretz, Lucy Dubinchik, Tomer Ilan, Liat Akta, Yiftach Mizrahi, Ofer Regirer, Yuval Raz, Oshri Sahar, Yael Deckelbaum, Dvir Benedek, Miss Laila Carry, Rivka Neuman, Shirli Salomon.

It takes considerable time to sort out all the twenty-to-thirtysomething gay Tel Aviv residents looking for love — or just a hookup — in “Antarctica.” Viewer effort goes unrewarded, however, as the final pair-offs seem like the momentary whims of characters with short attention spans. That’d be fine for a light softcore romp, but Yair Hochner’s patchy pic aims for more. Copious nudity will be a selling point when Regent distributes Stateside this fall, though for many auds, frustration may ultimately outweigh titillation.

A series of one-night stands for choreographer Boaz (Ofer Regirer) introduces most of the major characters, though he barely distinguishes among them, and neither can we. Three years later, he’s still heavily playing the field, like journalist Ronen (Guy Zo-Aretz) and unlike the earnest, commitment-seeking Danny (Yiftach Mizrahi) and Omer (Tomer Ilan). Meanwhile, latter’s sis Shirli (Lucy Dubinchik) itches to leave g.f. Michal (Liat Etca). Various others float in and out of the principals’ lives/beds, but it’s hard to care much. Some off-kilter comedy elements (a UFO-abductee support group, drag role, etc.) just feel at odds with the melancholy yet superficial whole. Tech aspects are fair.

Antartica

Israel

Production: A Regent release (in U.S.) of a Sokolov 24/70 production. Produced by Eitan Reuven. Executive producers, Reuven, Shlomi Aviner. Directed, written by Yair Hochner.

Crew: Camera (color, DV-to-DigiBeta), Ziv Berkovich; editor, Anat Saloon; music, Eli Soorani; production designers, Astar Elkayam, Gili Cohen. Reviewed at  San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, June 27, 2008. (Also in NewFest, New York.) Hebrew dialogue. Running time: 110 MIN.

With: With: Guy Zo-Aretz, Lucy Dubinchik, Tomer Ilan, Liat Akta, Yiftach Mizrahi, Ofer Regirer, Yuval Raz, Oshri Sahar, Yael Deckelbaum, Dvir Benedek, Miss Laila Carry, Rivka Neuman, Shirli Salomon.

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