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Kino on Video presents
Yom Yom (1998)

"You're nuts, totally nuts, Jules."
- Moshe (Moshe Ivgi)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: June 08, 2006

Stars: Moshe Ivgy, Hanna Meron
Other Stars: Juliano Mer, Dalit Kahan, Yussef Abu Warda, Natali Atiya, Keren Mor
Director: Amos Gitai

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations, strong sexuality, nudity)
Run Time: 01h:46m:08s
Release Date: June 06, 2006
UPC: 738329047221
Genre: foreign


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- CDC D-

DVD Review

Amos Gitai is Israel's answer to Steven Spielberg as far as popularity goes. With more than 40 productions under his belt, Gitai has recently made the jump to Hollywood (at least as far as hiring lead actors goes), helming 2001's Eden with Samantha Morton and 2005's Free Zone featuring Natalie Portman. The late 1990s saw Gitai tackle a trilogy that centered on everyday life in major Israeli cities. The second part of this trilogy, 1998's Yom Yom (Day After Day), makes its stateside DVD debut, courtesy of Kino, along with the films that bookend it, Devarim and Kadosh.

Yom Yom focuses on Moshe (Moshe Ivgi), a hypochondriac who we first see taking what appears to be a stress test. He's married to Didi (Dalit Kahan), but that relationship is on the rocks. Part of the reason could be Didi's affair with Moshe's friend Jules (Juliano Mer), but Moshe is also seeing a younger woman named Grisha (Nataly Atiya). Jules, too, is involved with Grisha, creating numerous relationship quandaries. Moshe's problems extend to his culturally mixed parents, with his Sabra mother (Hanna Meron) dealing with his Arab father (Yussef Abu Warda), who might sell their home to a land developer.

It's difficult to become completely involved in Yom Yom, due to Gitai's almost random storytelling style. All of these characters are linked in some way, which is always interesting, but it can be very difficult to see the intricacies of these connections at times. There's very little exposition, so right off the bat, we're left to fend for ourselves as to who's married to whom, who's sleeping with whom, and so on. While there are many undertones of Israeli politics in Gitai's story, their emphasis is kept to a minimum. If only this strengthened the film; instead, we're left with very little to willingly invest our feelings in.

The presence of the incredibly beautiful Natali Atiya is enough to make Yom Yom at least worth a rental. While only in a handful of scenes, Atiya commands our attention during every second she's there. She has that "special something" about her that could easily be a nice fit in a Hollywood film, and having been mesmerized by her here, you'll instantly want to seek out the rest of her filmography. Unfortunately, there isn't much to find, but if she's half as appealing in her other performances as she is here, these projects will be well-worth the search.

Unlike Atiya, the rest of the cast delivers surprisingly monotonous performances; especially when it comes to their dialogue delivery. We're not talking about an amateur cast on paper, either. Not only is Moshe Igvi a veteran of over 40 films, but Hanna Meron, who plays his mother, co-starred in the time-honored classic, Fritz Lang's M. Everyone just seems disconnected from their characters, but given the pacing and Gitai's general style, such distance could have very well been intentional. Unfortunately, this just doesn't gel well enough to make Yom Yom a more memorable experience.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: This nonanamorphic, 1.85:1 widescreen transfer is a disappointment, with excessively soft images throughout. Brightness levels fade in and out at different points, while blacks and shadow levels are inconsistent as well. An overabundance of grain and dirt are present, too, in what amounts to a port from the original PAL source material.

Image Transfer Grade: D

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Hebrewno


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is a front-heavy mix that doesn't try to do more than it needs to. The music and other sound effects blend in well with the clear dialogue, but don't expect much, if anything, in the form of bass or dynamic range.

Audio Transfer Grade: C

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
Packaging: Keep Case
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: There aren't any extras on this disc.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Israel's three major cities are chronicled in Amos Gitai's film trilogy, all of which are now available separately from Kino on Video. The second of these, Yom Yom is a respectable yet muddled, often confusing film focusing on a group of people in the port city of Haifa. Unfortunately, the presentation is far from spectacular, featuring a disappointing video transfer, average audio, and no extra material at all.

 


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