Short Film Review: ‘GUIDES’

Written & Directed By Dani Tenenbaum
Starring Itamar Cohen, Biky Stulero, Eliran Elias, Chen Bar-El, Yaeli Rosenblit, Or Inbar-Gur aryeh, Ohad Fait

WINNER – IndieWorks “Golden Whiskers” Award Best of Fest, April 2014

Dani Tenenbaum‘s claustrophobic, yet intimately shot short film ‘Guides‘ (which recently took home the “Golden Whiskers” award presented by New York City independent film screening series IndieWorks in its monthly “Best of Fest” celebration) tells the all too real story surrounding the human repercussions of adolescent boredom, hyper connected and overly nihilistic.  With a steady approach to subject, Tenenbaum incorporates a distinct indie approach with little peripheral sensationalism. Rather presenting an all-too-familiar- real world experience with the in-your-face, unapologetic reality of necessary of its situation.

Guides‘ accessible runtime follows the exploits of a handful of young Israeli youth movement counselors, both on work hours and off. On the clock the group, though less than blatantly enthusiastic, goes about their duties as any responsible person operating within a professional capacity would.  Off the clock, however, the group engages in the gamut of hedonistic activity ever more commonly associated as a right of passage for youth in revolt, especially when attached to the immediacy that is 21st Century communication allowance.  Sex, drugs and dance music all prominently play into these doldrum induced activities the contemporary adolescents of privilege enthusiastically aspire to, culminating in a realization they may not ultimately desire any deviation from this template.

Guides‘ is reminiscent of photographer turned filmmaker Larry Clark‘s seminal coming of age film ‘Kids‘ in its idea and execution. That film was a mid 90s peer into the world of NYC adolescence, undoubtedly pre hipster, heiress and hyper gentrification.  At the time ‘Kids‘ shocked, with its uncensored, unflinching look at drug use and sex amongst our previously consensed “precious” societal commodity.  With ‘Guides‘ we look into this world again, and for many USA and NYC audiences, into one we may not be entirely familiar (or expectant) to see operating within such a like-minded capacity. We also saw this in 2013 with Israeli Director Johnathan Gurfinkel‘s  controversial ‘S#x Acts‘.  Another graphic venture into the private lives of the Israeli privileged youth.

With ‘Guides‘, there is little doubt Dani Tenenbaum understand and executes the type of filmmaking takes influence from and maintains interest in.  With tight, steady cam work from Director of Photography Jonthan Hepner, and the down to Earth realism of Tammy Ram and Tamar Menashes‘ Art Direction, ‘Guides‘ serves as a no holding back introduction to a talented up and coming filmmaker.  Based on this film we would certainly anticipate Tenenbaum’s latest (successfully) Kickstarter funded project ‘The Other Side‘ with enthusiasm and intrigue.

Facebook: /Guides
Facebook: /Wiwuproductions
Facebook: /theothersideproduction
Kickstarter: /theotherside

– Danai Papadaki

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