Here’s Part II regarding my recent posting, Oy Vey! Israeli Film Critics Having Tsuris. Yael Shuv Of Time Out Tel Aviv writes me: “I’ve read your entry titled “Oy Vey!…” and hope it will have some positive effect. As chief film critic and editor of the film section at Time Out Tel Aviv (affiliate of Time Out London), I wish to add my voice to Yair Raveh’s complaint about the two major Israeli film distributors, Matalon and Forum Film. I, too, am banned from their press screenings, because I do not succumb to their demand that I postpone publishing the reviews till after the weekend the film comes out. However, unlike Raveh’s claim that ‘Once you alienate all media outlets to your movies, and get almost zero press coverage on opening weekend, your movies become invisible’. I am afraid that the distributors do get all the press coverage they want. What they aim for, and get, is free publicity in the form of interviews and articles, that are not accompanied by (possibly negative) reviews. Though I do my best to publish reviews on time (if all else fails, I translate reviews from Time Out New York or Time Out London), sometimes I, too, am forced to play their game. For instance, this week we did a phone interview with Danny Boyle about Sunshine. The interviewer (who is also a film critic) was allowed to attend the press screening only after we humbly agreed to not publish a review to go with the interview. I could say no to the Boyle interview, but than I would have clashed with the substitute editor of the magazine. And this is part of the problem: that the editors of most of the newspapers and magazines in Israel do not back their film critics, and would rather publish a celebrity interview than a film review anyday.”
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