Mary LouEytan Fox

Year:
2010
Run Time:
150 minutes (Episode Episode 1: 30:40; Episode 2: 37:12; Episode 3: 36:03; Episode 4: 46:36)
Lanquage:
Hebrew with English subtitles
Country:
Israel

Accolades:

“An irresistibly charming musical about a young Israeli man in search of his missing mother…this accomplished movie contains many of Fox’s trademarks: pathos, romantic longing and wonderful storytelling.”
—David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle

“Moving, tight and heartbreaking script…exceptional performances”
—Schuyler Velasco, The Forward

“From Eytan Fox, this flashy but solidly grounded survey of modern Israeli gay life reveals the price a talented young drag star must pay to turn his mom’s delusions into the basis for a satisfying grownup queer life.”
—David Lamble, Bay Area Reporter

Synopsis

Acclaimed Israeli director Eytan Fox (The Bubble, Walk On Water, Yossi & Jagger, Florentine), directs Mary Lou, a musical film about a young man who searches for his mother and finds himself. Mary Lou showcases the songs of one of Israel’s biggest rock stars, Svika Pick, with a screenplay by Shiri Artzi, who penned “BeTipul” (the original series on which HBO’s “In Treatment” was based).

Part modern fable, part coming-of-age story, Mary Lou features Ido Rosenberg as Meir Levi, a boy who lives in a small remote town in Israel. His mother, Miriam (Maya Dagan), is an adoring fan of Svika Pick (who makes a priceless cameo appearance as himself). Miriam dreams of being a star, and on Meir’s tenth birthday she mysteriously disappears, leaving behind only a few old photographs, two of her dresses, and a passion for Svika Pick’s music.

Meir finds comfort with his beautiful friend Shuli, but his life turns upside down in high school when she falls in love with Gabriel—the handsome new boy in town who Meir himself secretly fantasizes about. Following a dispute between the three, Meir moves to Tel Aviv to find Svika Pick, whom he hopes will lead him to his long lost mother.

In the big city Meir meets a young gay man, Ori, who introduces him to the The Holy Wigs, a performing drag queen group that becomes a second family to Meir. One night, when one of the performers doesn’t show up, a new star is born: Meir chooses the drag persona “Mary Lou,” named after the heroine in one of his mother’s favorite songs. His debut is a smashing success, yet despite his newfound fame, he wrestles with issues of friendship, fidelity, and the gay bashing of a friend. More thoughtful than “Glee” and as spirited as Mama Mia, Mary Lou is a top-notch musical with a serious message.

The ebullient music of Svika Pick (who composed the Eurovision award-winning song Diva, made famous by singer Dana International) sets a nostalgic tone and a toe-tapping beat. Mary Lou was released on Israeli Television in 2010 and went on to win the award for Best Miniseries at the Israeli Television Awards.

Extended Synopsis

Awards

Best Miniseries at the Israeli Television Awards, 2010
Winner Audience Award for Best International Program at Reel Affirmations Film Festival (Washington, D.C.)

Select Festival Screenings

Amsterdam Jewish Film Festival
Boston LGBT Film Festival
Forum des Images, Paris
Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival
New York Jewish Film Festival
Oslo Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Outfest, Los Angeles
Reel Affirmations, Washington, D.C.
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Torino GLBT Film Festival
Toronto Jewish Film Festival
UK Jewish Film Festival
Vancouver Jewish Film Festival
Washington, D.C. Jewish Film Festival

Director’s Statement

 

Director’s Bio

Eytan Fox

Eytan Fox’s The Bubble (2006) was shown in the Berlin International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, and won more then 20 jury and audience awards at festivals around the world. Fox’s Walk On Water (2004) became one of the most successful Israeli films internationally. The story of a Mossad secret service agent who befriends the gay grandson of an ex-Nazi officer was released successfully in over 25 countries. Previously, Yossi & Jagger (2002), the love affair between two officers in the Israeli army, became an international breakout hit. Both Walk On Water and Yossi & Jagger have achieved international cult status on DVD.
Fox was born in New York City, and at an early age he moved with his family to Israel. He grew up in Jerusalem, then studied at Tel Aviv University’s School of Film and Television. His first film, Time Off, a 45-minute drama about sexual identity in the Israeli army, won him acclaim and led to the making of his first feature, Song Of The Siren, a romantic comedy which became Israel’s biggest box office success in 1994. Between 1997 and 2000, Fox created and directed the Israeli TV dramatic series “Florentine,” which examined the life of young people in Tel Aviv before and after the Rabin assassination. Mr. Fox is in pre-production for a romantic comedy

Eytan Fox’s Filmography

 

2012 Yossi
2006 The Bubble
2004 Walk On Water
2002 Yossi & Jagger
1997 Gotta Have Heart
1994 Song Of The Siren
1994 Florentine
1990 Time Off

Credits

Mary Lou

Directed by Eytan Fox
Screenplay by Shiri Artzi
Producers – Dana Eden, Shula Spiegel
Music by Svika Pick
Chief Songwriter – Mirit Shem Ur
Music Produced & Arranged by Ivri Lider Adi Goldstein
Director of Photography – Yaron Scharf
Film Editor – Ron Omer
Casting – Moran Martziano
Sound Recording – Itay Elohev
Sound Design – Gil Toran
Art Direction – Ido Dolev
Costume Design – Danni Bar Shay Deborah Ohana
Makeup – Lilach Ofek
Line Producer – Alon Elias
Executive Producers
Moshe and Leon Edry & Gal Uchovsky
Associate Producers – David Tamir Baruch Ivcher Itschak Shrem
Chief Producer HOT – Ofir Rabinovich
Head of Drama Production HOT – Inam Shavit
Head of Development HOT – Mirit Tubi

CAST
Ido Rosenberg……………Meir Levi
Yedidia Vital……………Uri – “Miss Sunshine”
Dana Frider……………Shuli
Alon Levi……………Gabriel
Maya Dagan……………Miriam Levi
Shmuel Vilozni……………David Levi
Angel Bonanni……………Shlomi
Assaf Lev……………Studio Guard

Roxanne Feldman……………Nurse
Amit Morris……………Young Meir Levi
Noy Karko……………Young Shuli
Shai Choresh……………Schoolchild
Yulia Ingelink……………Moran
Adam Berman……………Basketball player
Sharon Levi……………Basketball player
Amnon Wolf……………Micky
Sarit Vino Elad……………Irit
Yuval Sargosi……………Neta
Shmuel Zaft Mishelzon……………Kiosk clerk
Shula Spiegel……………Neighbor
Amir Hallel……………Soldier
Yeor Asor……………Soldier

Special Guest Appearances by
Svika Pick……………as himself
Ze’ev Revach……………as Jack
Tchiya Danon……………as Sarah Hajbi

“The Holy Wigs”
Yuval Edelman – Ziona Patriot
Tal Kallai – Talula Bonet
Lior Cohen – Kiara Duple
Gil Naveh – Gallina Port des Bras

Dancers (female)
Shani Dekel
Shiran Lagziel
Maayan Tarabish
Tamar Ilnai
Marina Trametz

Dancers (male)
Erez Tzemach
Anton Lapidus
Amir Karlin
Tom Appelboim
Or Danon
Avichay Chacham
Ori Sabari
Dima Barchov
Adam Cohen

First Assistant Director
Shir Shoshani

Gaffer
Avi Satat

Key Grip
Eyal Tiano

Boom Operator
Oren Raviv

Script Supervisor
Edi Taparo

Script Coordinators
Uzi Weil
Dror Sabo

Second Assistant Director
Itai Mandel

Additional Casting by
Mira Shoval

Casting Assistant
Mor Shlomovitz

Set Dresser
Shimri Gal

Props Masters
Uri Rabin
Lisia Blechman

First Assistant Camera
Yuval Shahar

Second Assistant Camera
Yaniv Ben Shimon

Assistant Lighting Technicians
Dror Idan
Dror Zamir

Best Boy Grip
Yossi Lachmish

Makeup Assistants
Emily B.
Ofri Damas
Sarah Salem
Keren Ben Simchon
Ricki Albes

Assistant Costumer
Shauli Vaksberg

Hair Stylists
Itay Werner
9% Salon – Avner Malka
For Maya Dagan – Benjamin Roimi for VIEW
Amir Eliyahu

Wigs
Rivka Zahavi

Makeup
MAC Makeup Products

Post-Production Supervisor (DVD arrangement)
Libby Tishler

Opening Credits
Michal Wolf

Opening Credits – Animation
Arik Boaz

Production Office
Doron Ben Shitrit

Unit Production Manager
Boaz Veksler

Location Manager
Kfir Weiss

Property Manager
Itamar Moraz

Production Coordinator
Hagar Ginat

Production Coordinator Asst.
Gali Frenkel
Tuli Grad

Production Assistants
Enosh Shahaf
Sharon Viniger
Momo Raz
Omer Sadot
Hallel Yudekain
Ori Hayat
Itay Dror
Anouar Dalek
Nikolas Kitairgrodsky

Watergirl
Hila Adan

Office Manager
Shira Ziv

Secretary
Livia Levy

Additional Crew
1st Assist. Camera – Uri Montilya
Grip – Guy Ne’eman
Boom Operator – Yahav Shemesh
Lighting Assist. – Yana Mitnik
Lighting Assist. – Ofer Ben Yehuda
Costumer Assist. – Shuval Nahari

Lighting Equipment
Utopia

Camera Equipment
Broadcast
Micky Alfassi

Caterer
Rani Food

Transportation
“HaRakevet” Taxis
“Eldan”
“Hagar”

Security
Moked Gal

Editing Studios
Opus – Gil Mitrani
Amit Glitman
Dori Bashan

Online Editor
Yoav Raz

Editor Assistant
Adi Zamir

Sound Studios
D.B. Studios

Artist Representation
Perry Kafry
Zohar Yakovson
July
Look
Yitzug1 – Boaz Ben Zion
Solo
Hamon Hafakot
Take 2
Ayala Barak
Sharon Cohen
Reif Hameiri
Roni Arditi
Meir Kotler
Kneller Artist Representation

Bits and Extras
“C.U.”
Take 2
Yinnon Fogel – Stage Club

Video Art
Hadar Shnan

Vocals
Roni Alter

Musicians
Gilad Shmueli – Drums
Amir Rosiano – Bass
Yonatan Fridg – Guitar
Recordings – Yoav Shdema

Music Credits

“Mary Lou”

Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Machar Tizrach HaShemesh” (“The Sun’ll Rise Tomorrow”)

Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Yad b’Yad” (“Hand in Hand”)

Performed by Ofra Haza
Lyrics by Aloni Bezalel
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Uri Kariv

“Gabriel”

Lyrics by Carol Keren Shmuel
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Eldad Sharim

“Gabriel”

Lyrics by Carol Keren Shmuel
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Ahava Besof Hakaitz” (“Love in the End of the Summer”)

Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Az Ma” (“Then What”)

Performed by Margalit Tzan’ani
Lyrics by Asaf Lavi Tzan’ani
Music by Asaf Lavi Tzan’ani
Arranged by Asaf Lavi Tzan’ani

“Chalomot Mitgashmim” (“Sometimes Dreams Come True”)

Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Mesibat Yom Shishi” (“Friday Night Party”)

Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Lagur Ito” (“To Live with Him”)

Performed by Ricki Gal
Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Svika Pick

“Lagur Ito” (“To Live with Him”)

Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“HaRakdan Ha’Otomati” (“The Automated Dancer”)

Performed by Svika Pick
Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Svika Pick

“Diva”

Performed by Dana International
Lyrics by Yoav Ginai
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Svika Pick & Alon Levin

“Ne’esaf Tishrei” (“Tishrei Ended”)

Lyrics by Natan Yonatan
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Mesibat Yom Shishi” (“Friday Night Party”)

Performed by Svika Pick
Music by Mirit Shem Ur
Arranged by Svika Pick

“Beyn Ha’etzba’ot” (“Between Fingers”)

Performed by Ruti Navon
Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Eldad Sharim

“Halev” (“The Heart”)

Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Dimdumim” (“Twilight”)

Performed by Svika Pick
Lyrics by Mirit Shem Ur
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Nanssi Brandes

“Shir Hafreicha” (“The Bimbo Song”)

Lyrics by Assi Dayan
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Kchi Oti” (“Take Me”)

Performed by Yossi Banai
Lyrics by Yossi Banai
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Matti Caspi

“Sof” (“End”)

Lyrics by Assi Dayan
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Lo Ani” (“Not Me”)

Lyrics by Alexander Penn
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“Ani Lo Yichola Biladayich” (“I Can’t without You”)

Lyrics by Max Gat Mor
Music by Svika Pick
Arranged by Ivri Lider

“What Makes a Man a Man”

Original written and performed by Charles Aznavour “Comme ils dissent”
Written by Robin Pizer
Published by EMI United Partnership Ltd.
EMI Music Publishing Ltd.

“Mahu Gever Bishvilchem?” (“What Makes a Man a Man”)

Translated by Yuval Edelman & Dani Yair
Arranged by Ivri Lider

Film Materials
Mem.Yud. Ma’archot
The Kawaz Brothers
Solelot Varteh

Special Effects
Dima Osmolovsky
Pini Kloyer

Consultants & Insurance
Noa Bar Yosef Insurance

Legal Advising
Tony Greenman Attorneys at Law
Chagit Peled Esq.

Accountants
Gideon Baum
Gal Avisar
Shula Zafrir
Subtitles Production – Videofilm International 1988 Ltd.
Thanks to
Municipality of Tel Aviv – Events and Performances Division
Tal Shafir Avineta and Shevi Mizrahi
Gershon and Leah Nest – Kiryat Ono
Halfon Brothers Engineers
Beit Tzvi – School of Theatrical Arts
National Sport Center – Tel Aviv
Municipality of Kiryat Ono
Ganei Tikvah Local Council
The Israel Scouts – Ganei Tikvah Chapter
Kriza Shoes
Baby Malin Kiosk
Givat Ko’ah Cemetery
Savionim Mall
Avigdor Hassan
Mekorot – National Water Company
The Israel Scouts – Horesh Chapter – special thanks to Eran
Israel Nature and Parks Authority
Municipality of Tel Aviv – Beach Division – Yair Moher
Keshet Archives – “Kochav Nolad” (“A Star Is Born”)
Teddy Productions
Asaf Schuster
Amit Gitleson
Yael Aviv
Dalia Lider
Esti Zakheim
Omer Gershon, Sublet
Gal Eldajam & Eyal Silis, Assif Restaurant
Ayelet Menachmi
Yehoshua Simon
Itay Valdman
Dalit Ofer
Ofra Mizrahi
Benjy Cohen
Yarok Kafkafi
Rani Saar
Omer Tadmor
Dani Sirkin
Michel Kanes Esq.
“The Stage” Club
ZER4U
V.F. Israel
Hakol – Event Rentals
Col Bama
Chemitech – Advanced Medical Solutions
Dr. Dov Klein – Plastic Surgeon
Van Gogh Vodka
Arts Center – Kiryat Ono Community Center
Yarden Hirsch
Avgad Jewelry

Special thanks to
Anat Veyner
Sharon Ziv Beyman
Gal Uchovsky
Moshe and Pnina Edry
Yiftach, Yaheli, and Michael Klein
The Artzi Family
Yoram Levi
Itamar, Roy, Rona, and Gur Eden

Head of Original Programming Promotion – Tali Goren, Head of Channel 3 – Lior Gatreydeh

Original Programming Promotion – Roy Turjeman

Hila Shafir, Ron Vinberg, and Moran Shambar – Public Relations

Ilana Golan, Dana Baran, Rachel Nir – Marketing

Mark Fishlovitz, Nir Raz, Dani Dotan – Operations

Coordinator of Productions – Ruti Sharon

Cast Bios

Maya Dagan (Miriam):
A very prominent actress, comedian and TV host, Maya Dagan has a long list of credits in Israeli theater, film and television. She has acted many times on the stage of Beit Lessin Theater, where she performed in the musicals Chicago, Guys and Dolls, and Chekov’s Uncle Vanya. In 1995 she received the Israeli Theater Prize for promising actress of the year. Maya has appeared in many TV shows alongside Israelis biggest and most famous actors. In 2010 she was the Winner of the Israeli Academy Award for her role in Avi Nesher’s hit The Matchmaker.

Dana Frider (Shuli):
A dancer, model, and actress, Dana Frider was discovered on the Israeli version of So You Think You Can Dance and soon after became a popular model and TV actress. Dana began hosting children shows on the Israeli Nickelodeon Channel and later starred in the hit children’s TV show Pijamas. She has also appeared in popular Israeli soap operas such as ha-Alufa and Asfur. In the military Dana served as a choreographer for the Education and Youth Corps. As a model she has done several campaigns including Sketchers, TNT and Keif Body Wash. In the beginning of 2011 she was cast as a regular host for the Israeli Children’s Channel.

The Holy Wigs:
Ziona Patriot, Diva D, Talula Bonet and Kiara Duple, the leading drag entertainers in Israel, comprise the critically acclaimed troupe The Holy Wigs. Their show consists of a humorous and breathtaking review of comedy, Israeli pop, and Eurovision song contest hits, as well as impersonating the greatest Divas in contemporary music.

Alon Levi (Gabriel):
Alon Levi grew up in a kibbutz, served in an elite army unit and is an openly gay actor and model. He graduated the prestigious Nisan Nativ acting school in 2007 and since then has starred in several TV shows and theater plays. He is well known for his role in the Israeli science fiction cult show Hanefilim, where he played a teenager with super powers. In 2010 he appeared in Dover Kosashvili’s hit movie Infiltration. He also recently acted in the Israeli version of Spring Awakening at Beit Lessin Theater.

Svika Pick

A musical genius, the King, innovative, daring, different, hip, enigmatic, avant-garde, mysterious, sensual, sexy, monstrous, romantic, girls’ idol, the only real Rock n’ Roller in Israel—these are but a few of the titles and adjectives used by the media to describe Svika Pick throughout his career.

Svika Pick, the biggest and most glamorous name in the Israeli-Jewish world of music and entertainment of all times, a singer, composer and actor who has received more awards and titles than any other Israeli-Jewish artist. His thousands of performances, hundreds of songs, dozens of albums, his music and outrageous personal appearance, have reached record audiences and created new dimensions of excitement and hysteria seen in the world among superstars such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, the Beatles and other artists of this stature. Svika Pick has also won formal titles—17 awards as Singer of the Year, 7 awards as Composer of the Year, as well as Artist of all Artists and Artist of the Decade. His song “DIVA” won first prize at the Eurovision Song contest, was Number 1 on MTV and on charts throughout the world, as well as Song of the Year in many countries.

Svika (Henryk) Pick, born in Wroclaw Poland in 1951, comes from a long line of musicians, some of them well-known composers and musicians. When your grandfather is the director of the music conservatory and one of your uncles is a Professor of music it is difficult to “escape” your musical destiny. And indeed, it was already at the age of 5 that little Svika began his formal music studies, which, as an outstanding pupil, he completed with distinction. However, from the beginning, despite the classical music he studied, Svika had other music playing in his head—Pop and Rock.

Ido Rosenberg (Meir/Mary Lou):
A graduate of the Beit Zvi acting school in Tel Aviv, Ido Rosenberg has appeared in many major Israeli theaters. For Israel’s National Theater, he starred in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, and Antigone. In Beit Lessin Theater he starred in The History Boys. Playing Meir in Mary Lou was his first TV role and since then he has also lent his voice to many children’s movies.

Yedidia Vital (Uri – Miss Sunshine):
A graduate of the Nisan Nativ Acting school, Yedidia Vital began his career as early as his military service as part of the IDF theater. He is an actor and writer and has been in many TV shows, including the children’s hit Ha-Shminiya. He also wrote a weekly column about music for the Israeli news site Walla!.


Screenings

November 22, Florence, Italy
Florence Queer Festival
November 7, 2012 Leuven
Holebi Film Festival, Leuven, Belgium
September 22, 2012 Geneva
Everybody’s Perfect Film Festival, Geneva, Switzerland
July 14, 2012 Rochester
Rochester Jewish Film Festival, Rochester, U.S.A
March 17, 2012 Amersterdam
Roze Filmdagen (Amsterdam GLBT Film Festival) Amsterdam The Netherlands
March 11, 2012 San Francisco Bay Area
East Bay International Jewish Film Festival
March 11, 2012 Houston
Houston Jewish Film Festival Houston U.S.A.