This week’s two comical shorts include one from a pair of actor-directors whose Breaking the Fast screens at this year’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. YidLife Crisis is a new web series with a comic perspective on contemporary Jewish life. The series features four raucous, five-minute episodes written and performed by Montreal-born Eli Batalion (as Chaimie) and Jamie Elman (as Laizer). As a recent piece in Jewcy explains, “Each vignette follows the two thirty-somethings as they grapple with their secular Jewish identity, revel in iconic Montreal restaurants, and extol the virtues of schmaltz (an absolute must, when it comes to smoked meat). This would be sufficiently wonderful on its own, but Batalion and Elman deliver something even better: the series is performed almost entirely in Yiddish.”
Chaimie tries to get Leizer out of his Maccabean shell by proving the virtues of Hellenistic culture and the power of a pita.
Dani Levy’s Joshua screened at an earlier incarnation of the SFJFF, and is part of Deutschland 09: 13 kurze Filme zur Lage der Nation, an omnibus from 2009 in which German directors (including Fatih Akin, Wolfgang Becker, and Tom Tykwer) explore the state of the country. Screen Daily acclaimed Levy’s short, “in which the director (playing himself) is prescribed a course of pills to cure his pessimism about Germany,” as the highlight amongst the film’s 13 entries. Going by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent TV appearance, such a course might not be so far-fetched.