April 27, 2021
Director Boaz Yakin explores through dance the male and female aspects of his central characters, each played by both a man and a woman
Aviva review – an experimental study of  love, sex and gender
Watch the first 60 seconds of this experimental feature from Israeli-American director Boaz Yakin – it’s a love story with plenty of sex and expressionist dancing – and you’ll get a taste of the bizarreness to come. A naked woman sits on a bed and explains to camera that she’s acting in the film. Her name is Bobbi Jene Smith and she’s a dancer and choreographer by trade, not an Actor. But given the dancing required by the script, she says, the film-makers have hired dancers to do the acting. Oh, and she’s playing a man.
This is not the last time director Yakin takes a sledgehammer to the fourth wall, and his deeply personal film is deeply exasperating at times, a bit indulgent and at least 20 minutes too long. It’s tells a timeworn tale of a man and woman falling in love only to be confronted with the harsh reality of living together. The woman is Aviva (Zina Zinchenko), a fierce and emotional video artist from Paris. The guy is American, Eden (Tyler Phillips), and their romance begins over email. The scene where the two meet in person is gorgeous: long tracking shots of both dancing through their cities towards each other. The pair’s athleticism and the emotional fluency of their bodies is exhilarating and beautiful.
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