Film

Partying Apart

by Joy Bernard | 28.03.16

Troubled by the sense of time slipping away from him, Partying Apart’s protagonist experiences a crisis in his late twenties.

He wakes up on the morning of the Purim holiday (the Jewish equivalent of Halloween) after dreaming a disturbing dream about Galit, a girl he last saw when they studied together at elementary school. Asaf joins his friend at a costume party, where he accidentally meets Galit there. Galit has dreams too. Will their dreams ever come together?

This intriguing film left us excited as well as overwhelmed by a sense of confusion and nostalgic deja-vu. We had a little talk with director Asaf Asulin to learn more.

Hi Asaf! We’re very excited to feature Parting Apart! Please introduce yourself to our Telavivians.

Asaf: “I was raised in Ra’anana, Israel. When I turned 10 years old I started taking an interest in cinema and tried to make films, it was pretty clear to me that this was the thing I wanted to deal with in life and that hasn’t changed since.
I gradually developed other hobbies such as music and poetry. I even published a poetry book in 2010 that was called “That Which Was Lost In Advance” (in Hebrew- מה שאבד מראש) and it was relatively successful, but it was still a one-time thing and I didn’t have enough motivation to continue publishing my poems.
These day I’m working on two different feature films. One is being developed by the Jerusalem International Film Lab.
Also, right now, Israeli singer Evyatar Banay is releasing a music video that I directed, which I’m really excited about. It’s been years since I directed music videos and the experience was so positive it made me want to go back to doing that. We’ll see, maybe that will actually happen.”

Tell us a bit about the making of the film.

Asaf: “I made Partying Apart in 2011, as my final project at the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in Jerusalem. It was a very challenging experience. I actually wrote a lot of scripts, and all of them had something to do with parties. One of them was about an apocalyptic, end of the world party. Another was about a man and a woman who for thirty years meet one another annually at the same Purim party and each time they’re dressed in different costumes. The casting was also super difficult, but I guess that the hardest part was actually writing the script.”

Why do you think that the writing was that challenging?

Asaf: “When you make a short film you know that it has to fit a certain framework, and once you feel like you have to make it compact and shorten and change things, it begins to be problematic. It also took forever to find my lead actor and eventually we cast Itamar Rothschild, who at that point never acted in his life and was a musician I knew and loved. We auditioned him for the role and something clicked, so I just decided to take a leap of faith.”

What is your message for the viewers? What kind of feeling did you want them to experience?

Asaf: “I’m not really good at conveying messages, and I also don’t really see the point of that. When I work on a film I mainly think about the experience that my viewers will go through. I see it as some kind of long tunnel that the viewers must pass through. I think that at the time I was making Partying Apart, and maybe even today as well, I was interested in exploring life’s personal, existential experiences through rather banal situations. At the time I was also very interested in time and its meaning.
Something about how evasive time is was fascinating to me and I wanted to bring my wonderment into the film. I think that my decision to place the plot in the future (the film takes place in 2016 but it was filmed in 2011) was also an attempt to address the subject of time.
And there you go- it’s strange how the film takes place in present time but after the initial screening in 2011 people who watched it told me that it feels a little futuristic. Funny how things work out that way… I did want to give the viewers an experience that is a little detached on the one hand and on the other hand, kind of familiar, like in a dream.”

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Watch ‘Partying Apart’ on Telavivian Cinema.

Telavivian Cinema is a project which will unveil work of cinematic art crafted by local directors.

From animation to drama to comedy, Telavivian short films will be streamed weekly and accompanied by our conversations with the their talented makers. Make sure you stay tuned for the screenings, as the films featured in the magazine will change on a weekly basis.

Telavivian Cinema is curated by Joy Bernard.

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