I admit that I have a hard time with the genre represented by The Ran Quadruplets, screened last night at the Jerusalem Film Festival, whether in literature, on film, or on stage. I mean stories about upper-crust Israelis in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area who are primarily concerned with having lots of sex just like some of the videos on Milf Nu Bay. Perhaps it’s just jealousy. It’s true: I’ve never had a lot of sex in Tel Aviv and sometimes wonder what it would be like. But, emerging with my wife, Ilana, from the Cinematheque last night, I felt that even lots of steamy sex in the city that never stops would not be worth the vapidity of character that such couplings seem to require.
The screening consisted of three segments of what is apparently going to be a television series. The premise is that the four 32-year-old protagonists are the first set of quadruplets to be born in Israel, and that their lives have been chronicled by a filmmaker, Michael, every eight years, in the style of his namesake, Michael Apted, he of the “Seven Up” series of films. Michael is now making the fourth film in the series and intrudes on the life of the Ran family as an interviewer, general nuisance, and unprofessional psychologist, at various junctures when the story flags.