The Oscar-winner’s location shoot for “A Tale of Love and Darkness” is forging ahead in Jerusalem despite some blowback from the ultra-orthodox community.
Natalie Portman‘s directorial debut, A Tale of Love and Darkness, has encountered some blowback from local residents during its location shoot in Israel.
Earlier this week, ultra-Orthodox leaders in Jurusalem’s Nahlaot neighborhood filed a letter of complaint with the city’s deputy mayor in protest of the decision to allow the Hollywood crew to shoot there, while graffiti appeared in the neighborhood denouncing a “foreign invasion,” reportsTimes of Israel.
Portman’s first project as a director has been shooting in Israel since the start of February. An adaptation of Israeli novelistAmos Oz‘s celebrated memoir of the same name, A Tale of Love and Darkness chronicles Oz’s early childhood in Jerusalem during the chaotic late 1940s as the British Mandate for Palestine came to an end, along his memories of growing up during the early years of the Israeli state. Portman, 32, whose father is Israeli and mother American, was born in Jerusalem herself. She will also appear in the film, in the supporting role of Oz’s mother.
“The film shooting is set to take place on several sensitive streets close to synagogues and yeshivas, and the scenes being filmed should have been examined first to make sure they don’t offend anybody’s sensitivities,” the letter from residents to the municipality reads. They also complain that authorities didn’t inform them about the shoot, and should have consulted the community before giving Portman’s production free reign.
In response, the municipality promised residents that all of the actors involved in production would dress modestly while in the neighborhood, in accordance with local customs.
“There is a constant tension between the desire to celebrate diverse and interesting Jerusalem and the attempts by extremist groups to prevent this,” Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Rachel Azaria said. “The attraction of the city, its unique architecture and the efforts of the film and television industry will triumph.”
In a word of support for Portman, she added: “And the cinematic growth we’ve seen in Jerusalem in recent years will continue to flourish also tomorrow with Natalie Portman in Nahlaot.”
A Tale of Love and Darkness is produced by Portman’s own Handsomecharlie Films banner. The company received about $450,000 from the Jerusalem Development Authority to shoot the film in the capital.
Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman has decided to use her wealth to help those less fortunate.
The award-winning actress is donating clothes and money to Syrian refugees through an Israel based organization, Operation Human Warmth, meant to “aid noncombatant women and children in Syria” according to their website.
“When I heard about Operation Human Warmth I felt deeply moved and compelled to get involved,” Portman said in a statement.
“In the middle of a brutal winter, these children have no shelter and their lives are in serious jeopardy from the cold. I am proud to take part in an operation where Israeli youth of all backgrounds are taking action to help out those whom need it most.”
The initiative is being led by Israeli youth group Hanoar Haoved Vehalomed, educational group Dror-Israel, and humanitarian organization Israeli Flying Aid.
Portman and her husband, Benjamin Millipied, who is in the process of converting to Judaism, and their son Aleph, are living in Israel while she films her directorial debut, ‘A Tale of Love and Darkness.’
“When we see the situation in Syria right now, we feel compelled to act. We feel that this operation is an expression of the Israeli public’s willingness to help those who need it most,” Dror Israel international director Gilad Perry said.
He added that over 20,000 items have been donated thus far.
NATALIE PORTMAN has helped design a new luxury watch with RICHARD MILLE to benefit the Free the Children charity.
The diamond-and-white gold, spider-inspired timepiece was unveiled at the SIHH fair in Geneva, Switzerland this week (beg20Jan14).
Only 20 Tourbillon RM 19-01 Natalie Portman watches will be produced and all proceeds will benefit the organization, for which the Black Swan star is an ambassador.
Natalie was on the amazing cover of Maxwell Mexico Magazine for the December/January issue. Here below I got HQ scans from it, enjoy them!
Magazine Scans > 2013 Scans > Maxwell Mexico – December/January 2013-2014
SHE’S starred alongside many Hollywood hunks but Natalie Portman says she’d prefer to be cast next to an Australian man who knows how to be exactly that – a man.
The 32-year-old Oscar winning actor said unlike American men, Aussie blokes had a “manliness” about them but also a warmth and openness that make them so attractive to work with.
Portman, speaking in London after having just finished shooting the American western drama Jane Got a Gun alongside Sydney born Joel Edgerton, said her many trips to Australia, to film the Star Wars three-part prequel, also gave her an appreciation for Australians.
“I’ve worked so much in Australia, a lot, so I know, I just love them,” Portman said.
“This is a generalisation but in my experience working with Australian actors is just that they’re really open, warm, friendly and fun, don’t take things too seriously and are really good at what they do.
“And the masculinity I think is also part of the reason why we (Hollywood) import so many because there is a manliness to these guys that is lacking in a lot of American actors.”
Portman worked with Edgerton on Star Wars and also starred alongside Australian Eric Bana in The Other Boleyn Girl.
But she described Chris Hemsworth, whom she starred alongside in the Marvel Studio’s Thor movies, as the epitome of an Aussie.
“Chris is just the dearest, I have a really … it’s hard to explain,” she said.
“He’s astonishingly talented and beautiful and kind and smart and fun but he is just regular and you can just sit and talk to him. And he asks a question and can listen to the answer which is how things should be, but not how things often are.
“So he’s just a real person and a great family man, really professional, I don’t think you could find anyone to say anything negative about him. He is like that guy, he’s just great, super fun. I’d love to find something to do with him to work together (again).”
Portman has just moved to France with her son and French ballet dancer and choreographer and husband, Paris Opera Ballet director Benjamin Millepied.
Israeli documentarists Tomer and Barak Heymann are currently seeking funds to complete their film “Mr. Gaga,” about the acclaimed Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin. Their campaign was recently launched on Kickstarter, the funding website for creative projects. It contains an explanation of the project and features a short promotional video, including a contribution by Natalie Portman.
The award-winning Heymann brothers are offering donors a variety of rewards ? depending on the size of the donation ? such as being thanked in the credits, an exclusive DVD of the film, pictures and books, autographed posters and a private Gaga class with Naharin himself. ?(Gaga is a dance technique developed by Naharin.?)
The film’s genesis was seven years ago, when Tomer Heymann began accompanying Naharin while making an episode about him for the television series “Culture Heroes.” In the meantime, filming continued and the Heymann brothers accumulated considerable visual material about Naharin’s working methods, the Gaga technique and the choreographer’s private life.
The proposed documentary already has the support of Israel’s Channel 8 ?(akin to the Discovery Channel?), the New Fund for Cinema and TV, and other bodies. However, the Heymanns say they need additional funding to complete the project, in the hope of being able to release it in conjunction with the jubilee of Batsheva Dance Company next spring. They are seeking to raise $74,300 by January 4; as of November 25, 289 backers had pledged $28,111. Donations begin at $10.
The Jerusalem-born Portman was recruited for the project during a recent visit to Israel. She says in the video clip, “It’s very exciting that Ohad is allowing filmmakers into the studio for the first time. I’ve had the privilege of getting to sit in his studio and watch. And it’s [an] exhilarating and unique experience … Ohad is one of the great dance minds of our time.”
Natalie Portman attends the ‘Esprit Dior, Miss Dior’ Exhibition Opening at Grand Palais on November 12, 2013 in Paris, France.
Public Appereances > 2013 Events > ‘Esprit Dior, Miss Dior’ Exhibition Opening
Thanks so much to Helen for helping out.