A colorful extreme display of the Israeli director. Matana MiShamayim (gift from heaven) is quite different from Kosashvili's "Late Marriage". The primitive traditional family values (Georgian in this case) are brought here some steps beyond to present a comic macabre reality. Women, for example, are portrayed in the film as objects to be used in the patriarchal chauvinistic society they live in. They are kidnapped, threatened, locked in a closet and often molested in order to channel shame on their husbands (countless knickers are pulled down revealing genitalia in public). On the other hand, they are always the center of attention, encompassing every aspect of desire men have, thus they can control and manipulated men, but only to a certain extent - the head of the family (played by the amazing actor Mony Moshonov). Actors are doing a great job under Kosashvili's direction, and one can find similarities between him and Kusturica. The weakest part of the film is in the script, which fluctuates from brilliance to embarrassment. The bottom line, I warmly recommend.
This entertaining CD takes its name from a cantata, which forms one part of this recital devoted to the music of Georg Benda (1722-95), one of a distinguished family of Bohemian musicians who settled in Berlin in the 18th century and became part of the German enlightenment. Georg became Kapellmeister at Gotha in 1750 and gained widespread approval for his compositions and for his skill as a violinist, oboist and keyboard player. Mozart admired Benda’s music and carried two of his melodramas with him on his travels. Hyperion have put together a pretty record containing piano pieces (played here expertly on the fortepiano by Timothy Roberts), lieder and the above cantata for soprano or tenor by two of our best ‘chamber singers’ (which does not mean that they do not sing other genres, only that they excel in this kind of intimate sphere). It might be a good idea not to play the whole hour of music at one go but (say) to have half before dinner and half afterwards.