Back to IndieWire

Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #23: Blending Genre Lines With Navot Papushado & Aharon Keshales of ‘Big Bad Wolves’

Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #23: Blending Genre Lines With Navot Papushado & Aharon Keshales of 'Big Bad Wolves'

Aharon Keshales was a film critic and lecturer at Tel Aviv University when a student of his, Navot Papushado, came to him and asked him a life-changing question: “If you know so much about films and film-making, why don’t you make one yourself?” A year later he was standing with Navot, his co-editor/writer/director, on the set of their first feature “Rabies.” “Rabies” was Israel’s first horror film and it was huge success at the 2011 edition of Tribeca Film Festival. The pair now return to bring us “Big Bad Wolves.”

What it’s about: A series of brutal murders puts the lives of three men on a collision course: The father of the latest victim now out for revenge, a vigilante police detective operating outside the boundaries of law, and the main suspect in the killings – a religious studies teacher arrested and released due to a police blunder.

What else should audiences know?: “We are die hard fans of Korean films. The way they play with multiple genres in the same movie is just mind blowing. Our new film, “Big Bad Wolves” is also a genre blender. A twisted fairy tale with lots of allusions to other famous fairy tales. It’s a mashup between a vigilante-cop movie, a Korean Revenge film, a Kidnap thriller, a serial killer flick, a torture-porn and pure comedy. The best way to describe it is the following: What if Dirty Harry got mixed up in a Korean Revenge Thriller written by the Brothers Grimm?”

On the challenges: “Big Bad Wolves” is a character driven piece and it plays with three different tones -drama, comedy and terror- sometimes even in the same scene. Your actors need to be spot on with their reactions and their performances, because you have nowhere to hide as a director. This is not a CGI adventure-ride or a mind-numbing gore fest. Luckily we got to work with four of the best actors living in Israel: Lior Ashkenazi of “Footnote”, “Walk on Water” and “Rabies”; Tzahi Grad of “The Flood”, Rotem Keinan of “The Exchange” and veteran comedian, Dov Glickman.”  

Films that inspired them: “From Korea: “Oldboy”, “Chaser”, “Memories of Murder” and especially “I Saw The Devil”. From the US: “Inglourious Basterds”, “Blood Simple”, “Fargo”, “Seven”, “Zodiac” and the classics “Vertigo” and “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”. From Italy: “The Good, the bad and the ugly”.

On Tarantino’s “Inglorious Bastards”: When we saw Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds”, which we really-really loved, we thought a lot about the last words of Shoshana: “This is the face of Jewish Revenge!”.  Well, it’s almost the face of Jewish revenge. Shoshana’s Jewish revenge was missing one important layer: an active guilty concious. A true understanding of her descent into vindictive madness. From our perspective, the face of a Jewish avenger is of one who knows his doing something wrong in his quest for poetic justice, but nonetheless he continues to do so. How does he silence his conscious? By remembering the past. By using his own haunted history as an origination story. 

What’s next: “An Israeli Spaghetti Western set during the British Occupation of Palestine.”

Indiewire invited Tribeca
Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired
them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be
publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.

Keep checking HERE every
day up to the launch of the festival on April 17 for the latest profiles.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Festivals and tagged ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox