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The new and old streaming series and movies available in Israel – Israel Culture

April 14, 20247 Mins Read

One of the most buzzed-about upcoming Israeli television series, Northern Storm, a drama about the legendary IDF Intelligence Corps Unit 8200, will begin streaming on Hot VOD and Next TV in mid-April, and on Hot 3 on Thursday nights starting on April 18.

The plot concerns an operative (Elisha Banai of Fullmoon and The Malevolent Bride) in the elite intelligence unit, who is racing to try to prevent a military disaster; his brother (Michael Aloni of Shtisel), a hi-tech entrepreneur who returns from abroad suddenly; and a female intelligence officer (Lucy Ayoub of Fauda), who is grappling with the consequences of a fatal error she made. It’s also reportedly about the consequences of overreliance on technology.

Given that it’s about military intelligence, it’s not surprising that no trailer has been released yet, but it’s certainly a series many viewers are looking forward to.

New and old shows and movies on Netflix and VOD

THE NEW Netflix series Ripley is the most faithful adaption ever done of Patricia Highsmith’s disturbing psychological thriller novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. It stars Andrew Scott, best known as the priest on Fleabag, who perfectly embodies the malevolence and narcissism at the heart of the character, a con man who is paid to go to Italy to track down a friend he barely knows.

Filmed beautifully in black and white, the series hearkens back to early Alfred Hitchcock films, which is no accident, because that master director adapted Highsmith’s novel Strangers on a Train for the screen.

JULIANNE MOORE and Nicholas Galitzine in ‘Mary & George.’ (credit: Next TV and Hot)

But for all her literary talent, Highsmith was a problematic person, with a turbulent personal life and, more significantly, a bottomless hatred for Jews. Her raging antisemitism caused ruptures in many of her friendships and romantic relationships, but she never backed down, and actually doubled down on it. Although Highsmith counted several Jewish women among her lovers, she spewed antisemitic hate in her diaries, in letters to world leaders (sometimes written under pseudonyms), and in social situations, causing acquaintances to comment that she often sounded like a Nazi, according to biographies.

This should not discourage anyone from enjoying Ripley, or from reading Highsmith’s books – she also wrote The Price of Salt, a groundbreaking lesbian romance that was adapted into the movie Carol, and several other Ripley novels – but it’s worth pondering the fact that someone so gifted could be so consumed with hatred.

If you want to compare the series to the 1999 movie adaptation of the novel directed by Anthony Minghella, The Talented Mr. Ripley, you can also catch that film on Netflix, as well as on Apple TV+. It wasn’t bad, but Matt Damon radiated charm and was too handsome and healthy-looking to be convincing in the role. However, it was the movie that made a star out of Jude Law, who played Dickie Greenleaf, the young man Ripley is supposed to bring back to New York. The movie has a great supporting cast, with Gwyneth Paltrow as Dickie’s girlfriend, Cate Blanchett as a young woman who falls head over heels for Ripley, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dickie’s old friend.

If you want to see a much earlier, moodier version of the book, you can stream Rene Clement’s 1960 adaptation, Purple Noon (aka Plein Soleil), on Apple TV+. It stars Alain Delon, who was so gorgeous he seemed like a special effect, as Ripley.

THE NEW series Mary & George, starring Julianne Moore and Nicholas Galitzine, plays like a combination of Galitzine’s big hit movie Red, White & Royal Blue, about a romance between a British prince and the son of the US president, The Other Boleyn Girl, and Game of Thrones. It is running on Hot HBO and starts on Yes TV Action on April 14 (and is also on these networks’ VOD platforms).

Based on the book The King’s Assassin: The Fatal Affair of George Villiers and James I by Benjamin Woolley, the series was inspired by the life of Mary Villiers, a commoner who lived in the late 1500s/early 1600s and married well. She used her second-born son, George, to help the family climb the social ladder by pushing him into a sexual relationship with King James I, who some believe was gay or bisexual. Mary (Moore) favors the handsome George above her firstborn, although he is not legally allowed to inherit any of her fortune.

While George is a timid soul who likes to play the recorder and is in love with one of the maids, Mary has bigger plans for him and sends him to France to learn to be a male courtesan, part of her scheme for him to become King James I’s lover.

If you’ve read this far, you already know if you want to see this series or not. It’s fast-paced and lively, with characters making anachronistic, 21st century-sounding quips, and features many graphic sex scenes.

Moore is a wonderful actress, even when she is plotting and hissing imperiously, like a Game of Thrones character, and Galitzine is appealing.

The series is aimed at the crowd that loves Bridgerton, the sexy Netflix series that takes place in a kind of fantasy 19th-century setting.

FILM BUFFS will be interested to know that, come April 16, Yes is adding two new channels for Yes+ customers at no extra charge, Yes+CINEMA and Yes+DIAMONDS. Yes+CINEMA is a kind of arthouse channel that features recent indie movies, as well as films from Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Many of the movies on this channel were just in theaters or were released in the past two years, including Celine Song’s Oscar-nominated Past Lives, the romantic tale of two Korean childhood sweethearts who meet again in New York after 20 years; Woody Allen’s French thriller, Coup de chance; the Dardenne brothers’ hard-hitting immigrant drama Tori and Lokita; Bong Joon Ho’s surprise Best Picture Oscar winner, Parasite, the first movie not in English to win that award; and Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s atmospheric Drive My Car, which won the 2022 Best International Feature Oscar. It also features older arthouse films, such as Pedro Almodovar’s Talk to Her.

Yes+DIAMONDS features popular classics, which often pop up already on Yes’s movie channels, but which will now be concentrated in one channel that will run all day. These include musicals and semi-musicals like Dirty Dancing, Grease, and Little Shop of Horrors, as well as such star-driven hits as Notting Hill, Scent of a Woman, and Good Will Hunting, the kind of movies that you will likely watch till the end if you come across them while channel surfing. There are also gangster classics, such as The Godfather series, Quentin Tarantino movies, including The Hateful Eight, and oldies such as The Third Man.

These channels come close to replacing the classic movie channels that disappeared long ago, such as TCM. Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime (which has added more titles recently) all have old movies and classics, but not enough for some of us. Apple TV+ has quite a few, but you have to pay separately for each, and it can become pricey.

In any case, there is something fun about coming across a movie you haven’t seen for a while. Many of us learned to love old movies by seeing them on TV, and these new channels give younger viewers the chance to experience that.

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