By Joshua Z Weinstein & Menashe Lustig
Before our film Menashe premiered at Sundance, actor Menashe Lustig had never been inside a movie theater.
He had never seen the films that inspired me as a director: the classics of Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and New Hollywood. Before Menashe has a chance to catch himself up on cinema, I decided to share some of my favorite A24 posters with him. For someone who has no reference to cinema, what do these iconic images say? Here are highlights from our conversation.
The picture looks like someone who sings from his heart. He is ready to sing a deep deep song from his heart. I have a slogan, “A sigh is not a pleasure, but sometimes it is the only pleasure you can have.” The only pleasure this guy has is to sing this song. That is the only pleasure he has.
I can’t match the title with the picture. It reminds me of a quote when I went to a cemetery in Poland, “Sun and the moon how can you shine when 10,000 people get slaughtered in cold blood. Why do you shine? ” This man doesn’t want to look at the light.
Something childish. I don’t know. What we call kinderwelt, the world of children. There is a saying in Yiddish, “Small children have small problems, big people have big problems.”
I like rain and dark, I like water, I like the color, I like it dim on the face. The winter. The Breslov believe in isolation and meditation. It could be a good thing, but it starts with a bad thing.
Sounds like somebody has a kind of imagination, like he is paranoid and afraid of something. We say when you don’t want to see a crucifix then you see it everywhere. When you are afraid of ghosts you will find them everywhere. In the toilet, in the dark room, the ghost will find you. A little bit like Harry Potter.
I really don’t know what he is doing. The guy does not pose normal here. His eyes are very fake. His staring is very fake. His hands are not the same expression as his eyes. It looks like he is holding a person, but why is he is looking away very cold?
How do you call the place for lots of kids? Disney World. He wants to be in a world of magic with lights, everything is in lights. The green liquid is reality, and he comes out of reality into the new world. This guy’s face looks like Maimonides (a famous rabbi).
I like goats. I had a pet, a small goat. See, when I look at a goat I see it different. It is very simple, like people believe evil is a kind of animal. Recently on YouTube I saw sheep going wild and kick someone. Or children who get chased and attacked by ducks, and the duck hits them with their wings.