Set in Tel Aviv, this chilling 1995 feature inaugurated the “cities” trilogy of Israeli director Amos Gitai (Day After Day and Kadosh take place in Haifa and Jerusalem respectively). Based on a contemporary Hebrew novel by Yaakov Shabtai, the film concerns three friends who lead seemingly pointless lives: Caesar, an obsessive womanizer, proposes marriage to two different women; his roommate, Israel, practices Bach on the piano but has no apparent career; and Goldman, whose father has just died, lives a passive and introverted life with his mother. In other films Gitai uses long takes to connect the characters with their social context, yet here they serve to heighten the characters' isolation. Shown in extreme close-ups or shadowy silhouettes, sometimes obscured by gravestones, they seem incomplete and powerless in this secularized society, unsure what to do with their freedom. 110 min.