“The Go Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films” will enjoy its West Coast Premiere at the 28th Israel Film Festival, at the Writers Guild, Thurs. Oct.30th. Directed by Hilla Medalia (Dancing with Jaffa), and written by Hilla Medalia and Daniel Sivan, this film tells the story of two passionate Israeli filmmakers in pursuit of fame, fortune, and glory days in Hollywood. These two determined men, with drive, ambition, and positive thinking were a force to be reckoned with, throughout their career, producing over 300 films and building an empire known as Cannon Films. In speaking with Medalia, over the phone in Israel, she stated, “It took over 3 1/2 years to make this film… what’s most special about it is how it focuses on the relationship between Yoram and Menahem, through thick and thin, both personal and professional.” It is a human interest sort of documentary, not just about the film industry per se, but shows how their at times volatile business partnership was more like a marriage, and when it dissolved, quite like a divorce. Their story is compelling- a dream to make it big in Hollywood, beyond their greatest expectations. Each of these individuals was a unique character/personality, both colorful and humorous.
One cannot but compare them to the highly successful Weinstein brothers. Parallels include that the Weinsteins also started their early careers with exploitation films, ever seeking meaningful content and big name stars. Celebs who make cameo appearances in the Go Go Boys include Sylvester Stallone, Charles Bronson, and Chuck Norris. What probably was Golan’s greatest asset in overcoming major difficulties, challenges, and obstacles, as portrayed in the film, was his very positive outlook and optimistic attitude. Despite financial failures and movie flops, he forever stayed positive, always looking at the bright side. When asked, “what’s your favorite film,? he would always respond ‘the next one.'”
With the recent passing of Menahem Golan in August, the story of the Go-Go Boys is ever more bittersweet. The film beautifully portrays the hype, the crash, the split between the two. States Medalia, “It was great to learn from people in the industry, as a filmmaker. The story is not just a film about filmmaking, but a universal story about a relationship and pursuing your dreams.”
The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films, at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 30 at The Writers Guild Theater, 135 S Doheny Dr.