חזרה לתוצאות החיפוש

(85)2a: Natan Axelrod was born in 1905 in Poltava, White Russia. His last job was as a photographer and he studied in the evenings. He immigrated to Palestine in 1926 as a member of Hechalutz. He was one of the yishuv's pioneer filmmakers. Together with Yerushalayim Segal, he opened a film laboratory in Tel Aviv where they made short promotion films. In 1927 the first newsreels were screened in cinemas. Axelrod's first success was the screening of a 20 minute film called "Vayehi bimei" directed by Chaim Halachmi directed. In 1932/3 he and Halachmi produced a full length film "Oded hanoded" with money received from a Jewish investor. The film was screened all over the country and brought an income of 1,200 Israeli pounds. Meanwhile his place of work had been connected to the electricity net, and he completed work on the lab with the help of Arye Rabinowitz, now engineer with the Haifa Electric Company. In 1935 Axelrod produced his first spoken film in the Carmel News series. Until 1935 only one copy was made of each newsreel, which was transferred from one cinema to another. From 1936, 5 copies were made. ; Yerushalayim Segal subtitled the silent films. The French subtitles were projected at the side of the film. After the success of "Oded hanoded", seven film companies started work. Emanuel Harussi wrote scripts until 1953/4, the first of which was for the successful documentary film "Behitnadev Am". Axelrod's friends and other non-professional persons served as actors, and some of them later studied with him and became photographers. Axelrod explains how he cinematographed. With the outbreak of the riots in 1936 and the nightly curfew imposed by the British, cinemas remained empty, Axelrod got no new orders and had to struggle with the many financial commitments he had undertaken. Davidon, who owned some cinemas in Haifa, asked him to dub Yiddish and other films into Hebrew. Some were dubbed in his lab but others had to be sent to the USA. In 1930 Axelrod's partner was contacted by a group of film-makers from Universal Films and asked to cooperate in making a film on the Near East. Axelrod worked with them as photographer and was appointed Universal Films' representative in Palestine. Axelrod had many connections with film-makers abroad, for instance Paramount of England, which used his footage in an anti-Zionist film which caused the end of this relationship. He then was involved with the production of Dream of my people (Halom Ami), a film about the cantor Yossele Rosenblatt who died of a heart attack on the last day of filming. During the WWII, there was no raw material available and therefore no filming. ; The Mandatory authorities ordered for the British Foreign Office a film in Arabic on growing olives, after which they ordered another 5 educational Arabic films. Israel's national institutions JNF and Keren Hayesod employed filmmakers from abroad. But the Revisionist party, by order of Zeev Jabotinsky himself, ordered a film about Betar, which was quite successful and caused the son-in-law of the film critic of the Frankfurter Zeitung to propose to Axelrod that he make films to be distributed abroad by him and his father-in-law against a generous investment for the upgrading of Axelrod's lab. Axelrod however did not agree to the financial conditions of the proposed contract. ; (85)2b: Axelrod's first productions in Israel were short silent promotion films with French texts screened at the side of the film. They were distributed in Cairo, Alexandria and Beirut. At the same time he started his newsreels. He was helped by Yerushalayim Segal. His second news film - on the Purim adloyada (15 minutes) - was screened in Tel Aviv and was a great success. Segal reached agreements with several Tel Aviv cinema owners to screen Axelrod's weekly newsreels. Axelrod also made some documentaries. He describes in detail his attempts to sell the newsreels to cinema owners in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and reached agreements, though against unreasonable payment. He was left with heavy debts after he purchased a projector in Germany in 1936. In 1935 he took as partners two brothers-in-law who had arrived from Brazil and taught them how to photograph. His relationship with the British censorship were correct but cold, and there were several subjects which he was not allowed to touch, especially during the riots, in order not to antagonize the Jews. The secretary of the censor, a certain Mr. Simon who later joined the BBC, helped him. ; Axelrod kept the outtakes of the newsreels. Whenever there was bloodshed, foreign photographers were there to report. During quiet times, he was the only phographer working. Once he saw footage of his being used by the British and given an anti-Israel slant. They did not return the footage requested by Axelrod, and he sent no additional material. He also had great difficulties with the political parties and national institutions in Israel: they accused him of being influenced by their respective rivals, which was not true. In 1938/9 he made several fims ordered by JNF or Keren Hayesod for which he got very little payment. At that time he used music by Vilenski. Yaakov Zur of JNF helped Axelrod a lot, but he also ordered films from foreign producers which would have sufficed to improve Axelrod's lab and buy a projector. On Black Saturday he got to Giv'at Chayim, where the British had searched for illegal weapons and where a battle was going on with members of the kibbutz. He did not include the footage shot there in his newsreels but it is being kept as historic material. He attended several Zionist Congresses in Switzerland and shot footage, only made outside as he had no equipment for lighting and adding sound. The Swiss Jewish community asked him to produce news films for them, but because of the approaching World War, the deal fell through. But Axelrod did sometimes get payment from individuals or companies filmed in the news films. He never consented to use propaganda in his films. Such material was included later, when he entered into partnership with the Herzliya Studios in 1957/8. ; He had friendly relations with David Remez, who showed much interest in the films, and with Golda Meir who suggested subjects for one-hour films which she sent to America. This was before the establishment of the State of Israel. Ya'akov Zur whom he consulted often arranged for Axelrod to regularly make films against payment which would allow him to purchase equipment for his lab. But after the UN decision in 1947 Zur decided to employ Norman Lurie instead. He talks about good cooperation with somebody at the Ministry of Interior and his assistant Goldstein. The Foreign Office worked with Lurie who filmed for the foreign press, and there was always trouble between the teams and with the official newly appointed in the Ministry of the Interior. The Prime Minister's office started making its own news films with Geva Laboratories. Beba Idelson asked Axelrod to film all the girls' farms. Some of the material was included in the news films, some was sent abroad. Several important persons sought his advice and and asked him to film specific subjects they were interested in. The Histadrut ordered a film; it was severely criticized and changes were demanded. This procedure repeated itself four times, when new persons wanted additions and deletions which their former colleagues had criticized. ; Margot Klausner was then building Herzliya Studios but she had no work for her employees. So she offered Axelrod to enter into partnership with her. He, too, at that time was "upgrading" his lab located in a wooden barrack. In 1957 they made their first film, and in 1958 they stopped, because of financial difficulties caused by mismanagement by Klausner's team. He came to a compromise with her, she paid in instalments, and the news films remained with Axelrod.

כותר Cultural Life in Eretz Israel (Cinema, Opera, Ballet).
כותרים נוספים חיי תרבות בא"י-קולנוע, אופרה, בלט, מוסיקה
מחברים/ יוצרים נוספים Cohen, Eli OHD (interviewer)
שנה August 1975
הערות המדור לתיעוד בעל פה של מכון המחקר ליהדות זמננו ע"ש אברהם הרמן באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים
תיאור 40 p.
שפה עברית
מספר מערכת 990044204540205171

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המדור לתיעוד בעל פה של מכון המחקר ליהדות זמננו ע"ש אברהם הרמן באוניברסיטה העברית בירושלים

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