A documentary tribute to the legendary Israeli film production studio, Cannon and its owners Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus is one of the highlights of this year’s festival.
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The Go-Go Boys, a documentary on the often controversial, but always colorful cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus and the rise and fall of their production company, Cannon Films, is creating a lot of buzz at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Directed by Hilla Medalia, the docu-biography, shown under the category of the Cannes Classics premiere of the Hilla Medalia’s documentary, the Go-go Boys, charting the rise and fall of their infamous indie studio the Cannon Group, will be running from the 14th to 25th May, so far to favorable critical approval
Ms. Medalia’s documentary, “The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films, ” to give it its full title, tells the story of Menahem Golan and Yorum Globus and their remarkable rise to the top during the early eighties.
At their peak, the cousins made for a remarkable duo, with Golan a no nonsense filmmaker and Globus is handling the financial aspects. Initially a winning combination, which, as the documentary shows, was powered by the incredibly close yet often volatile connection between the cousins. ,
By the mid eighties, Cannon Films were a production line of low budget, high action movies, producing more than forty a year, based on a maximum budget from the outset of just $5 million, gradually rising to $15 to $20 million a movie, as they succeeded in persuading some of Hollywood’s highest profile stars, such as Sylvester Stallone, Charles Bronson, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme to appear in some of their movies, which went on to become major box office successes.
However, as dramatic as their rise to the top was, their downfall was even faster, generally credited to Cannon’s incredible appetite for producing films, with quantity having long since taken over from any form of quality.
One of the most poignant scenes in The Go-Go Boys is when the famously emotional Golan, now in his Eighties and in bad health, tearfully discussing the fall out with Globus, his partner and cousin, something which had steadfastly refused to do for more than a quarter of a century.
Golan and Globus were both present at the premiere of the Go-Go boys in Cannes screening Friday night, although it was obvious to everyone present that the special it’s relationship that the pair had enjoyed for many years and had propelled them to the top is now damaged beyond repair.
Yariv Horowitz, who produced the film together with Roy Lev, in a recent interview stated that Go-Go boys being included in the Cannes Classics category is not just a huge honor for the Israeli cinema in general, but for Menahem Globus and Yoram Golan in particular, as they undoubtedly deserve a place of honor in the hall of fame of world cinema, especially in regards to the model that they created for funding independent films, which had a lasting effect on the entire industry.
Yoram Globus and Menachem Golan first began to shake up the Hollywood film industry, when they almost totally uprooted their Israel operation to move to Los Angeles in 1979. Their first step was to take up the reins at Cannon Group Inc., at that a little known and under achieving independent film studio.
Thanks to a mixture of incredible dynamism, lots of “ Chutzpah, considerable talent and business acumen, Golan Globus, or the Go Go Boys as they soon became known, succeeded in parlaying their success formula in Israel to a much higher level in the pressure cooker of Hollywood. Within just a few years Golan and Globus generated tremendous growth Cannon, leading them to become the largest independent production company in the industry, going on to further capitalize on their success by creating their own distribution network, covering most of the United States as well as a having a reasonably sized footprint in Europe.
At their peak Cannon were producing an average of 45 movies annually and owned no less than 1, 600 movie theaters.
However, towards the end of the Eighties, the cracks were beginning to show for Cannon, coming they ran up a succession of box bombs that placed considerable restrictions on the group’s financial stability. Salvation came in the form of a well-timed takeover by Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti, which also signalled, at least temporarily, an amicable end of the Go Go partnership, although the cousins had the occasion to meet often, usually in offices of the US Tax Authorities who instigated a long running investigation on their company’s intricate business activities.