Go-Go Boys: Inside Story of Cannon Films–Docu about Bickering Cousins Golan and Globus

Hilla Medalia’s documentary, The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films, concerns the two Israeli-born cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who in pursuit of success turned the financial and power structure of the film industry upside down, producing over 300 films.

In the process, they became the most forceul independent film company in the international arena of the 1980s and early 1990s.

World-premiering at the 2014 Cannes Film Fest, in the Cannes Classic section, the docu is instructive, providing information about the potential opportunities and limits in being truly independent entrepreneurs.

Cannes Fest–La Croisette–was the arena, the battle field, where they negotiated their deals and signed directors and actors, often on a napkin or piece of paper.

What they produced was a peculiar blend of high-brow art films (made by the likes of Godard) as well as commercially exploitation fare, actions films that starred Jean Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris.

Director Medlaia traces their modest origins in Israel, and how they rose to international dominance.  Golan began as a director whose Tel-Aviv based company produced some modest Israeli films in the 1960s and 1970s.  In contrast, Globus, was the business mind, possessing financial and administrative skills that helped boost their endeavors, especially after the commercial success of Lemon Popsicle in 1978.

Moving to Hollywood they made one turkey, the 1980 musical The Apple, which nearly destroyed them, but they pulled their courage and resources four years later with a musical, Breakin’, which captured the teen music zeitgeist.

Soon, they were producing films by A-list prestige directors, such as Robert Altman, Roman Polanski, Franco Zeffirelli, and Andrei Konchalovsky (brothe of Nikita Mikhalkov).  Meanwhile, they did not neglect the growing action market, on the big screen as well as direct-to-video cheap fare, starring Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson, and the Israeli actor Michael Dudikoff, who owes his entire career to the eccentric duo.

Up close and personal, the film examines the complex relationship between two contradictory personalities whose combined force fueled their success and eventual collapse.