If I said to you "Want to go to Jerusalem?" your first reaction probably wouldn't be: "What movies are playing there?" but that's the way my diseased mind works. So I did a little surfing and found the site for the Jerusalem Cinematheque. They show up to five different films every day, and the programs are fascinating. For example, on Monday, August 20, they're screening Because I Said So (Diane Keaton today), Looking for Mr. Goodbar (Diane Keaton in the '70s), Odette Toulemonde (a recent comedy from France/Belgium) and Le Process de Jeanne D'Arc (Robert Bresson's 1962 version). Next Friday they're showing the latest Pirates of the Caribbean, two by David Fincher (Zodiac and Se7en) and the 1938 Pygmalion. Other titles this month include lesser-seen films by Samuel Fuller, Peter Bogdanovich and Clint Eastwood, plus a good selection from France and India.

As far as mainstream movies go, you can rest assured that Israelis are also subjected to the likes of Rush Hour 3, Bratz: The Movie and No Reservations. (They're even showing Evan Almighty.) But there are also Israeli titles like The Secrets ("two women discover their own voices in a repressive orthodox culture"), Beaufort (tense months for young soldiers just before Israel pulled out of Lebanon), Noodle (Mili Avatal (pictured) as a widowed flight attendant dealing with an abandoned Chinese boy), Stefan Braun (a very personal doc in which a man grieves for his lost love), News From Home (Amos Gitai's doc about memory and identity) and Jellyfish (an acclaimed drama about three women in Tel Aviv).

Beyond that generous assortment to choose from, a number of independent foreign films are playing. Some have already opened in the US (La Vie en Rose, The Boss of It All, The Golden Door, Private Fears in Public Places, After the Wedding, Sunflower ), while others have not (Irina Palm, Hunting and Gathering). Overall, I'd have to say that Jerusalem has an enviable variety of films playing.