FILM WATCH THE MELTDOWN Five years after writer/director Judd Apatow introduced us to Pete and Debbie in Knocked Up, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprise their roles as a husband and wife approaching a milestone meltdown in This Is 40 , an unfiltered, comedic look inside the life of an American family. Written and directed by Apatow. With John Lithgow, Albert Brooks, Megan Fox, Melissa McCarthy and Iris and Maude Apatow.CELEBRATE A DECADE OF FRENCH CINEMA The 10th French Film Festival in Israel will run this year from March 9-19 at the cinematheques of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sderot, Rosh Pina, Holon and Herzliya.This year’s festival offers the best of con- temporary French cinema, and will be attended by some of France’s most acclaimed directors.For detailed schedule information and to buy tickets, check the websites of the participating cinematheques.FESTIVALS ESCAPE THE MAINSTREAM The annual A- Genre festival at Tmuna Theater in Tel Aviv takes place this week- end. A beacon to theater directors who want to try integrating dance into their work, clowns who dabble with video art and choreographers who want to take on pantomime, the festival in its fifth year focuses on the question of what is mainstream. More than 30 artists will perform throughout the three-day festival in a variety of spaces at Tmuna.Today through Saturday. For more information, visit www.tmu-na.org.il.GET INTO THE RHYTHM The Days of Flamenco festival opens next Thursday at the Suzanne Dellal Center with a Spanish premiere of The Same Skies .David Broza hosts Spain’s greatest flamenco artists, as well as many other local and international flamenco shows, the tradition- al competition for young flamenco dancers and a special show for children.March 14-16. For the full program and tick- ets, call (03) 510-5656.OPERA HAIL THE RUSSIAN SPIRIT Boris Gudonov , the Israeli Opera’s next production, will be conducted by Cana- dian Keri Lynn Wil- son, alternating with French conductor Frederic Chaslin. The performers include two choirs and 20 solo singers, with Fata Borchelada in the lead role. Adapt- ed from the play by Alexander Pushkin about the reign of the 16th-century tsar, Boris Gudonov is regarded as one of the masterpieces of the Russian operatic repertoire. Sung in Russian with Hebrew and English surtitles.March 13-29, The Opera – Arts Hall, 19 Shaul Hamelech Boulevard, Tel Aviv, (03) 692-777, www.israel-opera.co.il CROWN THE MISTRESS The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance is staging Claudio Monteverdi’s opera L’Incoronazione di Poppea (The Crowning of Poppea) as part of the Arts Festival. Roman Emperor Nero decides to banish his wife Ottavia and crown his mis- tress Poppea as empress. The story line was written for the Venice Carnival of 1643.March 15 at 1 p.m. and March 16 at 8:30 p.m. The Jerusalem Arts Festival at the Gerard Behar Center. Tickets NIS 40. Tel: 052-383-6601 ART BE INSPIRED BY CLAY Hilda Merom presents a new exhibition of clay works at the 8 in Jaffa ceramics gallery. The works present Merom’s unique technique, influenced mainly by various firing techniques of the Far East.March 14 – April 13 at 13 Rabbi Pinhas Street, Jaffa Flea Market, (03) 527-8488 4 LOOK AT THE FACES “Faces of Israel” is international photographer Karen Abramson’s premiere showing in Israel. Abramson traveled to all corners of Israel over the past five years, taking photos for her project: The exhibition focuses on the many diverse countenances and cultures that make up our country.Until April 6, Opera House, 19 Shaul Ham- elech Boulevard., Tel Aviv TUNE IN TO THE BLUES The Israeli ambas- sador of the blues, Ronnie Peterson, hosts a blues marathon with his band at the Read- ing club next Fri- day. Participating in the event will be blues singer Deitra Farr and guitarist Dave Specter, as well as local stars such as Dani Litani.March 15 at 10 p.m., Reading 3, Tel Aviv (*9066). March 16 at 9 p.m., Beit Abba Khoushy, Haifa, (04) 822-7850 PLAN A VISIT TO EILAT The acclaimed annual Eilat Chamber Music Festi- val will take place this year from April 28 to May 4. The festival hosts leading European solo musicians and ensem- bles. This year, the major attraction is Hollywood star John Malkovich, who will be bringing his musical drama Infernal Comedy – Confessions by a Serial Killer .For the complete program, visit eilat- festival.co.il.