Acclaimed filmmaker Quentin Tarantino made an attempt at using a Hebrew expression in a recent podcast appearance.
Tarantino, who married Israeli actress Daniella Pick in 2018 and splits his time between Los Angeles and Tel Aviv, was filling in on the 2 Bears, 1 Cave podcast with Tom Segura as a replacement for usual co-host Bret Kirschner.
During this, Tarantino made use of a Hebrew expression, "hafuk al hafuk," in his attempt at describing part of a thriller movie.
What did Quentin Tarantino say in Hebrew?
Over the course of their conversation, Segula and Tarantino two brought up thriller films.
As Tarantino explained, his wife doesn't like horror films but loves thrillers.
As the two discussed thrillers, Tarantino described how he was not a fan of the films of Alfred Hitchcock, who he said was held back by the Hayes Code, which restricted what was allowed in movies in the US from the 1930s until the late 1960s. However, he admitted that Hitchcock could be clever and sometimes use the Hayes Code's rules in interesting ways.
In particular, Tarantino expressed that one of his favorite Hitchcock endings was a compromise forced on him, but which he managed to subvert.
The film in question was the 1941 film Suspicion, starring Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine, which was an adaptation of the 1932 book Before the Fact.
The film has Fontaine's character and the audience believing that Grant's character is trying to kill her. And indeed, this was originally the case in the script. Hitchcock has been quoted in the past that he was forced to change the ending, in an attempt to be in line with the Hayes Code. However, the ending that happened instead had Grant's character seemingly proving that these were all unsubstantiated suspicions. However, the ending has been credited as coming off as ambiguous, raising suspicion of Grant's character's motivation, which in turn is in line with the film's whole theme of suspicions.
"There's an expression in Hebrew called 'hafuk al hafuk,' which means like a reverse on a reverse, and he kind of does a 'hafuk al hafuk," Tarantino said.
"There's an expression in Hebrew called 'hafuk al hafuk,' which means like a reverse on a reverse, and he kind of does a 'hafuk al hafuk,"Quentin Tarantino
The phrase in question is a real Hebrew phrase and roughly means that something is topsy-turvy and inverted, though Tarantino's pronunciation was far from perfect.
But perhaps his Hebrew-speaking Israeli wife Daniella helped him learn the expression. After all, as he said earlier, she is a fan of thrillers.