Paul Newman

Changing Images Muddy Picture Of Zionism, Israel

For young American Jews, it’s a long way from ‘Exodus’ to the separation wall.

05/26/2010
Staff Writer

 In 1960, the film “Exodus” was nominated for three Academy Awards. Based on Leon Uris’ novel about the founding of Israel, it seems hard to believe that such a film, drenched in Jewish military heroism and suffused with Holocaust imagery and Arab aggression, could have such broad and unambiguous appeal. But it did. It not only won an Oscar, it also starred a Hollywood icon, Paul Newman, as the heroic Jewish fighter, and even made a commendable showing at Cannes.

But almost a half-century later, a very different film about Israel won an Oscar nomination. “Waltz With Bashir,” (2008) directed by the Israeli Ari Folman, put a spotlight on the massacres at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps during the first Lebanon War.  

Two images of Israel, two generations: “Exodus” and “Waltz with Bashir.”

Senta Berger Casts A Giant Shadow

Once upon a time, before Tel Aviv filmmakers invented the Israeli thumb-sucking depressive anti-war movie filmed in a cloud of cigarettes, being a liberal in Hollywood meant being more Zionist than the Stern Gang.

Olympic Musings…

08/22/2008
Special to the Jewish Week

As the summer Olympics in Beijing draw to a close, it seems like a good time to reflect on the goings-on of past few weeks.  The big news (other than the Herculean feats of Michael Phelps and others), as reported by the people who determine what makes the news, seems to be that people actually watched, and in record numbers.

Newman’s Own Image-Changing Role

10/03/2008
Staff Writer
‘Exodus” was not an easy sell in 1960. When director Otto Preminger decided to adapt Leon Uris’ best-selling novel about the founding of Israel into a feature-length film, he ran into heavy resistance in Hollywood’s major studios. Too Jewish, too controversial, they said.

Newman’s Own Image-Changing Role

09/29/2008
Staff Writer
‘Exodus” was not an easy sell in 1960. When director Otto Preminger decided to adapt Leon Uris’ best-selling novel about the founding of Israel into a feature-length film, he ran into heavy resistance in Hollywood’s major studios. Too Jewish, too controversial, they said. Then Paul Newman signed on.

Claiming Paul Newman

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Now that Paul Newman is gone, Jews obsessed with knowing whether celebrities are Jewish or not (which seems to account for everyone I’ve ever met), are notingwith pride that the legendary actor and gentleman considered himself one of the tribe.

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