Film

Riding ‘Beasts’ To Hollywood Acclaim

07/31/2012
Editor And Publisher

Dan Janvey, a 28-year-old New Yorker and producer of the film sensation of the summer, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” was part of a team that spent three and a half years making the movie in southern Louisiana for less than $1.5 million, astoundingly low in today’s world of movie making. What’s more, it stars two people with no professional acting experience – a captivating five-year-old girl and, playing her father, a local Louisiana baker who had to be persuaded to take the role.

Dan Janvey’s “Beast of the Southern Wild” is a paean to the charms of southern Louisiana.

New Yorkers Producing Film On Israel’s Six-Day War Victory

12/20/2011

The Six-Day War in 1967 was a brilliant military victory, a turning point in Israel’s history. Similar glory by Americans on the battlefield no doubt would have led to the production of a half-dozen films with John Wayne single-handedly wiping out the Arab armies.

Yet the Israeli film industry has never made a feature on the ‘67 war. Now two American producers are coming forward to remedy the omission.

Israeli soldiers at the Western Wall at the end of the Six-Day War, in what has become an iconic photograph. Getty Images

Film Recalls Controversy Over U.S. Jews’ Inaction During WWII

12/09/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Pierre Sauvage has focused as a filmmaker on Jewish subjects.  He owes his life to the good people of Le Chambon, France, who saved him as a child, along with many others, during the Holocaust.  His 1989 film, Weapons of the Spirit, documents their story. 

The Nazis and Spielberg: The Coming Storm

Nothing quite gets the public going like a Spielberg movie.  Even if you hate his movies (not that I do), it's hard to avoid the excitement they engender. Especially come Christmas.  This year, Spielberg's big holiday release, you may have heard, is "The Adventures of Tintin," an animated 3D film about the legendary children's book.  And this year, I'm predicting a minor controversy about it.

Lawsuit Claims Film 'Drive' Is Anti-Semitic

10/11/2011

 A Michigan woman has filed a lawsuit over the film "Drive," charging that the trailer was misleading and that the movie is anti-Semitic.

A Down Syndrome Jewish Actor’s Breakout Role

In ‘Girlfriend,’ a film directed by high school buddy Justin Lerner, Evan Sneider plays a character much like himself.

07/12/2011
Staff Writer

Three years ago, when Justin Lerner decided to give his friend, Evan Sneider, an actor with Down syndrome, a small role in his master’s thesis film, he did not know Sneider would eventually become critical to the launch of his own career.

In the new indie film "Girlfriend," Evan Sneider, below right, plays an actor loosely based on himself.

Finding Israel’s Soul At The Movies

Ma’aleh film school explores, embraces Orthodox-Zionist live

07/12/2011
Associate Editor

Many Jewish artists pride themselves on having empathy for the “the other,” even — especially – for Palestinians.

For example, “Miral,” a film released earlier this year, shows a Palestinian girl living under an Israeli occupation depicted as absolutely brutal. The director, Julian Schnabel, a Jew, was quoted as saying that he had “a personal Jewish responsibility” to make such a film, which was distributed by Harvey Weinstein, who’s Jewish, too.

Scenes from Ma’aleh films, “A Shabbos Mother” (top), and “Newspapers & Flowers.” Ma’aleh films love their Jewish characters.

Sholem Aleichem And Modern Jewish Identity

‘Arguing the World’ director Joseph Dorman turns his lens on the great Yiddish writer.

07/05/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Joseph Dorman has a confession to make.

“I love compulsive talkers,” he says, laughing. “I’m very interested in talk.”

A French Jewish-Muslim Romance

Satisfying and poignant, ‘The Names of Love’ rises above the constraints of its genre.

06/21/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

The original French title of the new comedy “The Names of Love,” which opens on June 24, was “Le Nom des Gens.” That loosely translates as “the name of people” and, for a film that is very much about the nature of identity and self-definition, it is a more apt title. On the other hand, since the film is a sweet-natured romantic comedy, maybe things are best left as they are.

Director Michel Leclerc, top right, showcases the love story of Baya and Arthur.

‘Bride Flight’ Rocked By Turbulence

With too many competing storylines, film is weighed down by excess baggage

06/07/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

 Art is here: http://www.musicboxfilms.com/bride-flight#stills

Marjorie (Elise Schaap) and Hans (Mattijn Hartemink) in "Bride Flight."
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