The Aftermath Of Adolescence

Two ‘New Directors/New Films’ works, one French, the other Palestinian, focus on young adults.
Special To The Jewish Week

No amount of thoughtful planning can trump the serendipity of chance. Consider this juxtaposition: Last week, two Jewish-related films opened in New York that dealt with children under pressure. This week, the 40th annual New Directors/New Films event opens and among the films programmed are two Jewish-related films about young adults dealing with the aftermath of adolescence.

Prudence (Lea Seydoux), a troubled teen in "Belle Èpine," part of the New Directors/New Film series.

Tim Boxer: The Lives and Loves of Elizabeth Taylor

Special to the Jewish Week

Elizabeth Taylor, the legendary Hollywood icon who died Wednesday, March 23, in Los Angeles at age 79, was perhaps the most famous convert to Judaism since Ruth.

When she wed the flamboyant producer Mike Todd (born Avrom Goldbogen), she wanted to renounce her Christian Science and espouse his Judaic faith. He talked her out of converting, believing she wanted simply to please him.

Out of a total of seven spouses, Todd was the only one she did not divorce. He died in a 1958 plane crash and left a weeping widow.

Elizabeth Taylor and Israeli President Ephraim Katzir at a Variety Club dinner in 1976 at Tel Aviv Hilton. Photo by Tim Boxer

Actress Elizabeth Taylor Dies


(JTA) -- Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor, who maintained a support for Israel after converting to Judaism in the late 1950s, has died.

Taylor, known for her violet eyes and her plethora of husbands, died Wednesday of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks. She was 79.

Taylor converted to Judaism following the death of her third husband, Mike Todd, who was Jewish, in a plane crash and before marrying Jewish singer Eddie Fisher.

Schnabel’s ‘Miral’ Falls Flat

Ponderousness, more than anti-Israel bias, is problem with the film based on Palestinian novel.
Special To The Jewish Week

Let’s get the controversy out of the way immediately: Anyone who finds Julian Schnabel’s new film “Miral” to be any more pro-Palestinian or anti-Israeli than dozens of other recent films about Israel’s policies in the West Bank hasn’t been getting out much.

Frieda Pinto as Miral. She is wearing the school uniform of the Dar Al-Tifel Institute.

No Place For Children

‘Winter in Wartime’ and ‘The Gift to Stalin’ put kids in some unforgiving spots.
Special To The Jewish Week

In the 1960s there was a popular poster and bumper sticker that proclaimed, “War Is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things.” Political repression isn’t good for them either. Those are the messages carried by two new films opening on March 18, “The Gift to Stalin,” from Kazakhstan, and “Winter in Wartime,” from the Netherlands.

A Jewish boy (Dalen Schintemirov) is adopted caretaker in Rustem Abdrashev’s “The Gift to Stalin.”

In The Clearing Stands A Boxer

Jews, once dominant in the fight game, return.
Associate Editor

In 1922, in a boxing ring on a winter’s night, in a small Philadelphia arena, Ty Cobb won a six-round decision against Babe Ruth.

Joseph Brender.  Michael Datikash

Jewish Talent Shines at 2011 Academy Awards


LOS ANGELES (JTA) -- A minyan of Jewish talent garnered coveted Oscar statuettes during the 2011 Academy Award ceremony.

In the opening montage of the Academy Award ceremony Sunday night, hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway played with a dreidel, which proved to be an omen that a good night awaited Jewish talent.

Israel-born Natalie Portman, beaming and proudly pregnant, walked off with the best actress trophy for her portrayal of a tortured ballerina in “Black Swan.”

Claude Lanzmann, Briefly

Rare screening of three of the ‘Shoah’ director’s more recent short films at Film Comment Select series.
Special To The Jewish Week

In the death camp at Treblinka there was a fake railroad station that included a clock on which the painted hands always read 6 o’clock. The entire construction was a grotesque joke perpetrated by the camp’s commandant Fritz Stangl; in Treblinka, time stood still because all those brought there were dead from the moment they entered.

A scene from Lanzmann's "Sobibor."

What Nora Ephron Can’t Remember

Editor and Publisher

Nora Ephron says that when she was young and would come to her screenwriter mother with her problems, the response would be, “Everything’s copy — someday this will be funny.”

Gary Rosenblatt

What Nora Ephron Can’t Remember

Nora Ephron says that when she was young and would come to her screenwriter mother with her problems, the response would be, “everything’s copy – someday this will be funny.”

In a conversation with journalist Abigail Pogrebin on Wednesday evening at the JCC Manhattan that ranged from hilarious to poignant, Ephron observed that her mother’s attitude was “counter-intuitive to what a parent with a heart feels.” But it provided her with “unbelievable survival” skills, she added.

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