Film

No Direction Home

The themes of forced migration, rootlessness and anti-Semitism are all at play in video-opera ‘Moscow-NY.’

02/15/2011
Staff Writer

The video-opera “Moscow-NY,” which has its premiere at the JCC in Manhattan this weekend, is based on the life of Isaac Bashevis Singer — sort of.

“Moscow-NY,” at the JCC in Manhattan this weekend, incorporates a film.

Foreigners But Not Strangers

Film about unique south Tel Aviv school garners Oscar nomination.

02/09/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

To read the Israeli papers is to see a steady stream of stories bemoaning the country's public education system, especially those citing Israeli students' low test scores in science and math.

But American filmmakers Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman found a unique south Tel Aviv school that is doing all the right things with a dizzyingly diverse student body. Their documentary about the Bialik-Rogozin school, "Strangers No More," was just nominated for an Oscar in the documentary short category.

The Bialik-Rogozin school in S. Tel Aviv teaches a dizzyingly diverse group of youngsters, many the children of foreign workers

Jewish Film Contenders Garner Oscar Nominations

01/26/2011

LOS ANGELES (JTA) -- With “The King’s Speech” garnering 12 nods, royalty led the Oscar nomination parade, but Jewish contenders had their shining moments.

Three of the Best Picture nominations for Academy Awards had Jewish producers: Scott Rudin for “The Social Network”; Ethan and Joel Coen for "True Grit"; and Mike Medavoy for “The Black Swan.”

Jesse Eisenberg was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in “Social Network,” which received eight nominations.

‘Confidence’ Man

Hungarian filmmaker Istvan Szabo and the nature of trust.

01/25/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

More than many filmmakers, Istvan Szabo understands issues of fear and trust viscerally. He and his parents, both of them Jewish doctors, survived the Holocaust in Hungary because friends hid them.

Scene from Istvan Szabo’s “Mephisto.”

Israeli Film Fails to Reach Oscar Semis

01/21/2011

LOS ANGELES (JTA) -- Israel’s three-year streak of reaching the list of five finalists in the Oscar race for best foreign language film has ended.

This year’s Israeli contender, “The Human Resources Manager,” was not on the list Wednesday when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its shortlist of nine semifinalists.

A Gentler Richler In ‘Barney’s Version?’

01/19/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Published four years before his death at 70, Mordecai Richler’s last novel, “Barney’s Version,” has a certain valedictory feeling, a summing-up at the end of the journey that is uncharacteristically devoid of the nasty edge of early works like “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.”

“Barney’s Version," a film adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s last novel

The Year in Jewish Culture

The top 10 moments (in no particular order) of 2010 in arts and letters.

Staff Writer
01/14/2011

PETER BEINART FIGHTS FOR LIBERAL ZIONISM

As the former editor of The New Republic, a liberal magazine, but one with a strong pro-Israel bent, Peter Beinart shocked Jews of all stripes when he published a scathing critique of the organized Jewish community in May in The New York Review of Books. Beinart, 39, argued that groups from AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, to the Anti-Defamation League have failed to make Zionism an attractive ideal for young American Jews, who are mostly liberal.

Barney's Version: Aaron Herman Interviews Paul Giamatti

The film is based on Jewish author, Mordecai Richler's prize-winning comic novel, Barney's Version. It is the warm, wise, and witty story of Barney Panofsky (played by Paul Giamatti), a seemingly ordinary man who lives an extraordinary life. 

Jewish Film Fest’s ‘Open Destiny’

Grace Paley documentary and Eran Riklis film top series at JCC and Walter Reade.

01/12/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

In one of her short stories, Grace Paley writes, “Everyone, real or invented, deserves the open destiny of life.” Such a splendid statement, the quotation turns up twice in Lilly Rivlin’s splendid new documentary on Paley’s life and work, “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts,” which plays in this year’s New York Jewish Film Festival. The sentiment behind the sentence is so open-handed and wholehearted that it could be applied to the best films in the festival, including Rivlin’s own offering.

Grace Paley and friends outside a draft board office during the Vietnam War in scene from “Grace Paley: Collected Shorts.”

‘Vir Bist Du, Romeo?’

‘Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish’ features a cast of young dropouts from New York’s chasidic community.

01/11/2011
Special to The Jewish Week

He was a Satmar dropout, a street kid getting by on credit card and airport baggage claim scams. She was a prodigal daughter, also from a Satmar family, knocking around as a student in Europe and Israel, asking the questions and plying the lifestyle no good chasidic girl should.

Lazer Weiss and Melissa Weisz in Yiddish retelling of star-crossed lovers tale.
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