The thing about “Greenberg,” the latest movie by my most favorite filmmaker, Noah Baumbach, is that I’ve dated that guy. Not Baumbach, unfortunately. I should be so lucky. But the character, Greenberg, played by the king of on-screen neuroses, Ben Stiller.
In ‘Greenberg,’ Ben Stiller veers from the typical Jewish neurotic role.
Special To The Jewish Week
Roger Greenberg, the eponymous hero of Noah Baumbach’s new film, “Greenberg,” is a direct descendant of all those solipsistic, narcissistic, inconsiderate neurotics embodied by Woody Allen and, most recently, Larry David. At 40, he is a twitching bundle of nerves, barely suppressed anger and tightly held grudges going back to his college days. And he is unmistakably Jewish, although, as he dryly notes, “my mother is a Protestant, so I don’t even count.”
In the cultural history of the second half of the 20th century, few figures — and no Jews — are more influential or pivotal than Bob Dylan.
No other artist bestrides so many trends and streams of Americana; Dylan merges folk, blues, gospel, country, rock and modernist poetry (with strong ties to the Symbolists and Surrealists). And in his relentless shape-shifting and self-reinvention he is an archetype for the age of mass communications.