Arts Guide

Filmmaking With Purity

10/31/2003
Staff Writer

Some people call her film daring, others dangerous. First-time filmmaker Anat Zuria admits that "Tehora," her hour-long documentary about Jewish family purity, is meant to provoke. But she sees greater peril in keeping quiet about a subject that shapes the lives of Orthodox Jewish women.

Polanski Gets Personal

12/13/2002
Staff Writer

Roman Polanski's latest feature film is a dramatic account of one man's survival in wartime Warsaw. "The Pianist," which opens Dec. 27, is also a documentary in at least one respect: its star, Adrien Brody, nearly starved himself to portray the Jewish musician and composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, shedding some 30 pounds from his already slender frame as filming progressed.

Vitebsk On The Hudson

11/08/2002
Staff Writer

Most visitors to a new Chagall exhibition at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan likely will find more interest in the Velcro animals on display than in Vitebsk, the artist’s beloved hometown. But while they putter and play among the exhibits that make up “Chagall for Children,” young audiences are getting a foundation in art appreciation, the exhibition’s organizers say.

Equal Opportunity Offender

11/08/2002
Staff Writer

Jackie Mason’s newest show, “Prune Danish,” is — like its namesake — familiar, unsophisticated and ultimately satisfying. That is, of course, if Mason’s brand of pastry is what you’re after.

The New York Times’ reviewer Bruce Weber clearly had a hankering for something different. He panned “Prune Danish” — Mason’s sixth stand-up stint on Broadway — as “idiotically, hypocritically reactionary” and said the two-and-a-half hour-show served up only about 30 minutes of good material.

The King Of Comic Books

05/31/2002
Staff Writer

The superhero Spiderman has made the leap from printed page to movie screens across the country, but one giant of the comic-book industry says he is still battling for mainstream legitimacy.

Will Eisner, the creator of the 1940s comic book hero “The Spirit,” is not after box-office proceeds or merchandising spin-offs. Instead he wants recognition for comic books as a literary art form.

Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

11/01/2002
Staff Writer

The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeiter Ring started more than a century ago in a tenement on the Lower East Side. It developed over the decades from a mutual-aid society for immigrants into an activist organization bristling with radical ideologies and aimed at promoting secular Jewish education. Next week, the group marks the start of its second century with a celebration of Yiddish culture at Town Hall.

Defenders Of The Faith

11/01/2002

Steve Hoffman sees the world in black and white — at least when he is looking through a camera lens. In 1998, Hoffman focused on the Chabad-Lubavitch community of Crown Heights, in part because he knew the community would photograph well in his preferred palette.

The chasidic sect’s spiritually infused, communal lifestyle and its distinctive look — men characteristically wear black suits and fedoras — appealed to Hoffman, who says the group has an “old-world look in a modern society.”

Faith In Abstraction

10/24/2002
Staff Writer

Museum Mile — the stretch of Fifth Avenue from 82nd Street to 104th — offers an intriguing paradox this fall. The Jewish Museum, at the corner of 92nd Street, is presenting a retrospective of works by a Jewish painter who eschewed Jewish imagery in his embrace of the universal. A few blocks south, the National Academy of Design exhibits the work of a painter who rejected Judaism, but uses explicitly Jewish symbols as expressions of spiritual transcendence.

Klezmer City

09/27/2002
Staff Writer

Constanza Garcia was looking to book New York performances for “Klezmer en Buenos Aires” — a tango-inflected klezmer duo that she promotes. She immediately thought of Makor, the cultural center on the Upper West Side that caters to Jews in their 20s and 30s.

“I thought Makor would be the right place for klezmer,” Garcia says. But Makor passed.

Syndicate content