Documenting The Absence

‘Shtetl’ director and survivor Marian Marzynski turns the camera on himself in ‘Never Forget to Lie.
04/15/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In 1996, Marian Marzynski wrote and directed a remarkable documentary, “Shtetl,” a three-hour-long film about his visit with a close American friend to the Polish village in which the friend’s parents were born.

At 75, filmmaker Marian Marzynski felt ready to “turn the camera on myself.”

From Radical To Nebbish

Two new films at the Quad offer riffs on notions of Jewish masculinity.
04/09/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Two new films opening this weekend at the Quad Cinema offer riffs on classic clichés of 20th-century Jewish-American masculinity: the radical firebrand and the nebbish. Unsurprisingly, it’s the rabble-rouser who merits our attention, but the nebbish is given a sufficiently unusual to be interesting too.

Alice Tablioni and Patrick Bruel in the French comedy “Paris-Manhattan.” Christine Tamalet

Andre Gregory’s Back Story

New film documents the before and after OF ‘My Dinner With Andre.’
04/03/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Louis Malle’s 1981 film “My Dinner with Andre” was about as unlikely an art film hit as one could imagine. A film that consisted of a pair of downtown theater mavens talking about their art and their lives in a restaurant for nearly two hours ... well, it just didn’t sound like a blockbuster.

Andre Gregory

Music Where The Dialogue Should Be

Not even L.A.’s revitalized loft district can save the under-developed ‘Dorfman in Love.’
03/18/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

“Dorfman in Love,” a new feature film opening on March 22, directed by Bradley Leong from an original screenplay by Wendy Kout, betrays its true origins almost from its opening shots of a sun-gilded Los Angeles and its suburbs.

Sara Rue stars as Deb Dorfman in Bradley Leong’s “Dorfman in Love.” Leonard Hill Films

The Darker Side Of The Sunshine State

Oscar-nominated ‘Kings Point’ chronicles the not-so-golden years in a Delray condominium.
03/10/2013 - 20:00
Jewish Week Book Critic

A man in shorts and dark knee socks walks outside to take out the garbage and returns with yesterday’s newspaper, and morning begins again in Kings Point, a condominium community in Delray Beach, Fla., now the subject of a new film.

Life is leisurely at Kings Point. Photo courtesy HBO

Of Rothian Proportions

Documentary chronicles the balancing act between public and private that is central to Philip Roth’s art.
03/05/2013 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

After having read all of his novels and autobiographical books, you might be forgiven for thinking you know Philip Roth. As novelist Jonathan Franzen says, Roth “exposed parts of himself no one had ever exposed before.”

“Time is running out,” Roth says in new documentary. “I can’t do anything about it.” Photo courtesy of Reuters/Eric Thayer

‘Urban Tale’ Needs Renewal

Israeli entry in festival of directors’ first films falls flat.
02/26/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Usually the prospect of yet another film festival in New York City wouldn’t fill me with gleeful anticipation. It’s easier to find a film festival here than an uptown bus. But the idea behind the First Time Fest, which kicks off its inaugural event on March 1, is a good one; it highlights directors’ first feature films.

Noa Friedman in the sex-obsessed “Urban Tale.”

A Real (Smoked) Fish Story

What would you do to inherit your grandfather’s salmon business? ‘Putzel’ provides a zany answer.
02/18/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The Upper West Side exerts a stronger gravitational pull than any black hole. Astronomers may not acknowledge this, but anyone who has lived between Central Park West and the Hudson, from 116th Street to Columbus Circle, can tell you this is true.

Walter “Putzel” Himmelstein (Jack T. Carpenter), right, with a disgruntled trout, played by Fran Kranz.

All In The Family At NewFilmmakers Series

From Brooklyn to Tel Aviv to Eastern Europe, the blood ties that bind.
02/16/2013 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

It is billed, accurately, as a showcase for Jewish and Israeli films and directors, but the all-consuming power of family could just as easily be the theme of this month’s NewFilmmakers program at Anthology Film Archives. From Carroll Gardens to Borough Park as well as Tel Aviv and unnamed places in Eastern Europe, the films on display on Feb. 20 are all about the two-edged sword of blood ties; but their approaches to the subject are varied. With no disrespect to Count Tolstoy, even happy families are not all alike, so films about them won’t be either. all different, so films about them will be, too.

Luzer Twersky in Pearl Gluck's "Where Is Joel Baum?" Timur Civan

A Dark Fairy Tale In Occupied Germany

Cate Shortland’s ‘Lore’ is an unsettling coming-of-age story that renders judgment on Germany’s wartime crimes.
02/04/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Towards the end of “Lore,” Cate Shortland’s brilliant new film, which opens Feb. 8, there is a moment that crystallizes the film’s concerns in a most unexpected way.

Saskia Rosendahl is startlingly self-possessed in the lead role. Photo courtesy Porchlight Film
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