Film

Still Up And At It: One Of The Original 'Monuments Men'

In wake of new movie, Harry Ettlinger, 88, joins with his successors in intensified push to recover stolen art.

02/11/2014
Staff Writer
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Harry Ettlinger, the only survivor of the original handful of Monuments Men assigned by the U.S. army in 1943 to hunt for Nazi-looted artwork and help return it to its owners, is once again helping families reunite with their prized art collections.

Henry Ettlinger, left, one of the Monument Men, with attorney Mel Urbach. Courtesy of Mel Urbach

‘Monuments Men’ Reignites Debate

Star-studded film steers clear of furor surrounding formation of art-focused team in ’43; Roosevelt’s priorities at time questioned by Jewish groups.

02/05/2014
Staff Writer
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The George Clooney movie that premieres Friday, “The Monuments Men,” tells the story of the 350-member team of professors, art historians and museum curators who scoured Europe for the millions of dollars worth of art looted by the Nazis. But there is a backstory worth talking about — the furor over the creation of the team in June 1943 touched off from those concerned about the fate of European Jews.

Paintings or people?  Image via teaser-trailer.com

Films Shine Light On Jewish-Polish Relationship

Best of the movies in two series touch on the tangled ties.

02/05/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

By an amusing coincidence, Polish seems to be the movie flavor of the month in February. With Lincoln Center hosting a program of “Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema” and BAMCinematek offering “Kino Polska: New Polish Cinema” anyone with even an interest in one of the most important national cinemas of the last 75 years should be satisfied.

Scene from Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s “Austeria/The Inn,” about Jews seeking refuge from Cossacks during WWI.

Isaac Hertz’s ‘Life Is Strange.’

A new film offers a child’s-eye view of pre-Shoah Jewish life.

01/23/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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The red flags probably should go up during the opening credits to “Life Is Strange,” a new documentary opening on Jan. 24. Anytime a movie opens with a voiceover in which the director asks, “I’m not a filmmaker, why did I make this film,” an audience can be forgiven if it, in turn, asks why it is watching it.

The poster for “Life Is Strange.” Lookback Productions

Film As Community Building In Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Israel Film Festival at 10.

01/22/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Most film festivals exist to showcase outstanding works of cinematic art, frequently with a specific theme or to highlight a region or national cinema. The Brooklyn Israel Film Festival would, at first glance, appear to be more of the same. But Hedda Kafka, who has been curating the program for all 10 years of its existence, has something else in mind, a mission that goes beyond the festival’s programming focus.

Hedda Kafka, curator of the Brooklyn Israel Film Festival, which celebrates its 10th year this week.

'Sturgeon Queens' To Screen

New documentary details life of appetizing store Russ & Daughters.

01/17/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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“Sturgeon Queens,” a new documentary set to screen at festivals and to air on PBS stations in the New York area, traces the vibrant life of Russ & Daughters, the iconic cured-fish palace that opened on New York’s Lower East Side in 1914. This year, the still-thriving store celebrates its 100th anniversary, and its owners, fourth-generation Russes, plan to open a 65-seat café nearby. It’s a big year for a celebrated Jewish business that has weathered many changes in the neighborhood’s cultural landscape.

Founder Joel Russ with his three daughters. Photo courtesy the Russ Family

‘Natan’ Recounts Lost Piece Of French Film History

Irish documentary tells little-known story of producer and studio head targeted first by the Nazis, then by an American film professor.

01/15/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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How many times can you murder a man? The Nazis, aided by the French government, killed Bernard Natan in Auschwitz in 1943. It took an American professor of film studies to kill him the second time by impugning his legacy as a film producer and studio head.

Bernard Natan in scene from David Cairns and Paul Duane’s “Natan.” Photo courtesy Paul Duane

Closing With A Bang At Annual Jewish Film Festival

Strong final-week offerings include a meditation on Jews and Poles, Amos Gitai’s latest and a documentary on Jews living under the Shah

01/14/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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Note: This is the third of three articles on this year’s N.Y. Jewish Film Festival.

They truly saved the best for last. In a strong lineup of new films and restorations, this year’s New York Jewish Film Festival closes with three of its very strongest offerings — a beautiful, mysterious and austere meditation on the barbed relationship between Jews and Poles, Amos Gitai’s most accessible film in years, and a smart documentary on a little-known aspect of Israeli-Iranian relations.

Yuval Scharf in Amos Gitai’s “Ana Arabia.”

‘Generation War’ Hampered By Form

Five-hour WWII combat/Holocaust film too bound up in genres’ conventions.

01/14/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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There is no art without limits, as Orson Welles once observed. Creativity has its birth in constraint, and all art is bound by conventions. This is nowhere truer than in film genres, those collections of familiar images, settings, themes and tropes that serve as a guide for both filmmakers and audiences.

Ludwig Trepte and Katharina Schutter in "Generation War." Music Box Films

‘Generation War’ Hampered By Form

Five-hour WWII combat/Holocaust film too bound up in genres’ conventions.

01/13/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
0

There is no art without limits, as Orson Welles once observed. Creativity has its birth in constraint, and all art is bound by conventions. This is nowhere truer than in film genres, those collections of familiar images, settings, themes and tropes that serve as a guide for both filmmakers and audiences.

Ludwig Trepte and Katharina Schutter in "Generation War." Music Box Films
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