The Arts

A Grunt’s-Eye-View Of Modern Combat

Samuel Fuller’s WWII epic ‘The Big Red One’ raises big moral questions.
09/24/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Lee Marvin in “The Big Red One.” Warner Brothers

The Game That Put Israeli Hoops ‘On The Map’

Documentary chronicles Maccabi Tel Aviv’s unlikely 1977 European Championship.

12/06/2016 - 17:39
Special To The Jewish Week

It was one of the biggest upsets in modern sports history. It involved an unlikely team of underdogs defeating one of their game’s biggest group of bad guys, then following that landmark with a victory in the finals over a much-garlanded opponent who had crushed them twice before.

Star guard Tal Brody gets a joy ride after winning the championship. Shmuel Rahmani

Is Mel Gibson’s ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ good for the Jews?

12/01/2016 - 12:35

“Hacksaw Ridge,” Mel Gibson’s wide-release, World War II movie, has cast a light — and a justifiably favorable one at that — on the Seventh-day Adventist faith of its central character, Medal of Honor winner Desmond Doss.

Left to right, Sam Worthington, director Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn on the set of "Hacksaw Ridge." Photo by Mark Rogers. RNS

The Personal And Political, In Balance

The Other Israel Film Festival marks its 10th year.

11/30/2016 - 09:38
Special To The Jewish Week

This year’s edition of the Other Israel Film Festival is the 10th and, given the original focus of the event on the faces and stories of “other” Israelis — those not directly entwined in the ongoing conflict — one wouldn’t have expected it to survive for a decade. However, the festival’s programmers have proven too canny and too film-savvy to be limited to an agenda that would have meant a brief lifespan.

Scenes from Maha Haj’s debut feature “Personal Affairs,”

Babylon Revisited

Playwright Richard Greenberg on the L.I. suburbs then, and the city now.

11/30/2016 - 08:41
Special To The Jewish Week

‘I don’t miss being young,” playwright and essayist Richard Greenberg insisted offhandedly the other day, “although I always thought that I would.” Indeed, he reflected, “even incredibly intelligent and wise young people haven’t had the experience of time passing”— time that he views as essential for an appreciation not just of human nature but also of the rootedness of people in a particular place.

Greenberg’s “The Babylon Line,” set in 1967, opens next week. Courtesy of Mark Avery

Still Active (Ahem!) After All These Years

‘Scary Old Sex’ author Arlene Heyman casts a clinical eye on the rewards and pitfalls of intimacy.

11/29/2016 - 12:13
Special To The Jewish Week

Over the last few months, the literary world has just spread out an erudite welcome mat for an overnight success — one that took only 50 years to arrive. “Scary Old Sex” (Bloomsbury), Arlene Heyman’s first published book, a collection of seven short stories, has been riding a wave of ecstatic reviews. It made Kirkus' list of Top 100 books of the year and was an entry in The New York Times holiday gift guide, remarkable feats, since, aside from a prize-winning story and a contest-winning novella years ago, Dr. Heyman, a 74-year-old Manhattan psychiatrist/psychoanalyst, had published practically nothing for years. But she kept writing, and these stories are notable — for their pungent, precise and often funny literary style, and also for their boldness in looking at sex, death, bodily functions and “forbidden” fantasies that betray their author’s day job.

Literary success came late for psychoanalyst Arlene Heyman. Nina Subin

In ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them’ An Allegory About Anti-Semitism And Fear

11/25/2016 - 10:49

(JTA) - The first spin-off from the Harry Potter film series, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” is a thrilling and at times darkly sinister adventure. The movie, which launched a new five-film franchise with new characters, has already cast a spell over Potter fans, raking in a box office best $75 million in its opening weekend.

Eddie Redmayne and J. K. Rowling at the European premiere of “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.” JTA

The Artistic Ties That Bind

Sculptor Chaim Gross’ long and deep connection with the Educational Alliance.

11/15/2016 - 17:59
Culture Editor

A 1938 silent film, “Tree Trunk to Head,” opens a new exhibition dedicated to the work of sculptor Chaim Gross. Viewers can watch Gross transform a chunk of sabicu wood into a polished portrait of his wife Renee. His carving is a kind of choreography, as he achieves graceful, life-like contours.

Gross in his LaGuardia Place studio.  Courtesy of the Chaim Gross Foundation

Talk About Jewish Muscle

This Jersey Orthodox weightlifting girl broke records — and is now the star of a new film.

11/08/2016 - 13:07

Have you seen “Supergirl” yet?

No, we’re not talking about the popular TV series about Superman’s fair-haired cousin, currently in its second season on The CW.

Rather, we’re talking about the new documentary “Supergirl” about Naomi (pronounced “Na-AH-mee”) Kutin, a real-life Orthodox Jewish girl who broke world weightlifting records when she was just 9 years old.

She has accomplished some incredible feats, but Naomi says powerlifting is only about 30 percent physical — the rest is mental.

Naomi (“Supergirl”) Kutin is used to being the smallest competitor in the room. Photos by Jessie Auritt

Heads Of The Tribe

The cycle of life, in all its richness, is on display at this year’s DOC-NYC fest.

11/08/2016 - 13:03
Special To The Jewish Week

Sonia Warshawski knows the exact moment when she decided to go public with her past as a survivor of Auschwitz. She was watching television and saw a group of skinhead Holocaust deniers spouting their line, and a voice in her head said, “This was the reason you survived — you have to speak for [the ones who weren’t so fortunate].”

A scene from “Care,” about the plight of home health-care workers. Photos courtesy of DOC-NYC
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