The Arts

Heavy Metal

Transforming terror into fantasy lies at the heart of Omer and Tal Golan’s ‘playground’ artwork.

02/23/2015 - 19:00
Calendar Editor

Fifteen years ago, a suicide bomber carrying 15 pounds of explosives laced with bullets and metal scraps grabbed Omer Golan from behind — and blew them both up. Miraculously, Golan survived. Along with his wife, Tal Golan, he went on to become one of the most interesting new-media artists to come out of Israel.

From shrapnel X-rays to virtual playground: The work of Omer and Tal Golan.  Courtesy of Omer and Tal Golan

Staging A Conflict’s Complexity

02/23/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

My favorite proverb,” theater artist Aaron Davidman says, “is that your enemy is someone whose story you do not know.” His new one-man show, “Wrestling Jerusalem,” which hits that theme head-on, will be performed this weekend at the JCC Manhattan. “People often ask me to explain what is going on in the Middle East,” he said. “My play is an 85-minute, 17-character answer to that question.”

A multiplicity of voices: Aaron Davidman’s “Wrestling Jerusalem.” Aaron Davidman

The Kings Of The B Movies

Documentary tells the story of Hollywood’s Go-Go Boys, Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus.

02/16/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The 1980s were arguably the worst decade in American film history. So if I tell you that there are not one but two new documentaries about Cannon Films, the schlocky ’80s film production company led by Israeli cousins Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus, you probably will shake your head and ask why. I would have thought even one film about those two characters would have been excessive, but after seeing “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films,” a new film by Australian film maven Mark Hartley, I have to admit that it was worth a couple hours of my time.

Catherine Mary Stewart in the disco-rock opera “The Apple,” one of the films by Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus. Film Comment

From Menace To Muse To Mitzvah

What happened when Allen Kurzweil tracked down his childhood tormentor.

02/16/2015 - 19:00
Culture Editor

Allen Kurzweil was 5 when his father died. He doesn’t remember much about him. But that hasn’t stopped him from missing him for all of his life, perhaps his clearest memory being a hospital scene a few months before his father’s death. Robert Kurzweil, 54, was lying down and he squeezed his young son’s hand. Allen can’t recall his words or voice, but he remembers the sensation. Almost 50 years later, he remembers the face of the watch on his father’s wrist more vividly than the face of its owner. 

The author, then and now. KURZWEIL CREDIT: ©Ferrante Ferranti YOUNG KURZWEIL CREDIT: Edith Kurzweil

What Lies Beneath

Damián Szifron’s Oscar-nominated ‘Wild Tales’ exposes dangers lurking in modern-day Buenos Aires.

02/16/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

A Jewish filmmaker working in Buenos Aires can be forgiven if he is a bit paranoid. Given ongoing events in Argentina, culminating in the ongoing investigation of the death of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor in the AMIA bombing case, you would have to be insane not to be suspicious.

In a scene from “Wild Tales,” Erica Rivas realizes that her husband is not what she imagined. Sony Pictures Classics

‘It’s Magic, Turning These Pieces Into Gold’

Barbara Wolff brings medieval artistry to contemporary Hebrew manuscript design.

02/09/2015 - 19:00
Culture Editor

In the lush greens of a great Tabor oak tree, 24 species of birds perch in their finery, with a black stork, a great white egret and a black-crowned night heron poised in the reeds below, and a yellow-breasted bird in mid-air. The tree is indigenous to the Middle East, and each of these birds is native to the Land of Israel or part of the large migration of birds that flies over in the spring and fall.

“Among the branches they sing”: Wolff’s works illuminate Psalm 104. Courtesy of Morgan Library & Muse

Odets, Dreaming Of A Better Life

02/09/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

No one summed up the boiling frustrations of struggling New Yorkers during the Great Depression better than Clifford Odets. While Odets languished in obscurity for decades, he was rediscovered about a decade ago, with landmark Broadway revivals of “Awake and Sing!” and “Golden Boy.” Now comes an Off-Broadway production of “Rocket to the Moon,” Odets’ drama about a Jewish dentist whose life and career are at a standstill. It opened this week at the Theatre for St. Clement’s in Midtown, as a production of the Peccadillo Theatre Company, which is devoted to rescuing overlooked plays with high literary merit.

Katie McClellan and Ned Eisenberg in a new production of Clifford Odets’ “Rocket to the Moon.”  JD Urban

The Sounds Of Belarus, Reimagined In Brooklyn

Litvakus draws on forgotten traditional pieces to forge a new klezmer sound.

02/02/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

He is a man who bestrides two worlds, with one foot in America, the other in Belarus. Or one foot in academia, the other in music. At the moment, though, Dmitri “Zisl” Slepovitch has both feet planted squarely in being a Daddy; his sleeping 20-month-old daughter is now safely entrusted to her nanny.

“It’s a sound that is totally unknown anywhere else.” Leonid Gilman

Tara’s Minorities

‘Women of the Wind’ looks at two secondary characters in the Civil War drama and their Russian-Jewish acting coach.

02/02/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Nothing marked the end of an era in American history as spectacularly as “Gone With the Wind,” the film that displayed the crumbling of the Southern aristocratic way of life in the years following the Civil War. But as Barbara Kahn shows in her new play, “Women of the Wind,” the movie ironically truncated the careers of some of the women who worked on it — women who could not overcome intolerance in American society. “Women of the Wind” opens this week at the Theater for the New City, 75 years after the premiere of Victor Fleming’s cinematic masterpiece in December 1939.

Butterfly McQueen (Adrienne Powell), Alla Nazimova (Steph Van Vlack) and Ona Munson (Reanna Armellino). Robert Gonzales, Jr.

Tapping Into Race, And More

01/26/2015 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Opposites attract, they say, and no less in same-sex relationships than in opposite-sex ones.

In Margaret Morrison’s first full-length play, “Home in Her Heart,” set in late-1930s London, a young black female pianist and a middle-aged Jewish male impersonator, both of whom are American expats, struggle to carry on an intense romance despite the forces of social repression arrayed against them — not the least of which are the genocidal ambitions of the Third Reich.

Ava Jenkins, left, and Margaret Morrison star in “Home in Her Heart,” about forbidden love in 1930s London. Keith Gemerek
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