The Arts

Sholem Aleichem And Modern Jewish Identity

‘Arguing the World’ director Joseph Dorman turns his lens on the great Yiddish writer.

07/05/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Joseph Dorman has a confession to make.

“I love compulsive talkers,” he says, laughing. “I’m very interested in talk.”

A Shabbat Tent At Phish Concert

06/29/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

In the spirit of Abraham and Sarah, Esther and Icculus, free from politics and proselytizing, a tent will be opened on all sides at SuperBall IX, the Phish festival set to take place in Watkins Glen, N.Y., July 1 to 3.

The “Shabbat Tent” will provide a space for Jewish and other Phish fans to experience the Sabbath the way they want to experience it. The best part? Fans get to combine a love of music with a love of Shabbat.

Women And The Blacklist

Did they react differently than men? ‘Diminished Fifth’ probes the question.

06/29/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

Anti-Semitism was never far below the surface of the notorious blacklist of the 1950s. Did sexism play a role as well? In Julie S. Halpern’s new play, “Diminished Fifth,” two women with Jewish roots, writers Lillian Hellman (Stacey Scotte) and Dorothy Parker (Jacquelyn Poplar), along with three non-Jewish women, broadcaster Jean Muir (Mary McGloin), actress Margaret Webster (Elaine LeGaro) and civil rights activist Eslanda Robeson (Ronalda Ay Nicholas), grapple with the shattering experience of being blacklisted.

A scene from "Diminished Fifth."

Film Reviews: "Between Two Worlds" and "Love Etc."

Two documentaries attempt to address complex issues through the experiences of a few, with mixed results.

06/29/2011
Jewish Week Film Critic

If you questioned everyone on the No. 4 bus in Manhattan, you might find enough common threads in their stories to draw some larger conclusion about the lives of New Yorkers, their hopes, dreams, loves, hates and so on. At the very least, you might learn something about mass transit. There is a certain hybrid type of documentary that combines several different storylines in almost that fashion, trying to find some deeper truth reflected in the experiences of the multiple protagonists.

A scene from "Between Two Worlds."

Seeking Justice For Deborah

Jewish filmmaker and Jewish lawyer take on the case of an abused woman unfairly imprisoned in California.

06/28/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

We pray the words every day, but they probably don’t register: “matir asurim,” who frees the captive. Perhaps they are too familiar, our recitation too rote. But the commandment, like the instruction to seek justice, is one of the essentials of Jewish thought and life.

Joshua Safran, left and Nadia Costa, right, meet with Peagler to take up her cause.

A French Jewish-Muslim Romance

Satisfying and poignant, ‘The Names of Love’ rises above the constraints of its genre.

06/21/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

The original French title of the new comedy “The Names of Love,” which opens on June 24, was “Le Nom des Gens.” That loosely translates as “the name of people” and, for a film that is very much about the nature of identity and self-definition, it is a more apt title. On the other hand, since the film is a sweet-natured romantic comedy, maybe things are best left as they are.

Director Michel Leclerc, top right, showcases the love story of Baya and Arthur.

The Limits Of Pacifism

Novelist Nicholson Baker argues that more negotiation with Hitler might have saved Jewish lives, a view shared by few historians.

06/21/2011
Staff Writer

If there is a holy grail for pacifists—an argument that would prove, once and for all, that war is simply never a good answer—it is the case that not fighting Hitler would have done more to stop the Holocaust than fighting him. After all, even people who call themselves pacifists today often make an exception for Hitler—him, they’d fight.

Baker's essay, "Why I'm A Pacifist," came out in the May 2011 issue of Harper's.

Jerusalem Home For American Artists

American Academy inaugural fellowships go to wide range of creators.

06/14/2011
Staff Writer

American artists from Herman Melville to Mark Twain to Saul Bellow have traveled to Jerusalem looking for inspiration. But until this week, when the first-ever American Academy in Jerusalem was officially announced, there has never been a formal program encouraging artists to do so.

Graphic artist Lynne Avadenka is one of five American Academy in Jerusalem fellows.

A ‘Righteous’ Lens: Genocides Then And Now

06/14/2011
Staff Writer

During his senior year at the University of Pennsylvania, Samuel Goldberg, an Upper West Side native, day school graduate and English/filmmaking major in college, was weighing a career in philanthropy or entertainment.

Then he saw “The Last Survivor.”

Samuel Goldberg, second from right, with the Righteous Pictures team.

Jewish Theatre Of NY’s Latest Censored?

06/14/2011
Editorial Assistant

Tuvia Tenenbom is no stranger to controversy. He has staged plays about love letters to Hitler, Arab virgins being raped by Israeli soldiers and the sex lives of chasidic Jews.

But only recently did the U.S. State Department step in.

A Tunisian love triangle proves too controversial for the U.S. State Department.
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