The Arts

‘The Tango Is In My Blood’

Forward-thinking cellist Maya Beiser tackles the music her father brought with him from Argentina to an Israeli kibbutz.
01/23/2012 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

When Tito Beiser left Argentina in the early 1950s to help start a Galilee kibbutz centered around members of the Argentine chapter of Hashomer Hatzair, he brought a lot of his home with him — food, soccer, Spanish and, most of all, tango.

Cellest Maya Beiser team up with Pianist Pablo Ziegler for "Canyengue, The Soul of Tango."

At Sundance, View Of Israel Ranges From Critical To Abysmal

01/23/2012 - 19:00

PARK CITY, Utah (JTA) – For Israel fans, it's all pain and anguish this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

Unlike in years past at America’s top independent film fest, when feature films exploring the nuances of Israeli life offset some hard-hitting documentaries – such as in 2007 when the award-winning “Sweet Mud” contrasted with “Hothouse” – 2012 has no such leavening agents. At the venues in this mountainous ski town showing the films this week, the views of Israel range from critical to abysmal.

Somebody’s Done Them Wrong

01/16/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Beware a woman with a past! Such is the lesson of a double bill of plays arriving downtown from Israel this week, based on a pair of classic short stories from Jewish tradition by Nobel Prize-winning authors. In the first, a dramatization of I. B. Singer’s “Gimpel the Fool,” a credulous orphan is persuaded by his wife, the town prostitute, that he is the father of her children by other men. In the second, a dance-theater piece inspired by S.Y.

Victor Attar and Ilana Cohen in “The Lady and the Peddler.” Photo by Rami Katza

The Audacity Of ‘Hope’

In his debut novel, Shalom Auslander takes on history and the Holocaust with his trademark darkly comic wit.
01/16/2012 - 19:00
Staff Writer

When Shalom Auslander, a lapsed Orthodox Jew, came out with his wickedly funny memoir “Foreskin’s Lament” in 2007, he was often mischaracterized as a New Atheist. It was clear he shared a similar disdain for religion with atheists like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, but he never declared himself a non-believer. 

Auslander’s “Hope: A Tragedy,” .

New York Jewish Film Fest’s Sweet Farewell

From the cafés of Paris to the Catskills, festival picks ruminate on the role of the Jewish artist in modernity.
01/16/2012 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

It isn’t hard to find a common theme uniting some of the more interesting entries in the final week of the New York Jewish Film Festival this year. From the cafés of Paris to the Catskills, the documentaries on display are ruminations on the role of the Jewish artist in modernity. One could even argue, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that the excellent Polish thriller “Daas” is about a Jewish artist. A con artist.

Scene from “Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort,” the festival’s closing-night film.

‘Extremely Loud’ Screenwriter On Turning The Novel Into A Film

01/11/2012 - 19:00
Staff Writer

The screenwriter Eric Roth isn’t in want of an Oscar. He already has one for “Forrest Gump,” and has been nominated several more times for films like “Munich” and “The Insider.” But Scott Rudin, the producer behind Roth’s latest film, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” which opened in December in New York and Los Angeles to qualify for the Oscars, and gets a nationwide release on Jan. 20, has made no secret that he intends to win one. 

Eric Roth

The Holocaust And 9/11: Universal Truths?

The critical reception of the film version of ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’ brings to mind charges leveled against some Shoah works.
01/09/2012 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Perhaps it should be no surprise that some of the same criticisms that met Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel about Sept. 11, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” published in 2005, are now being leveled against the new film adaptation. Like the book, the film has drawn strong, often biting rebukes from critics who feel it exploits some of Sept. 11’s most harrowing images—the picture of the falling man leaping to his death, in particular—and universalizes a unique tragedy.

The poster advertising the film version of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

Sontag’s ‘Lush Life’

01/09/2012 - 19:00

She called for an “erotics of art” that would transcend interpretation and pave the way to unmediated aesthetic experience. When Susan Sontag died of cancer in 2004, America lost one its most brilliant philosophers and artists. “Sontag: Reborn,” a one-woman multimedia show by Moe Angelos that runs through this weekend at the Public Theater, seeks to juxtapose Sontag’s youth with the wisdom of her later years.

Moe Angelos in her one-woman show “Sontag: Reborn,” which features projections of an older Sontag on video screens. James Gibbs

A ‘Passion’ To Tell Entebbe Hero’s Tale

‘Follow Me’ recounts the life of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s brother.
01/09/2012 - 19:00
Editor And Publisher

Yonatan Pinchot, 14, of Silver Spring, Md., has a special connection to new documentary film called “Follow Me,” telling the personal story of an authentic, modern-day Israeli hero.

Ari Pinchot, above, was moved by the story of Yonatan Netanyahu, in the circle.

Movies Around The Clock

From wristwatch metaphors in ‘Restoration’ to the cross currents of past and present in ‘Remembrance,’ Jewish film fest meditates on the passage of time.
01/09/2012 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Jewish thought tends to classify time in highly specific quantities: seven days from Shabbat to Shabbat, 49 days of counting the Omer, generation to generation.

A scene from Joseph Madmony’s “Restoration,” about an antique furniture craftsman whose business is on the verge of bankruptcy.
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