The Arts

Sole Man

Danny Aiello bridges 9/11 and the Holocaust in ‘The Shoemaker.’
07/25/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Whether it is the piles of shoes left behind by Holocaust victims or the countless footwear-inspired idioms — filling someone’s shoes, walking a mile in someone’s shoes, putting the shoe on the other foot — the shoe is arguably our most evocative and symbolic item of clothing.

Danny Aiello, an Italian-Jewish Holocaust survivor, and Alma Cuervo in scene from “The Shoemaker.” Photos by Ben Hider

Taboo, But Educational

Jewish version of popular Hasbro game gets clues from Encyclopedia Judaica.
07/20/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

When Seth Burstein and Ian Framson started throwing clues at each other while playing the card game “Taboo,” they came up with more than just a way to kill an afternoon.

The two Jewish friends and serial entrepreneurs, amused by the game that requires teams to guess topics without the most obvious hints, began offering a mix of Hebrew and Yiddish phrases to help one another.

Board of Jewish Education: Seth Burstein with his Hebrew-word packed game.

Taboo, But Educational

Jewish version of popular board game gets clues from Encyclopedia Judaica.
07/20/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

When Seth Burstein and Ian Framson started throwing clues at each other while playing the board game “Taboo,” they came up with more than just a way to kill an afternoon.

The two Jewish friends and serial entrepreneurs, amused by the game that requires teams to guess topics without the most obvious hints, began offering a mix of Hebrew and Yiddish phrases to help one another.

One Complex Family, One Complex Country

Tomer Heymann looks closely at his own family in ‘The Queen Has No Crown,’ and captures a changing Israeli society too.
07/18/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Early in Tomer Heymann’s new documentary, “The Queen Has No Crown,” the director’s twin brother, Erez, stares directly into the camera and says in a low, cold voice: “You’re extinction, that’s what you are. … Biologically, you’re useless.”

The director Tomer Heymann.

Shoah Tale Loses Punch On Screen

Adapted from novel, ‘Sarah’s Key,’ with Kristen Scott Thomas, lacks dramatic jolt.
07/18/2011 - 20:00
Jewish Week Film Critic

“Sarah’s Key,” the new film by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, which opens on July 22, is a textbook case of the pitfalls of adapting a novel for the screen.

Kristin Scott Thomas is a journalist investigating a 1942 roundup of Jews by the Nazis in "Sarah's Key."

A Down Syndrome Jewish Actor’s Breakout Role

In ‘Girlfriend,’ a film directed by high school buddy Justin Lerner, Evan Sneider plays a character much like himself.
07/11/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Three years ago, when Justin Lerner decided to give his friend, Evan Sneider, an actor with Down syndrome, a small role in his master’s thesis film, he did not know Sneider would eventually become critical to the launch of his own career.

In the new indie film "Girlfriend," Evan Sneider, below right, plays an actor loosely based on himself.

Out Of Europe

Two new documentaries — one on a Ukrainian writer, the other on a German artist — paint a vivid canvas of World War II and its aftermath.
07/11/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The outsider’s perspective is generally a fresh one, especially if the outsider in question is a great artist. That certainly is the case with two excellent new documentaries that will have their U.S. theatrical premieres at Film Forum in the coming weeks. The translator Svetlana Geier and the painter Anselm Kiefer have unique, unusual viewpoints on the bloody 20th century, and in “The Woman With Five Elephants” and “Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow” those viewpoints are given particularly cogent visual expression.

Svetlana Geier, above, the subject of "The Woman With the 5 Elephants," and Anselm Kiefer,"Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow,"

Yavneh, Pioneer Group On Campus, Recalled

07/10/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Yavneh, a 1960s and `70s organization of Orthodox college students, is, in the words of “The Greening of American Orthodox Judaism: Yavneh in the 1960s” by Benny Kraut, “hardly remembered today, except perhaps by former members.”

Oy Romeo, Romeo!

Yiddish comedy-drama casts alienated chasidic youth as the ill-fated Shakespearean lovers.
07/05/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

In its own daffy way, “Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish” is as much a documentary as it is a comedy-drama. The film’s cast consists of alienated chasidic youth re-enacting their own pasts as runaways, scam artists and street kids. The film’s writer-director, Eve Annenberg, plays a nurse, which is what she is in her day job, who becomes involved in the lives of these kids when, as part of her graduate work outside the medical world, she is commissioned to create a modernized Yiddish-language version of the venerable Shakespeare romantic tragedy.

Lazar Weiss and Melissa "Malky" Weisz in "Romeo and Juliet in Yiddish."

Zion, By Any Other Name

Before the Jews had a direction home, YIVO show chronicles, there was Suriname, Angola and Uganda.
07/04/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

A century ago, the idea of Jews resettling in ancient Israel was an interesting, if quaint, idea. For many European Jews, some of whom became prominent Zionists, real-life Palestine was utterly unrealistic. Thousands of Jews were being massacred in pogroms and the priority of many Jewish leaders was simple: secure a territory for Jews to settle in first — worry about where it was later.

The Jewish Territorialist Organization.
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