Jewish Journal

Ivor Davis

  • ‘I Understood Her as a Woman’

    February 19, 2009 | 4:21 am

    At the comparatively young age of 33, Kate Winslet has a filmography of which actors twice her age might be proud. At the same time, she’s carved a unique niche for herself separate from almost every other actress her age, which guarantees her a continuing stream of first-class...

  • Letter from London: ‘An English Tragedy’ is timely on stage

    March 27, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    The curtain parts to reveal a stage in the shape of a huge swastika. There is a perceptible gasp from the mostly older matinee audience in the London suburb of Watford.

    World War II is still the most vivid memory in most of their lives, and the Nazi symbol to them represents, at the...

  • Theater: Updated ‘Anne Frank’ production shows harder side, and tears

    March 22, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    The Rubicon, Ventura's ambitious professional theater company, offended a small number of local Jewish theatergoers last December by putting on a musical play, "Back Home Again: A John Denver Christmas Show," a collection of the late singer's holiday songs, which not surprisingly...
  • Rosenbergs’ Granddaughter Tackles Washington ‘Hill’

    August 17, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    What do you do for an encore when your first work is a powerful, heart-wrenching documentary about the life of your notorious grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg?

    The Rosenbergs were executed for spying for the Soviet Union in June 1953. Their personal story was told 51 years...

  • Overcoming Germanophobia During the World Cup

    July 19, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    It was more than six decades ago that the Germans were trying to kill me on a nightly basis. Every evening, my family and I would stand at the bottom of our garden in London and listen to the buzz bombs approaching.

    Many were shot down, but many more pierced the defensive guns....

  • ‘Munich’—a Risky Move for Spielberg

    December 1, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    The billboards for Steven Spielberg's new film "Munich," which opens Dec. 23, will soon be sprouting on buses, benches and boulevards around the nation. The image is simple and stark. A lone man sits gloomily in a dark, heavily draped hotel room, his body sparely illuminated by the...

  • Lights, Camera, Ventura

    March 3, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    While some Jewish film festivals around the country often use older films or films playing at nearby theaters, the Ventura County Jewish Film Festival will show five new films never seen in Ventura County -- as well as host their stars.

    The festival starts on March 10 at 7 p.m....

  • Q & A With Al Pacino

    January 6, 2005 | 7:00 pm


    "The Godfather's" Michael Corleone has taken a crack at Shylock. Oscar-winner Al Pacino -- always a daring actor -- steps into the shoes of Shakespeare's notorious moneylender in the latest big-screen version of the Bard's classic, "The Merchant of Venice."

    Directed by Michael...

  • The Passion of Mel Gibson

    February 19, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    After watching Mel Gibson's two-hour-and-six-minute "The Passion of the Christ" at the Fox Studio's 200-seat Zanuck Theater, with barely a dozen carefully invited others in the audience, I came away with great admiration for Gibson.

    Not for the film, I can assure you.

    For while it...

  • Sept. 11 From the D.C. Perspective

    September 4, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    When Lionel Chetwynd called the White House Press Office to request an interview with the president, he got lucky.

    Very lucky.

    The Los Angeles-based writer-producer had hit a brick wall on his script about how President Bush and his Cabinet acted hours following the catastrophic...

  • Moonves: No Sympathy for Hitler

    January 23, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    President and CEO of CBS Television Leslie Moonves came in for a good deal of flak last year following news that the network was planning to make a two-part miniseries from British history professor Ian Kershaw's book, "Hitler: 1889-l936: Hubris" (W.W. Norton & Company, 2000),...

  • ‘Trembling’ Truth

    February 14, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    For filmmaker Sandi Simcha DuBowski, "Trembling Before G-d" isn't just a documentary, it's a revolutionary movement.

    The searing, award-winning film profiles gay Orthodox Jews struggling to reconcile their love of Judaism with the strict biblical prohibitions against homosexuality....

  • Lucky Break

    January 3, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    It's been a long and sometimes winding road for neophyte filmmaker Pete Jones.

    It started more than a year ago when he, with a song and a prayer, got in line with 7,500 other aspiring filmmakers and submitted his script for a movie by e-mail to the Project Greenlight Web site. The...

  • Roman Holiday

    November 16, 2000 | 7:00 pm

    On Yom Kippur, my wife Sally and I went to shul just around the corner from the Vatican. It was a visit we will not soon forget. The imposing Comunita Ebraica di Roma Synagogue (the Great Synagogue of Rome) sits just off the Piazza del Firori close to the Tiber River and spitting...

  • Groopman’s World

    October 5, 2000 | 8:00 pm

    Jerome Groopman is a nice Jewish doctor - a 6-foot-5-inch-tall professor of experimental medicine at Harvard Medical School. So how did he turn into Andre Braugher? The answer is Paul Attanasio.

    For those who don't remember, Attanasio is the brilliant creator and writer of "Homicide:...

  • Peace, It’s Wonderful

    June 8, 2000 | 8:00 pm


    Hebrew for forgiveness, Selichot services are a time of preparation for the New Year, generally held after the conclusion of Shabbat prior to Rosh Hashanah.

    Sat./September 23

    Kehillat Israel: 10 p.m. "Becoming and Believing" Selichot service 16019 Sunset Blvd., Pacific...

  • Gwyneth Paltrow, Movies, Stardom and Judaism

    December 30, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    For Gwyneth Paltrow winning her first Oscar earlier this year for "Shakespeare in Love" was a dream come true. But for the beautiful 27-year-old superstar it was also something of a nightmare.

    The star of "The Talented Mr. Ripley" talked about her latest film, the dark side of picking...

  • Hank Azaria Spends “Tuesdays With Morrie.”

    December 2, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    Hollywood has found its Jewish comfort zone in "Tuesdays with Morrie," the ABC television movie version of Mitch Albom's best selling book.

    Morrie's Jewish background is told in fuzzy flashbacks (immigrant father, stepmother singing "Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen" to her son.) It's there....

  • The Kubrick Legacy

    March 18, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    The news of director Stanley Kubrick's death in England is a premature finis to an unprecedented career in film.

    To legions of fans and wannabe filmmakers, the 70-year-old filmmaker was a master. More than Welles, Hitchcock, Ford, Lean or Kurosawa, all of who received the Director's...

  • Hoffman on Hollywood, Judaism and the Holocaust

    March 4, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    What moviegoer can forget the scene: a graduation party around a Beverly Hills swimming pool, where a callow, young graduate named Benjamin Braddock gets a little career advice -- one word: "Plastics."

    Plastics have done pretty well, and the young graduate (circa 1967) even better. So...

  • The Producer

    January 14, 1999 | 7:00 pm

    There isn't much Irwin Winkler doesn't know about making movies, which is maybe why, unlike a lot of the young hotshots who've been in the business five seconds, his favorite subject is not his own genius.

    Yet the Jan. 15 opening of "At First Sight," which he directed and stars Val...

  • Surviving Hollywood

    November 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    On the old Paramount Ranch deep in the San Fernando Valley, Woodstock has returned -- as in the world's greatest love-in, the '60s festival that affected a generation. Producer Lynda Obst, who is responsible for this unnerving flashback, watches intensely from the sidelines with a...
  • Surviving Hollywood

    November 12, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    On the old Paramount Ranch deep in the San Fernando Valley, Woodstock has returned -- as in the world's greatest love-in, the '60s festival that affected a generation. Producer Lynda Obst, who is responsible for this unnerving flashback, watches intensely from the sidelines with a...
  • Not Your Usual Movie

    October 15, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Director Bryan Singer was suddenly the flavor of the month. Dozens of scripts landed on his desk. Offers to direct big-budget movies with A-list actors like Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford materialized overnight. The year was 1995 and his breakthrough hit, "The Usual Suspects," was all...
  • Uncovering Gulf War Syndrome

    May 28, 1998 | 8:00 pm


    Scenes from "Thanks of a Grateful Nation." Photos courtesy of Showtime

    Uncovering Gulf War Syndrome

    Showtime's 'Thanks of a Grateful Nation' explores the malady plaguing so many...

  • Casting His Vote

    May 14, 1998 | 8:00 pm

    Sixty one and still full of surprises, that'sWarren Beatty. This weekend, Beatty goes head to head at the boxoffice with "The Horse Whisperer," starring that other senior iconRobert Redford. Redford, like his contemporary Beatty, not only starsbut also directs and produces his movie....