I got offered a part in a Christmas movie over the summer. It’s called “Defending Santa” and stars Dean Cain, Jud Tylor and my movie wife, Jodie Sweetin, best known for playing Stephanie on “Full House.”
Producers and directors in 76 countries will be biting their nails when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces the Oscar nominees for best foreign-language film this week.
Foreign-language (meaning non English-language) films from 76 countries, ranging from Afghanistan to Venezuela, are competing for Oscar honors this year, with Israel’s entry, “Bethlehem,” pitting Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, against diverse Palestinian factions eager to blow up the Jewish state.
Imagine what a movie showcasing an ordinary, lukewarm existence might look like. One without mobs or crooked cops and the only color in the characters’ lives is the blue on their collar.
For Aaron Wolf, an anecdote sparked a personal memory that inspired a film. The same day he read reflections by Rabbi David Wolpe about the Sinai Temple rabbi’s father, Rabbi Gerald Wolpe, and about the kindness of a stranger, Wolf went to his keyboard and banged out the first draft of what would become “The Walk.”
The Nazi occupation of most of Europe during World War II and the Holocaust tested the moral fiber not only of the individual citizen but also of entire nations.
When Naomi Jaye, who has been making short films in her native Canada for the past 10 years, told friends she was embarking on her first feature film, they cheered.
Those who walked into the theater hoping to walk out with an enlightened appreciation of the significance surrounding these legendary writers and the Beat Movement they inspired were surprised, at best, to find a chick flick noir instead.
United by the small screen, Israelis and Palestinians will transcend their divisions this week when “Under the Same Sun,” a film about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, is broadcast simultaneously on Israel’s Channel 2 and the Palestinian Ma`an television stations.
I sat somewhere between anxious and bored in my seat, picking at the polyester threads as they unraveled from the sleeve of my robe. One after one, my classmates were called to the bimah, and in the same sing-song cadence of their bar or bat mitzvah speeches, they started their presentations which all began (at the direction of our teacher) “I am a Jew because … ”.
Beirut, Lebanon, 1982, at the dawn of the Lebanese Civil War: A young Palestinian boy living at the Shatila refugee camp forges an unlikely bond with an Israeli fighter pilot. It is this unlikely encounter in the film “Zaytoun,” directed by renowned Israeli filmmaker Eran Riklis (“The Lemon Tree,” “The Syrian Bride,” “The Human Resources Manager”), that convinced the director he had not, in fact, exhausted his Middle Eastern stories.
Natalie Portman, once named Natalie Hershlag, is no stranger to ambition. She played her first critically lauded role at the tender age of 13, and just ascended from there (OK, true, her role in the Star War Trilogy was abysmal, but the whole endeavor was as well) culminating in an Academy Award for her work in “Black Swan.”
Recently, I went to see “World War Z,” a typical Hollywood blockbuster with a fairly typical theme — zombies. Now, a quick note to all you non-film buffs out there: Zombie films are never about zombies; they are about the societal pressures of the day.
Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler did not get along. At all.
Seventy-five years after bursting into the world of comic books, something still feels Jewish about Superman.
“People that don’t know me have an opinion of me that comes from the media. And that’s so far remote from what I am that I can’t even try to straighten it out.” These words from the controversial film director and provocateur Roman Polanski about his public image are the basis of a new documentary, “Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir.”
"Fill the Void,” which won Israel’s equivalent of the Academy Award last year, is a love story unlike any Hollywood fare and it is set in a Jewish community unfamiliar to most Jews.
“You are a felon.” Those were the words texted by one high school kid to another after the boy bragged via text about raping an unconscious 16 year old girl in Steubenville, Ohio.
Israel's U.S. ambassador, Michael Oren, said the Oscar-nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers" complicates his mission.
Jon Stewart is stepping down from his throne at Comedy Central this summer to direct a film based on a screenplay he wrote.
Four weeks before he murdered seven people in Toulouse, a cheerful Mohammed Merah was filmed laughing and showing off his skiing skills to friends at a popular Alpine resort.
New York Mayor Edward Irving Koch, universally addressed as “Ed,” was a master of timing and promotion.
Yossi, the central character in the new eponymous Israeli movie, has changed over the past 10 years, and so have Israel and the world. In 2002, director Eytan Fox introduced him in “Yossi & Jagger,” which became Israel’s highest-grossing film abroad, up to that time.
How can a dubious and unoriginal Israeli movie become the darling of the film world and even get nominated for an Academy Award?
The New York Jewish Film Festival closed this week after showcasing 37 films from around the world. Here are a few films to look out for as they travel to other American cities in the coming months.
At only 41, Joann Sfar has enjoyed a meteoric rise in France, rocketing from cartoonist to filmmaker in short succession.
You're at a wedding or bar mitzvah, mingling at the bar or catching up with a distant relative, when you hear it -- the opening notes of a familiar tune that as if by some invisible force carries you and other guests to the dance floor for the rousing dance circle ritual.