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. with the opening night film, "The Aryan Couple." In the World War II thriller based on a true story, Oscar winner Martin Landau plays a Hungarian businessman who is forced to make a terrible pact with Himmler and Eichmann so he and his family can escape certain death. Landau and director-producer John Daly ("The Last Emperor") will have a Q & A after the screening.
It's a balmy night as we join those filing into the basement social hall of the venerable Libertad Synagogue in the heart of downtown Buenos Aires. It resembles any Friday night service crowd anywhere in the United States, except that it's standing-room only. An elderly man sings Yiddish songs in a still-strong tenor followed by a young duo on saxophone and clarinet playing selections from "Fiddler on the Roof."
"Attempts to find in the youngster 'the warped person within the murderous dictator' have proved unpersuasive. If we exclude our knowledge of what was to come, his family circumstances invoke, for the most part, sympathy for the child exposed to them."
-- Ian Kershaw,
"Hitler: l889-l936 Hubris."
Adolf Hitler is no stranger to big screen and small. Charlie Chaplin first parodied Adolf Schickelgruber in the 1940 movie "The Great Dictator," and since then Der Führer has become a part of screen history. Mel Brooks poked fun at him in the movie "The Producers" in 1968 which was robustly reincarnated as a musical on Broadway.
It's been a long and sometimes winding road for neophyte filmmaker Pete Jones.
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 distance from Vatican City across the river in one direction, and Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum in the other.
For those who don't remember, Attanasio is the brilliant creator and writer of "Homicide: Life on the Street," the former NBC series that was always more beloved by critics and its small but fanatically devoted group of viewers than by the public at large. Among the talents spawned by that show, none made more of an impression than Andre Braugher, a Shakespearean-trained actor of enormous power who, during the show's run, got himself a cover of TV Guide which asked the question in banner headlines: "Is this the best actor on television?"
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.
The news of director Stanley Kubrick's death in England is a premature finis to an unprecedented career in film.
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 proprietary eye.
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 the buzz in Hollywood.
If you can, keep 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, free. The occasion: the Showtime miniseries "Thanks of a Grateful Nation" (the ironic title is taken from congressional hearings), a dramatization of real events based on real people.
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. May the best man win.