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Tag: Movies

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  • My 1930s education at the movies

    1 week ago

    I’d long wanted to see the two movies on the double bill at our neighborhood movie house, the Princess at 61st and Main streets in Los Angeles, that week in 1939. Brother Raul and friend Ernie wanted to see the films too, even though they had been made eight years earlier. Mother...

  • ‘Woody on Rye’: Jewishness in the works of Woody Allen

    By Jonathan Kirsch

    August 20, 2014 | 1:41 pm

    A few years ago, I discovered that there is actually something called The Big Lebowski Studies, a tongue-in-cheek academic discipline wholly devoted to a single Coen brothers movie (and, if I may say so, hardly their best movie). Yet, as far as I have been able to tell, no such...

  • Boomer-era movies reflect 50 years of change

    By Pat Sierchio

    June 25, 2014 | 3:18 pm

    Movies have long been a mirror of our culture, reflecting the attitudes, morals and fashions of the times. That’s as true for films made during the baby boomer era as any other time. But when Hollywood set its sights on this new demographic of box-office boosters, they were aiming...

  • “The Fault in Our Stars” screenwriting team inspired by personal grief

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    June 25, 2014 | 11:02 am

    Screenwriter Scott Neustadter recalled how his father, Michael, the vigorous president of his Conservative synagogue in New Jersey, received shocking news after medical tests for his nagging back pain in January 2011: He had advanced pancreatic cancer. Surgery followed, plus...

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  • Life’s last chapter, biopics and Jewish terrorists

    June 4, 2014 | 2:58 pm

    Our film-going readers can look forward to an embarrassment of cinematic riches this summer, with an eclectic mix of movies promising something for almost everyone.

    A few of the films will tear at your heartstrings.  Among these is “Lullaby,” which follows the journey of Jonathan...

  • What if we really knew what media does to us

    By Marty Kaplan

    May 5, 2014 | 10:31 am

    What if we knew that the fictional rapes in HBO’s mega-hit “Game of Thrones” caused real rapes in the real world?  What if we knew that the portrayals of gay characters in “Modern Family” caused actual states to legalize same-sex marriage?

    The catch, of course, is causation. ...

  • Polish Jew or Catholic Novitiate…or both?

    By Tom Tugend

    April 30, 2014 | 10:42 am

    Assuming that movies reflect — and influence — a country’s preoccupations and prejudices, then the legacy of the Holocaust is still haunting Europe.

    German and French filmmakers have been at the forefront of this self-examination, courageously probing the sins of their forebears....

  • Jew(ish) movies streaming on Netflix: March 2014

    By Julie Bien

    March 4, 2014 | 2:36 pm

    Here is a list of Jewish (and Jew-ish) films that are being streamed on Netflix this month:

    1. Ghostbusters II

    Jewish connection: Harold Ramis, director

    2. The Bad News Bears (original)

    Jewish connection: Walter Matthau, actor

    3. The Blair Witch Project

    Jewish...

  • The Holocaust, the Mideast, cons and Americana

    November 25, 2013 | 5:02 pm

    Scattered amid this year’s more traditional holiday fare are some ambitious, profound and illuminating films that should intrigue the discriminating audience.

    Among these is “The Last of the Unjust,” a rabbi accused of collaborating with the Nazis, from noted French-Jewish...

  • Little-known stories live large on screen

    September 6, 2013 | 12:45 pm

    Several tales largely unknown to mainstream audiences are brought to the fore in many of this fall’s cinematic offerings.

    Among these is “Kill Your Darlings,” a coming-of-age film about the celebrated beat generation poet Allen Ginsberg during his time as a student at Columbia...

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg: Mogul on a mission

    By Danielle Berrin

    July 17, 2013 | 10:26 am

    My big mistake, upon arriving at Jeffrey Katzenberg’s office, is that I didn’t bring my ballet slippers. 

    But no one really told me about the choreography of a visit here, in which Katzenberg’s vassals at DreamWorks Animation, the company he co-founded and oversees, welcomed me...

  • July 13-19

    By Laura Donney

    July 10, 2013 | 12:21 pm

    SAT JULY 13

    “SONGFEST SINGS AMERICA: CELEBRATING LEONARD BERNSTEIN”

    Celebrating America’s great composer, SongFest 2013 partners with Grand Performances to present a concert, the centerpiece of which will be the unpublished “Songfest: A Cycle of American Poems for Six Singers...

  • Dating 101 - The Non-Date

    By Ilana Angel

    July 7, 2013 | 9:56 pm

    After years of comments on my blog, and months of texting, I finally met the man we will call, the “Vegetarian”.   The Vegetarian has been reading my blog on and off for years, comments often, and has not been shy about sharing his take on them.  He shares not only his opinions,...

  • May 25–31

    By Ryan Torok

    May 22, 2013 | 12:45 pm

    SAT MAY 25

    “OH, MOTHER!”

    Jewish Women’s Theatre sets the record straight about Jewish mothers in this new salon show featuring stories, poems, memoirs and songs. Performers include Shelly Goldstein, Annie Korzen and Monica Piper. Dessert reception and post-show Q-and-A...

  • Calendar Picks and Clicks: May 4-10, 2013

    By Ryan Torok

    May 1, 2013 | 11:37 am

    FRIDAY-SUNDAY

    BIG SUNDAY WEEKEND

    America’s largest community service festival, which started in 1999 as Temple Israel of Hollywood Mitzvah Day, attracts nearly 50,000 people from every neighborhood, race, religion, ethnicity and socioeconomic group to hundreds of projects in...

  • Hollywood’s history lesson: What counts when truth gets in the way

    By Danielle Berrin

    February 19, 2013 | 7:04 am

    The year is 2063. In a Los Angeles classroom, a group of history students awaits the day’s lesson on the Civil War period. The teacher announces that instead of reading from a textbook, the class will watch the movie “Lincoln,” by Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner. The lights dim,...

  • Feb. 16-22

    By Ryan Torok

    February 13, 2013 | 2:24 pm

    WED FEB 20

    “INTERSECTING PATHS: ART AND HEALING”  

    Twelve artists explore personal spiritual healing in the works on display in this new exhibition. Among them is photographer Bill Aron, known for his poetic images of Jews in America and abroad and whose cancer diagnosis led...

  • Gatekeepers or Gate Crashers?

    By David Suissa

    January 30, 2013 | 4:17 pm

    How can a dubious and unoriginal Israeli movie become the darling of the film world and even get nominated for an Academy Award?

    That is the real story behind “The Gatekeepers,” a documentary that, as Jodi Rudoren of The New York Times writes, “has already captured the attention...

  • Oscar contenders focus on Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    By Tom Tugend

    January 22, 2013 | 1:02 pm

    Two films on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are in the final lap of five Oscar contenders for best documentary feature.

    “The Gatekeepers” is told from the perspective of the six men who headed Israel’s Shin Bet internal security and counter-terrorism apparatus over the past...

  • ‘Hammer’ Time — Again?

    January 2, 2013 | 2:09 pm

    Everyone’s favorite certified circumcised private dick is poised for a big return.

    Nearly 10 years after “The Hebrew Hammer” hit theaters in 2003, there’s talk of a sequel featuring the titular Orthodox hero. Filmmaker Jonathan Kesselman, a native of Van Nuys, is eyeing a May...

  • Calendar Picks and Clicks: Jan 5-11, 2013

    By Ryan Torok

    January 2, 2013 | 11:30 am

    SAT JAN 5

    B.J. NOVAK: “UNCOLLECTED STORIES”

    Writer and actor B.J. Novak (“The Office,” “Inglourious Basterds”) shares original pieces of comedic fiction in advance of an upcoming collection. Co-star, writer and producer of “The Office,” Novak has a sensibility that draws on a...

  • Judaism at the Oscars

    By Abe Fried-Tanzer

    December 17, 2012 | 2:16 pm

    It’s no secret that there are Jews all over Hollywood. Both behind the scenes and in front of the camera, it’s hard to find a film or TV show that doesn’t have a Jew involved in some capacity. Jews win Oscars, Emmys, and other awards all the time. This blog will focus on those...

  • Dec. 15-21

    By Ryan Torok

    December 12, 2012 | 10:06 am

    SAT DEC 15

    “Voices and Visions” 

    Connecting Jewish thought, art and people, this exhibition at the Skirball features artworks that pair contemporary Jewish artists with past and present Jewish thinkers, including Hillel, Maimonides and Susan Sontag. The project aims to inspire...

  • Holiday films that provoke, (and Some Just for Fun)

    November 21, 2012 | 2:01 pm

    In addition to the traditional family and feel-good holiday films, this season offers a small selection of unexpectedly provocative productions.

    Among the latter is the documentary “West of Memphis,” which follows an attempt to exonerate three men convicted as teenagers of the...

  • ‘Pi’ is approximately 3.1416% Jewish

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 20, 2012 | 3:05 pm

    Ang Lee, the 58-year-old Oscar-winning director of “Brokeback Mountain” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” was understated and thoughtful recently as he settled into a velvet couch at the L’Ermitage hotel in Beverly Hills. He had arrived to discuss his new film, “Life of Pi,”...

  • Films of the Holocaust and non-Jews

    By Tom Tugend

    November 8, 2012 | 1:08 pm

    Two documentary films, each touching the Holocaust era and celebrating the courage and devotion of non-Jews, are screening in Los Angeles.

    The first is about Leopold Engleitner, bright-eyed and lucid at 107, who spent 11 years in and out of prisons and Nazi concentration camps,...

  • Dreamators Ltd. (the movie crew in our minds)

    By Peter Himmelman

    October 24, 2012 | 8:14 pm

    The stories we tell ourselves to deflect from doing the things we dream of doing are wonderfully written. They’ve got nuance, detail and incredible dialogue. In fact they’re masterworks of searing influence. Marv, (that's the name I give to the internal critic - that voice in our...

  • Jewish Entertainment Network: Members of the Tribe only

    By Danielle Berrin

    October 17, 2012 | 5:18 pm

    If this were any other crowd, the speaker wouldn’t dare dish so freely about Steven Spielberg.

    But in the odd cabinlike setting at Morrie’s Fireplace, the private AISH outpost on Pico Boulevard, film director Brad Silberling is among — well, if not friends — fellow Jews. Which is...

  • The 10 best political movies of all time

    October 1, 2012 | 1:40 pm

    With the U.S. presidential election looming large, we thought we'd look at the best 10 movies focusing on politics. Many of these films are quite old, but that's not a huge detriment. Writing and acting play huge roles in politics, and political films rely on the same fundamentals....

  • Faith, not just gayness, informs filmmaker’s works

    By Pat Sierchio

    September 5, 2012 | 10:59 am

    This has been a good year for filmmaker Ira Sachs. His new feature, "Keep the Lights On," received a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. And while the intensely personal,...

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