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Tag: Oscar

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  • Rest in Peace Robin Williams

    By Ilana Angel

    August 20, 2014 | 8:58 pm

    I have tried to write about the passing of Robin Williams since I heard of his death. I was saddened by the loss in a way that left me unable to articulate what I was feeling. I had the honor of meeting Mr. Williams and he was lovely, kind, charming, and funny. His talent was...

  • 7 answers to tough questions about Russia, Ukraine and Crimea

    By Jared Sichel

    March 4, 2014 | 5:28 pm

    As dinner conversations, news shows, and water-cooler talk have turned from Oscar selfies to, well, real news, one topic has dominated  the Twitterverse and the airwaves (Russia! Ukraine! Russia invaded Ukraine!). 

    As often happens, though, with complex stories that become part...

  • Alice Herz-Sommer, oldest known Holocaust survivor, dies at 110

    February 23, 2014 | 8:59 pm

    Alice Herz-Sommer, the 110-year-old Holocaust survivor and concert pianist whose life was the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary, has died.

    Herz-Sommer, who was believed to be the oldest Holocaust survivor and was still playing the piano, died Sunday morning in London.

    ...
  • Unlikely friends: A bully learns forgiveness from his victim

    February 20, 2014 | 3:31 pm

    Every year around Oscar season, film buffs scramble to see as many of the nominated movies as possible. In Los Angeles, in particular, the awards season often becomes a daunting time of screener-swapping, viewing parties and quizzing each other on what one has and hasn’t seen. ...

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  • Israel overlooked in foreign-film Oscar noms

    By Tom Tugend

    January 2, 2014 | 11:13 am

    Israel is out and Palestine is in the Oscar race, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced on Dec. 20 its nine semi-finalists in the best foreign-language film category.

    Both Israel’s entry, “Bethlehem,” and the Palestinian “Omar” reflect the intensity of the...

  • ‘Bethlehem,’ a film of spies and intrigue and Oscar possibilities

    By Tom Tugend

    December 12, 2013 | 3:30 pm

    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...

  • Truth thief: The failures of ‘The Book Thief’

    November 13, 2013 | 3:01 pm

    It’s not surprising that 20th Century Fox is launching an Oscar campaign for “The Book Thief,” a hauntingly beautiful film based on Markus Susak’s award-winning novel set in Nazi Germany.  The New York Post has called the film “Oscar bait.”

    But I was disturbed by the film, and...

  • ‘Book Thief’ a story of pure beauty, pure destruction

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    November 6, 2013 | 1:57 pm

    Markus Zusak still remembers how his mother, a German Lutheran immigrant to Australia, vividly described the day she saw the Jews being marched to Dachau in her hamlet near Munich. 

    “There was an old, emaciated man who couldn’t keep up with the others, and a teenage boy ran up...

  • Jon Voight — Chabadnik at heart

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    August 21, 2013 | 4:49 pm

    On a recent afternoon at Lenny’s Deli in Westwood, Jon Voight reached into a black satchel and pulled out a well-worn copy of Paul Johnson’s “A History of the Jews,” then began reading aloud from the text, his fingers carefully tracing the words. Looking professorial, he glanced up...

  • Michael Shannon on ‘The Iceman’ by Israeli filmmaker Ariel Vromen

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    April 26, 2013 | 11:25 am

    ...
  • Oren says ‘Gatekeepers’ makes his job harder

    March 18, 2013 | 2:41 am

    Israel's U.S. ambassador,  Michael Oren, said the Oscar-nominated documentary "The Gatekeepers" complicates his mission.

    The movie compiles interviews with six former leaders of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, and records their perceptions of how successive...

  • Alan Arkin relishes his role as a team player

    By Pat Sierchio

    February 19, 2013 | 5:59 am

    Alan Arkin is not an actor who seeks individual glory. But that hasn’t prevented the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from singling him out several times. This year, Arkin has again been nominated for an Oscar, this time as best supporting actor for his work in the...

  • Fairy tales won’t bring peace: A tale of ‘Five Broken Cameras’

    February 12, 2013 | 4:23 pm

    Five Broken Cameras (2011), a documentary currently up for a 2013 Oscar and co-directed by the film’s narrator and videographer, Palestinian Emad Burnat, and Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi, attempts to erase the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film unfolds as a...

  • Mark Boal’s journey from journalism to movie chronicler of the Middle-East wars

    By Pat Sierchio

    February 11, 2013 | 10:21 am

    The time: 2003. The place: Black Site: Undisclosed Location. A battered man strung up by his wrists is being questioned by an interrogator. When he refuses to answer he is forced to the ground and held down by three men wearing ski masks. A black towel is wrapped around his face...

  • Amy Ziering’s visible war against military rape

    By Danielle Berrin

    February 6, 2013 | 11:53 am

    On a rainy Saturday night in January, a small group of leaders from the worlds of entertainment, media and philanthropy gathered at the home of billionaire businessman Ron Burkle to watch the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Invisible War.”

    For 97 minutes, the room was still....

  • For David O. Russell, it takes family

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 23, 2013 | 4:40 pm

    Director David O. Russell’s past efforts include the much-lauded “Three Kings” and the Oscar-winning “The Fighter,” but it is “Silver Linings Playbook,” the story of a bipolar teacher, that he sees as his most personal drama to date. The film is a contender for eight Oscar,...

  • ‘Fill the Void’ not on Oscar foreign language film shortlist

    By Tom Tugend

    December 21, 2012 | 9:44 am

    Israel’s Oscar-nomination run hit another bump Friday , when “Fill the Void,” the country’s entry, failed to make the list of nine semi-finalists among foreign-language films.

    This year’s entries from 71 countries showed a renewed interest in Holocaust and World War II themes....

  • 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...

  • Holocaust, Jewish themes remain prominent among foreign Oscar offerings

    By Tom Tugend

    December 14, 2012 | 2:24 pm

    The long-forecast “Holocaust fatigue” among filmmakers and their audiences has not yet arrived, judging by the entries for 2013 Oscar honors by producers and directors in numerous countries.

    Each of a record 71 foreign — meaning non-English-speaking — countries has submitted its...

  • ‘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,”...

  • Remembering Marvin Hamlisch: One singular sensation… and what he did for love

    August 8, 2012 | 5:16 pm

    It was early 1989, and TV producer Terre Blair called her mother with the exciting news.  “I’m engaged”, she announced.  “I’m getting married to Marvin Hamlisch!”  “Marvin Hamlisch?” the prospective mother-in-law replied.  “You mean the boxer from Las Vegas?” ...

  • Composer Marvin Hamlisch dies at 68

    August 7, 2012 | 10:27 am

    Composer Marvin Hamlisch, who earned critical acclaim and popularity for a prolific output of dozens of motion-picture scores and shows including “The Way We Were,” “The Sting” and “A Chorus Line,” has died in Los Angeles. He was 68.

    Hamlisch collapsed after a brief illness and died...

  • At What Cost?

    By David Mamet

    July 25, 2012 | 12:44 pm

    It has been suggested that the purpose of a college education is to ease the transition into adulthood. After several decades teaching college-age students, I would agree, only substituting delay and prevent for ease.

    Eric Hoffer wrote in “The Ordeal of Change” (1963) that the...

  • My thanks to the Academy

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    March 11, 2012 | 11:44 am

    I love Oscar week. There is something about it that makes me wake up with a smile on my face and carry that feeling with me until I fall asleep.

    Usually I am more of an Emmy kind of girl, but the past couple of years, I just get so excited once the Academy Awards nominees are...

  • For Mideast foes’ Oscar films, family trumps flag

    February 17, 2012 | 2:58 pm

    As their nations warn of war, the Israeli and Iranian directors facing off at next week’s Academy Awards share a reluctance to see politics read into their movies, both of which are portraits of troubled families.

    Joseph Cedar, director of Israel’s “Footnote,” and Asghar Farhadi,...

  • Revisiting Jonah Hill, Oscar nominee!

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 16, 2012 | 11:34 am

    Jonah Hill is up for a supporting actor Oscar for his first dramatic turn in a major studio feature, “Moneyball,” and this whole awards season has been a heady time for the 28-year-old performer.  Previously best known for his performances in the pop-culture hits of comedy mogul...

  • ‘Better Life’ producers thrilled with Demian Bichir’s Oscar nod

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 13, 2012 | 3:55 pm

    The underdog in the race for best actor at the 2012 Academy Awards is certainly Demian Bichir, who was nominated for his searing performance as an undocumented worker struggling to raise his troubled teenaged son in Chris Weitz’s “A Better Life.”  While more expected contenders...

  • Oscar nominee Agnieszka Holland on “In Darkness” [VIDEO]

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    February 2, 2012 | 10:28 pm

    Agnieszka Holland was sitting by a window in a Los Angeles hotel recently, bathed by sunlight streaming in through slatted Venetian blinds.

    Light and dark are the prominent metaphors in her film, “In Darkness,” based on the true story of a group of Jews who escaped the...

  • Writer’s Guild to Honor ‘Extremely’ Talented Screenwriter Eric Roth

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    January 26, 2012 | 1:05 pm

    Several weeks before he was to receive the lifetime achievement award from the Writers Guild of America, West, Eric Roth was in his study in Malibu conducting a breezy conversation that veered from his communist Jewish parents to his Oscar-winning screenplay for “Forrest Gump.”...

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