The classic Los Angeles Theater at Broadway and Sixth Street is not much to look at from the outside -- situated alongside a host of busy retail shops, its sidewalk is lined with street vendors selling toys and trinkets. But upon entering the theater's French Baroque-style lobby, with its 50-foot ceiling, grand staircase, plush red carpet, detailed fresco paintings, ornate marble fountain and crystal chandeliers, one is immediately transported to a bygone era of opulent, glamorous movie palaces.
When it comes to film festivals, Calabasas is far off the beaten path for the Sundance crowd. But there's method to the madness of film lovers who beat a path to Calabasas in the first week of April.
The seventh annual Method Fest claims to be the nation's only festival that specifically celebrates actors and their performances. This year's lineup includes significant works with Jewish themes. There are films about the Holocaust, contemporary Jewish families and Israeli-Palestinian issues among the 25 feature films and 47 short films. The festival also features panel discussions, workshops and special events.
7 Days In The Arts
Where can you see all-in-good-fun Jewish stereotypes spoofed alongside 1970s kitsch, such as waterbeds, fondue parties, disco, leisure suits and bad perms?
Early in the Nazi regime, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a rising young Protestant minister and theologian, was asked by his twin sister to speak at the funeral of her Jewish husband.
Bonhoeffer consulted his church superiors and refused. Later, tormented by his decision, he asked himself, "How could I have been so afraid? I should have behaved differently."
It was perhaps the only time that Bonhoeffer's natural human fear trumped his moral courage in fighting the Nazi ideology, a stand for which he finally paid with his life.
The acts and religious beliefs of perhaps the most principled German Protestant voice during the Hitler era are woven together in the 90-minute documentary, "Bonhoeffer," opening Oct. 10 at two Laemmle theaters.
After months of distribution hell, the Jewsploitation spoof "The Hebrew Hammer" will burst onto the large and small screens this Chanukah season. The saga of Mordechai Jefferson Carver (aka the "baddest Heeb this side of Tel Aviv") debuts on Comedy Central Dec. 8 before moving to theaters courtesy of Cowboy Pictures.