Jewish Journal

  • Brian Finkelstein’s one-man show: Suicide, untimely deaths, masochism and humor

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    1 week ago

    In Brian Finkelstein’s one-man show, “First Day Off in a Long Time,” he describes the true story of how, at 19, he was miserable in his relationship with a “Smiths-listening, vampire Goth chick who was addicted to crystal meth. And as much as [she] was addicted to meth, I was... read on

  • Jonathan Tropper’s ‘This is Where I Leave You’ finds humor during shivah

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    2 weeks ago

    In the film “This Is Where I Leave You,” Judd Altman (Jason Bateman) walks in on his wife having voracious sex with his boss, a Howard Stern-style shock jock, and soon finds himself out of a job, a marriage and a home.

    Then his father dies, but not before leaving a startling last... read on

  • Local artist tackles Jews and sex in ‘Transparent’ with Jeffrey Tambor

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    2 weeks ago

    Jill Soloway, well known as Hollywood’s go-to scribe for tales of Jews and sex, has created as her latest effort the Amazon TV series “Transparent,” the story of a Jewish family whose patriarch has just revealed to his three grown children that he is transitioning to life as a... read on

  • ‘Manhattan:’ The story of the atomic bomb

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    3 weeks ago

    In the Hollywood offices where WGN America’s TV drama “Manhattan” was written, a poster of a man with his mouth taped shut reads, “Loose talk can cost lives.” A metal plaque warns, “What you do here, what you hear here, what you leave here — stays here.”

    During World War II, a... read on

  • Interviewing Joan Rivers

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 4, 2014 | 3:28 pm

    In May 2013, I was more than a tad nervous when asked to conduct a 45-minute Q&A with Rivers following a performance of her act at the American Jewish University.  Rivers, after all, was the notorious fashion polista of the red carpet awards scene, so ruthless that she once... read on

  • ‘Love is Strange’ when Alfred Molina and John Lithgow get married

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    August 20, 2014 | 11:03 am

    In Ira Sachs’ new film, “Love Is Strange,” George (Alfred Molina), a choir director at a Catholic school, and Ben (John Lithgow), a painter, take advantage of New York’s gay marriage laws and joyfully tie the knot. Their happiness becomes short-lived, however, when George — who has... read on

  • Robin Williams’ Holocaust film

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    August 12, 2014 | 1:41 am

    I experienced Robin Williams’ generosity of spirit even before I got on the phone with him for an interview about his Holocaust-themed film, “Jakob the Liar,” in 1999.   The time our interview was set happened to land on the day a white supremacist went on a shooting spree at the... read on

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Naomi Pfefferman Magid is the arts & entertainment editor of the Jewish Journal, where she’s spent the last quarter century interviewing everyone from Seth Rogen, Natalie...

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