Currently Browsing: zJan’s News
In 2006, a group of local film lovers decided to organize an annual program focused on Israeli cinema. Their timing was prescient. After decades of near invisibility, Israeli films were suddenly winning accolades at festivals all around the world, and last year, an Israeli film was a contender for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for the fourth time in five years.… read more.
Filmmaker Paul Mazursky is one of those Jewish guys from Brooklyn who helped change American culture forever after World War II. I was a teenager when Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice was released in 1969, and I remember it well as a “water cooler event.” BCTA raked in four Oscar nominations (plus awards from the National Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Writers Guild of America), and in the years that followed, Mazursky gave us classics like An Unmarried Woman, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Enemies: A Love Story, and many, many more.… read more.
In March 2009, I received a screener from the coordinator of our annual Chicago Latino Film Festival for a new Argentinian feature called La Cámara Oscura. I was entranced by this film, and wrote very positive things about it in my April ’09 column. Soon after, I began receiving calls from all around the country, the word spread, and La Cámara Oscura has now become a major hit on the Jewish film festival circuit.… read more.
July 4, 2011 was the 35th anniversary of Israel’s daring raid on Entebbe Airport so I expected some commemoration; to my dismay, the day came and went with barely a word from the American press.
But filmmakers Ari Daniel Pinchot and Jonathan Gruber were way ahead of me. I’m not sure when they started work on Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story, but releasing it now allows them to include footage shot at Yoni’s graveside last year, with extremely moving glimpses of elderly Benzion Netanyahu supported by his two remaining sons Benjamin (“Bibi”) and Iddo.… read more.
Ah, Spring! Mild weather returns to Chicago and our lecture halls overflow with fascinating guest speakers.
On May 6, I went to Spertus to hear Daniel Greene read from his 2011 book The Jewish Origins of Cultural Pluralism: The Menorah Association and American Diversity. Greene is the Vice President for Research and Academic Programs at Newberry Library, and this book is based on his Ph.D.… read more.
“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar…”
Seventy-two years after his death in London at age 83, Sigmund Freud, the quintessential Viennese Jew, is suddenly hot again. This column will focus on three recent films; a related column by JUF News editor Cindy Sher will discuss the new play Freud’s Last Session (currently on stage at the Mercury Theatre on Southport).… read more.