Lincoln Center Film Society celebrates ‘Hollywood’s Jew Wave’

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Among the many movie revolutions of the 1960s was the way that the Hollywood studios finally allowed Jewish actors to embrace their ethnicity and Jewish writers and directors to explore their culture. The movie industry was, of course, largely created by Jews, but for much of the 20th century the Jewish studio heads repressed their […] [Read More]

Vogue cover girl Rooney Mara: starving herself into stardom?

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The November issue of Vogue has an unsettling cover story on the actress Rooney Mara, who was plucked from obscurity by director David Fincher to star in his forthcoming screen version of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” The feature skirts around the fact that Mara had to drop quite a bit of […] [Read More]

Finding Debra Winger on the season three ‘In Treatment’ DVD

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Debra Winger’s decision to back away from her movie career more than a decade ago — to focus on her family life — perplexed her peers and left her fans missing one of the most vibrant screen presences of the 1980s. To go from 60 to 0 in Hollywood is such a rare occurrence that […] [Read More]

‘Travels with My Aunt’: or, the wisdom of Katharine Hepburn

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Although she received an inexplicable Oscar nomination for her performance, Maggie Smith’s work in the 1972 “Travels with My Aunt” is so misguided and so over-the-top that her peers in the acting division of the Motion Picture Academy must have been honoring the star’s bravery as much as anything. The adaptation of the 1969 Graham […] [Read More]

‘Mountainfilm’ brings a taste of Telluride to Fairfield

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A selection of the best shorts from the annual Mountainfilm festival in Telluride, Colorado, is traveling the country and will be making a stop at the Community Theater in Fairfield Tuesday night. Founded in 1979, Mountainfilm celebrates documentaries and filmmakers devoted to nature and contemporary social issues. The event is held over a few days […] [Read More]

Broadway as the biggest high school on earth

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“The Playbill Broadway Yearbook” is a wonderful browsing volume that very quickly turns into an indispensable theater reference book. Volume 7 has just appeared which covers just about everything that happened on Broadway between June, 2010 and last May (the end of the theater season). The book is a natural outgrowth of the incredible day-by-day […] [Read More]

‘Skin’: another genre-mixing Pedro Almodovar movie

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Working at the rate of a movie a year, and maintaining an incredibly high standard of quality, Pedro Almodovar has to compete first and foremost with himself each time he delivers a new picture. The Spanish genius has moved in so many different stylistic and storytelling directions that the notion of “topping” his earlier work […] [Read More]

‘Miss Representation’: where do women find role models?

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I’ve written here before about the wonderful documentary programming on the new Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), but the film debuting tonight at 9 p.m. – “Miss Representation” — is not up to the high standards that have been set by the cable operation over the past few months. Produced and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the […] [Read More]

‘Who Am I This Time?’: before Jonathan Demme got serious

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Nine years before “The Silence of the Lambs” turned Jonathan Demme into a Hollywood bigshot, the director made one of the most charming short films of the modern era, “Who Am I This Time?” The 50-minute 1982 small-town comedy about the relationships within a community theater company pointed the way to my two favorite films by the […] [Read More]

‘The Carey Treatment’: lively thriller from an early Crichton book

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Blake Edwards had one of the most eclectic filmographies of any major American director — everything from the slapstick Inspector Clouseau comedies to “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to unheralded thrillers such as “Experiment in Terror.” More than most directors, however, Edwards had long rough patches where his films seemed wildly out of fashion and as a […] [Read More]