Eric Kohn


A Filmmaker’s ‘Blues’ Prompts Traditionalists To See Red

By Eric Kohn

A Filmmaker’s ‘Blues’ Prompts Traditionalists To See Red
Nina Paley was not looking for an international controversy. Nevertheless, in April, when the now 40-year-old Jewish cartoonist screened her latest film, “Sita Sings the Blues,” at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, she said that’s precisely what she got.Read More


Director Shows His ‘Stripes’

By Eric Kohn

His directorial prowess led to the endearing marriage of slapstick comedy and supernatural lunacy known as “Ghostbusters,” but once upon a time, Ivan Reitman was merely a scared little Jewish boy. He was born in Czechoslovakia in 1946, shortly after his parents, Leslie and Clara, barely managed to survive the Holocaust. Their life together in Central Europe fell apart when Clara was sent to Auschwitz and Leslie became a fugitive. Following the war, the Stalinization of Czechoslovakia left virtually no tolerance for the religiously observant Reitmans, and the family made a desperate escape to the decidedly more hospitable environment of Toronto. Arriving there in 1950, Leslie and Clara found decent work at a local Laundromat. Two decades later, Leslie opened a carwash. “We came here penniless. I didn’t speak the language,” Ivan Reitman recalled shortly before being inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame earlier this year. “There’s something about being from a smaller place that makes you more polite.”Read More


Why ‘Sammy’ Won’t Run — At Least Not on Film

By Eric Kohn

Although Hollywood has changed plenty since Budd Schulberg’s fictionalized exposé “What Makes Sammy Run?” first hit stands in 1941, the novel’s pioneering take on the lure of money and power remains timeless. The story’s inimitable antihero, Sammy Glick, reacts against his lower-class Jewish upbringing to become an amoral hustler who cons his way into running a major studio. Initially, the industry denounced the book as a gross caricature of success, while some claimed it was antisemitic, but this hardly affected its popularity. As years passed, the myth of the movie business solidified and Sammy Glick became inextricably bound to it.Read More






    Find us on Facebook!
    • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
    • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
    • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
    • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
    • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
    • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
    • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
    • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
    • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
    • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
    • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
    • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
    • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
    • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
    • This is the face of hatred.
    • from-cache

    Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















    We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

    Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.