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!
    • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
    • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
    • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
    • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
    • Really, can you blame them?
    • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
    • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
    • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
    • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
    • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
    • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
    • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
    • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
    • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
    • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
    • 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.