Indian Jews protest Bollywood Hitler film

By Jennifer Lipman, June 23, 2010

Members of the Indian Jewish community have slammed plans to make a Bollywood film about Hitler’s final days.

Filming is set to start in two months time but Anupam Kher, the actor due to play the Nazi leader, has now dropped out after facing criticism.

At the beginning of June Indian producers announced they were making a film about the end of the Third Reich.


Twilight star remembers Nazi victims

By Jennifer Lipman, June 22, 2010

Twilight star Kristen Stewart has paid her respects to victims of the Holocaust on a visit to Berlin.

The actress, 20, was accompanied by minders as she walked around the Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Comprising nearly 3000 white concrete blocks, the memorial opened in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.

Ms Stewart was in the German capital to promote the latest outing in the Twilight saga, Eclipse.

The film, in which the actress plays a teenager in love with brooding vampire Edward Cullen, opens in British cinemas on July 9.


Review: Macgruber

By Jonathan Foreman, June 17, 2010

Since its launch 35 years ago, the US satirical comedy series, Saturday Night Live, has launched the careers of many stars, including Eddie Murphy, John Belushi, Bill Murray and Michael Austin Powers Myers. At least 10 spin-off films have been made based on the show's recurrent sketches. Unfortunately few of them have been any good and most have been dire. Only The Blues Brothers (1980) and the two Wayne's World movies achieved much success at the box office.


Israelis cast aside differences

June 17, 2010

A new Israeli film, Ajami, which opens in the UK this week, tells the story of co-existence amid mutual suspicion in the eponymous neighbourhood in Jaffa – chosen because this is a district where Jews, Muslims and Christians are able to live together as neighbours, despite their emnity.

The film, itself a Jewish-Arab collaboration by Jewish writer/director Yaron Shani and his Arab-Israeli colleague Scandar Copti, tells the stories of a small group of characters.


Review: The Killer Inside Me

By Jonathan Foreman, June 3, 2010

I was dreading The Killer Inside Me. I knew from multiple spoiler-filled articles in the Sunday papers and elsewhere that Michael Winterbottom's version of the book by pulp novelist Jim Thompson features scenes of extremely graphic violence.

I also knew that Winterbottom had justified his depiction of vicious violence in the predictable pseudo-high-minded way of "serious" filmmakers who court controversy by indulging in slasher-film cruelty - it apparently is important that we filmgoers get a lesson in what violence really looks like.


Inside Israel's Oscar film factory

June 3, 2010

There is no doubt that Israeli film now commands a significant international presence. However, what is less well known is that so many award-winning Israeli directors, writers and producers are graduates of Tel Aviv University's (TAU) Film and Television School.

Situated in a non-descript grey building on the Ramat Aviv campus, where cats lurk in its basement corridors and studios are piled with what on first glance appears to be junk, it is described by its academics and former students as "special".


Review: Prince of Persia - Sands of Time

By Jonathan Foreman, May 21, 2010

The first of this year's summer movies, Prince of Persia, is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the master of the visually slick, action-packed but sexless modern blockbuster aimed at pre-adolescent boys. Like so many recent movies, it is based on a video game. It is perhaps because of this that it is less engaging than the films it draws inspiration from, like The Mummy trilogy, and the Indiana Jones series.


Review: Lebanon

By Jonathan Foreman, May 13, 2010

Israel's military conscription and precarious existence ensure that citizens who would never be anywhere near uniforms or guns if they lived in another country can find themselves at the sharp end of modern warfare.

Whatever that means for the country's military - and Lebanon hints that a budding filmmaker is not necessarily who you want next to you in combat - it does mean that Israeli artists of all kinds are exposed to experiences that are rarely presented their equivalents in other countries.


Review: Hot Tub time Machine

By Jonathan Foreman, May 6, 2010

The title seems to say it all, as with the dumb but successful "high-concept" comedy, Snakes on A Plane. But Hot Tub Time Machine turns out to be a peculiar and often surprisingly effective hodgepodge of genres and comic styles.


George Lucas' Star Wars peace plan

By Jessica Elgot, April 29, 2010

George Lucas made his name chronicling a conflict in a galaxy far, far away. Now the creator of Star Wars is trying to help resolve a conflict on Planet Earth, one infinitely more complex than the Jedi knights' battle with the evil Empire.

The notoriously publicity-shy film director, whose six Star Wars films has made him a fortune of $3.5 billion, made a rare visit to London this week to advise an Israeli and a Palestinian film student on how to direct movies, and in doing so build a bridge over the Middle East divide.