Review: Night At The Museum 2

By Jonathan Foreman, May 21, 2009

As a film critic, you soon come to dread “family comedies”.

It is not just the lazy writing, the condescendingly over-the-top performances or the irritating Hollywood convention that fathers must be shown as needing enlightenment by precociously wise offspring. All too often, these days the compulsory slapstick crosses the border into outright sadism, like the hot-iron-on-face scene in Home Alone 2.


Sir Jeremy blasts Edinburgh Film Festival for boycott ‘capitulation’

By Marcus Dysch, May 21, 2009

Anti-Israel campaigners have succeeded in forcing the Edinburgh International Film Festival to return funding from the Israeli Embassy.

Members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign had threatened to picket the event in June unless £300, which was to be used to fly Israeli director Tali Shalom Ezer to Scotland, was rejected.

Festival organisers said the decision was not a result of those threats, but was instead based on comments made by film director Ken Loach, speaking on behalf of the SPSC.


A Cannes red carpet for the JC (& Rachel)

By Keren David, May 21, 2009

Rachel weisz may be used to the glamour of Cannes — but it is a new experience for the Jewish Chronicle.

A paperboy’s weekly ordeal in carrying a heavy load of JCs is immortalised in a short film which gets its first showing at the film festival today.

Jewish Chronicle Day, made by Jan Lower of Elbow Productions and Dr James Ohene-Djan, a lecturer in computing at Goldsmiths College, is based on Dr Ohene-Djan’s experiences as a delivery boy in leafy, prosperous and, some might say, Jewish, Maida Vale.


Shock at gay film shown to teenagers

By Marcus Dysch, May 14, 2009

A feature film about gay IDF soldiers has been screened to a group of teenagers preparing for a Liberal Judaism-organised tour of Israel.

Parents said the children were shocked when Yossi and Jagger, described as an “Israeli Brokeback Mountain”, was broadcast at a sleep-over event last week.

The youngsters had been meeting at the organisation’s headquarters in central London for the first time ahead of their LJY Netzer trip in July and August, for a pre-tour orientation session.


Pro-Palestine threat to picket film festival

By Keren David, May 14, 2009

Pro-Palestinian campaigners have threatened to picket the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June unless it hands back sponsorship money from Israeli sources.

A letter from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign accuses the festival directors of accepting money from the Israeli Embassy “while people in Gaza are still living in the rubble of their homes, and Gaza victims of Israel’s white phosphorous attacks are still in critical care.”

It calls on supporters to lobby the festival directors to refuse “Israel’s tainted money”.


It’s not easy being Charlie Kaufman

By Stephen Applebaum, May 7, 2009

For the past decade, Charlie Kaufman’s screenplays for films such as Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind have marked him out as one of American cinema’s most distinctive and idiosyncratic creative talents. Yet 20 years ago, his life was going nowhere.


Review: Plague Over England

By John Nathan, April 16, 2009

The critics have been criticised for praising a play written by one of their own. But Nicholas De Jongh’s account of the scandal surrounding the newly-knighted Sir John Gielgud’s arrest in 1953 for importuning (or as it is called these days, being gay) is a quite shocking revelation of institutionalised persecution. As Gielgud, Michael Feast is pitch perfect in voice and gesticulation. Weed out a few tired double entendres and the proposed film version of Tamara Harvey’s production could be a winner.


From Hogwarts to Hitler’s Germany

By Jonathan Messias, April 16, 2009

He has played three priests, military men of various rank and he continues to menace Harry Potter as the evil Lucius Malfoy. But Jason Isaacs’s latest film role is much closer to his heart — and closer still to his background as a Jew.


Review: Religulous

By Gerald Aaron, April 2, 2009

“I preach the gospel of ‘I don’t know’,” says Jewish-born, Catholic-raised stand-up comic Bill Maher as he travels to Jerusalem, the Vatican, and Egypt, among other places in his and director Larry Charles’s satirical documentary about religion. The pair turn out to be equal opportunity abusers, offending just about all religions, except, weirdly, Buddhism.


Review: Monsters vs. Aliens

By Gerald Aaron, April 2, 2009

This exciting 3-D animated adventure makes for surefire family entertainment. Alien goo transforms bride-to-be Susan (voiced by Reese Witherspoon) into a giantess who, together with various “monsters” held by the US government, is sent to battle an invading extraterrestrial robot. Superb animation, a funny screenplay and cleverly conceived monsters — Seth Rogen speaking for a giant jelly among them – adds up to an enjoyable school-holiday experience for children and adults.