2017 Washington Jewish Film Festival Schedule Announced

Posted on April 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm

The 2017 Washington Jewish Film Festival (May 17-28) includes 63 feature-length and 18 short films from 25 countries, and showcases the diversity of Jewish life through time and across the world. In addition to the film program, the Festival will host talkbacks and panel discussions with dozens of filmmakers from the U.S. and abroad. Opening Night will feature “The Women’s Balcony,” a dramatic comedy set against a gender rift in an Orthodox community in Jerusalem. “Fanny’s Journey,” the extraordinary true story of a young girl who leads a group of children through Europe to escape the Nazis, closes out the twelve-day event.

“Every year we strive to present new cinematic voices from all corners of the globe that reflect and inform the Jewish identity,” said Ilya Tovbis, Director of the Washington Jewish Film Festival. “The 2017 program includes some of the most striking international films of the past year, from both emerging and master filmmakers. In many cases, the Festival will be the only chance for Washingtonians to catch these cinematic gems on screen.”
The feature, documentary and short films in the slate touch on an array of Jewish perspectives from around the world. This year’s festival includes three thematic strands: Rated LGBTQ which explores sexuality and gender identity; Mechanisms of Extremism, films that examine extremist governments, societies and movements; and Laugh Track, a selection of comedies of all stripes.

A highlight of this year’s line-up is a special showing of “Clueless,” with director Amy Heckerling on hand to lead a discussion and a 90’s party to bring out your inner Cher.

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Features & Top 10s

Happy Birthday Doris Day!

Posted on April 3, 2017 at 10:57 am

One of the 20th century’s greatest and — yes — most versatile performers is Doris Day, who celebrates her 95th birthday today. Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio, her first dream was to be a dancer, until she was injured in an automobile accident. So, she became a singer, and her version of “Sentimental Journey” became a huge hit. By then, a bandleader told her to use the last name “Day” after the song “Day by Day.”

Songwriters Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne recommended her for a movie musical, “Romance on the High Seas,” where she played an outspoken young singer impersonating a society lady on a cruise ship. She introduced the song, “It’s Magic.”

The three comedies she made with Rock Hudson made her one of the most beloved stars of the 1960’s.

She was a fine dramatic actress, and won an Oscar for the biopic about singer Ruth Etting, “Love Me or Leave Me.”

And she is excellent as the neurotic wife in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”

I’m especially fond of her performances in “The Thrill of it All” and “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.”  Happy birthday, Miss Day!

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Great News! Tina Fey’s New Show with Andrea Martin and John Michael Higgins

Posted on April 3, 2017 at 8:00 am

Great news! Tina Fey is producing a new show, another sitcom set in a television studio, and it’s called…”Great News.” Andrea Martin stars as a woman who becomes an intern at her daughter’s television news show. It premieres April 25, 2017.

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New on National Geographic: Genius, the Story of Albert Einstein with Geoffrey Rush

Posted on April 2, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Is time universal? Is everything connected? Albert Einstein revolutionized the way we think about the universe and even the way we think about science. In National Geographic’s engaging new series “Genius” we see Einstein as a young patent clerk in Germany (played by Johnny Flynn) and as a mature academic working in the United States (Geoffrey Rush).

“Genius” premieres on April 25, 2017.

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Original Version: Going in Style

Posted on April 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm

This week Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, and Michael Caine star in the remake of the 1979 comedy heist film, “Going in Style,” starring George Burns, Art Carney, and legendary acting teacher Lee Strasberg (Hyman Roth in “The Godfather 2.”)

In the original film, three men in their 70’s decide to rob a bank mostly because they are bored. This new version, with a script by “St. Vincent” and “Hidden Figures” writer/director Theodore Melfi, is a bit more of a reflect of the times, giving the trio a reason to feel that the money they steal is rightfully theirs. The original version is worth a look, with three of the all-time pros clearly having a great time. Probably the biggest surprise today was how little they stole: just $35,000.

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