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April 23, 2009 - Image 42

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-04-23

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Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival


he Jewish Community
Center of Washtenaw
County, in association
with the Jewish Community
Center of Metropolitan Detroit
and the Michigan Theater, show-
cases 15 films over five days at the
Michigan Theater on East Liberty
Sunday-Thursday, May 3-7. Ann
Arbor JCC Jewish Film Festival
chairs are Levana Aronson,
Roberta Tankanow and Norman
The festival will kick off with
a free family-friendly pre-open-
ing film, The Little Traitor, at 10
a.m. Sunday, May 3. Later that day,
the festival officially opens with
Noodle, a touching comic-drama
about an El Al flight attendant's
efforts to reunite an abandoned
Chinese boy with his mother. The
festival's closing film, Sixty Six, is a
charming coming-of-age film.
Nine of the films are foreign,
including five from Israel. The
Israeli film Waltz with Bashir was
honored as the Best Foreign Film

at the 2009 Golden Globes; the
German movie The Counterfeiters
won the Best Foreign Language
Film at the 2008 Academy Awards.
Two films have a distinctly local
appeal. Michigan filmmaker H. G.
Manos' The Purple Gang recounts
the story of the notorious Jewish
Detroit-based mob. The documen-
tary The Champagne Spy is about
a German man who spies for
Israel in Egypt when the Israelis
threaten to reveal his Nazi past.
Today, his son, Oded Gur Arie, is
an Ann Arbor resident.
Several speakers will enhance
the viewers' experience.
Eileen Pollack, head of the MFA
program in creative writing at the
University of Michigan will share
her experiences growing up in the
Catskills following Four Seasons
Lodge at 1:30 p.m. Monday, May
4. At 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, Russ
Collins, executive director of the
Michigan Theater, will discuss the
film and the novel animation tech-
niques used in Waltz with Bashir.

The late Jules and Ann Doneson

At 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oded Gur
Arie will speak on the film about
his father, The Champagne Spy.
On Wednesday, May 6, Bobbie
Morgenstern, past chair of
the Soviet Jewry Council of
Philadelphia, will bring a personal
note to the plight of Soviet dis-
sidents following the 1:30 p.m.
screening of Refusnik. A panel
discussion featuring local par-

ticipants and organizers of the
Taglit Birthright Israel program
will complement Soul Tripping at 5
p.m. the same day.
Finally, on Thursday, May 7, at
5 p.m., Michigan filmmaker H. G.
Manos and author Paul R. Kavieff
will recount the filming of the
Purple Gang.
The Ann Arbor Film Festival
is made possible by the Michael
and Patricia Levine Philanthropic
Foundation, the Charles and
Rita Gelman Educational
Foundation and the Michigan
Theater. Additionally, the Ann
and Jules Doneson Film Festival
Endowment Fund has been
recently established by Shira and
Steve Klein in memory of Shira's
parents to help insure the festival's

Individual movie tickets are $10 each. Festival passes are $65 for
JCC members/$75 for non-members. For a full schedule and fes-
tival programming, go to www.jccannarbor.org .

Jewish Film

Running Monday-
Thursday, May 4-7, at
the Cineplex Odeon
Theaters at Devonshire
Mall, the Windsor
Jewish Film Festival,
in association with the
Jewish Community
Center of Metropolitan
Detroit, presents 11 films
and one special presen-
tation: Michigan film-
maker H. G. Manos and
author Paul R. Kavieff
will answer questions
following the 2 p.m.
Tuesday, May 5, screen-
ing of The Purple Gang.
Tickets are $10/$50
for a full series pass.
For more information
and a full schedule, call
the Windsor Jewish
Community Centre at
(519) 973-1772.

4t ews

Nate Bloom
Special to the Jewish News
1212 New Flicks
Opening last week, at the Maple
Theatre in Bloomfield Township,
the film Mysteries of Pittsburgh is
a from the novel of the same name by
Michael Chabon
The central character of the novel
and the film is Art Bechstein (Jon
Foster), the son of a high-level
gangster (Nick Nolte). In the novel,
the Bechsteins are identified as
Jewish. In the film, their ethnic/reli-
gious identity is left
unstated. Foster,
24, is the younger
brother of actor
Ben Foster (Six Feet
As the film begins,
Art has just finished
Jon Foster
college in Pittsburgh
and is spending the
summer working at a bookstore. He
meets two "free spirits" — a beauti-
ful young violinist (Siena Miller) and
her intelligent and often very charm-
ing boyfriend (Peter Sarsgaard). Art
Bechstein ultimately falls in love



April 23 2009

with both of them. The boyfriend's
bad habits ultimately lead to a series
of events that severely impact all
the main characters' lives.
Scheduled to open Friday, April
24, at the Main Theatre in Royal Oak
is the rock documentary Anvil! The
Story of Anvil.
In the early '70s, two Toronto
Jews, singer/guitarist Steve "Lips"
Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner,
formed Anvil, a heavy metal band.
Anvil never broke big or made any
money, but its music is admired
by many big-name acts, including
The recent Los Angeles film pre-
miere of Anvil! attracted such big
names as actors Keanu Reeves,
Dustin Hoffman and Ryan Gosling.
There also were a lot of famous
musicians in atten-
dance to see a film
about two 50-year-
old guys who are
still working mini-
mum-wage jobs to
support their band.
Kudlow and
Reiner (the son of a
Kudlow and
Holocaust survivor)

come from culturally Jewish but not
especially observant homes. They
talk a little about the influence of
their Jewish backgrounds in the film.
Kudlow speaks about borrow-
ing money from his family to make
records: "Being able to turn to fam-
ily in that regard is part of what
Jewish families are about. There's a
common thread in Jewish families
that you're allowed to do what's in
your heart. That's the philosophy I
was raised with."

TV Land Awards

The TV Land cable station airs its
annual TV Land Awards special 8
p.m. Sunday, April 26. A lot of clas-
sic TV shows and performers are
being honored.
Don Rickles, 82,
will be present to
accept the Legend
Also appearing in
conjunction with the
honoring of their
respective TV shows
Don Rickles
are Knots Landing
star Michele Lee, 67, and M*A*S*H
writer/producer Larry Gelbart, 81.

Notes On A
TV journalist Paula
Zahn was fired from
CNN for anemic
ratings, but a story
about her marriage
got a stratospheric
Zahn and
number of Internet
hits last week.
Zahn has been married for 22
years to multimillionaire businessman
Richard Cohen. Zahn isn't Jewish,
but she told a Jewish women's group
in 2005 that her children were being
raised Jewish. In 2007, scandal hit
when it was revealed that Zahn had
left Cohen and moved in with billion-
aire Paul Fribourg, a former family
friend. Fribourg left his wife of many
years, Josabeth, to be with Zahn.
Last week, it was revealed that
Fribourg has gone back to Josabeth,
and Cohen and Zahn, while not living
together, are starting to reconcile
their differences. The divorce case
has been dropped, and Zahn's lawyer
said that there's "a total cease-fire."
Cohen's press agent said that Cohen
always described Zahn as "a good
and caring mother." Eli

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