(This is my new thing, where each week I link out to stuff that has published that’s worth some of your time.)
An unusual week, as I was in Jerusalem for the Jerusalem Film Festival. I was also there just as Hamas really started amping up its rocket attacks and Israel responded with its military. I don’t write about politics and I don’t have the energy to get into it right now, but if we’re friends and you want my opinion on all this, let’s get a beer. A lot of people don’t know the historical context. I do and I’m not afraid to enlighten you, but not right now – it’s Sunday night and I’m tired.
Anyway, for Indiewire, I wrote a piece about being a journalist at the fest during this curious time. You can read that here.
For Times of Israel I wrote about some of the films appearing there. (I saw more than I wrote about, but I didn’t want to mention the shitty ones, thinking they’d never ever be seen again. Jokes on me, though, as one of the dreadful pictures, Princess, actually won an award. There’s no accounting for taste.) Anyway, some of these movies should really be on your radar and you can read the piece here.
I also interviewed the filmmaker Shira Geffen. She’s the co-director of the Cannes hit Jellyfish from a few years ago, and has a new one called Self-Made. I reviewed Self-Made in Vanity Fair (and you can read that here) but my review, which is topical and, at times, funny, is on Times of Israel and you can read that here.
Unrelated to the Jerusalem Film Festival, but also for Times of Israel, I interviewed Steven Pressman, the author and filmmaker behind 50 Children, a fascinating look at two Americans who smuggled children out of Vienna during WWII. Our conversation goes to some unexpected places, including the rather remarkable upswing in European anti-Semitism. You can read that here.
I also reviewed two crappy sequels for the New York Daily News. They were Planes: Fire and Rescue and The Purge: Anarchy. As bad as they were, they aren’t nearly as bad as Deliver Us From Evil. You can read my review of that infuriating piece of garbage at the Guardian.