Articles written by Curt Schleier

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'Clueless' creator Amy Heckerling on her Jewish roots and how men have it much easier in the film industry

(JTA)-Officially and for the record, despite her Jewish-sounding name, Cher Horowitz is not a member of the tribe. In fact, the Valley Girl heroine of the iconic 1995 film "Clueless" was never...

 

Felicity Jones on playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg before she was the 'Notorious RBG'

(JTA)-The young attorney seems unsure of herself. As a law professor, she is unaccustomed to appearing in court, so she hesitates at first, unable to begin her summation. But once she gets going,...

 

Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin mine aging for laughs in Chuck Lorre's latest, 'The Kominsky Method'

(JTA)-"The Kominsky Method" is the wisest and saddest new comedy on television. That might be its biggest problem. The protagonist of the eight-episode Netflix series that debuts Friday is Sandy Komin...

 

'Manchester by the Sea' director's latest Broadway play follows a Jewish family dealing with tragedy

(JTA)—On the phone last week, just before the revival of his play “The Waverly Gallery” opened on Broadway, Kenneth Lonergan sounded harried. There had been some set malfunctions earlier in the week, just as critics were getting ready to start...

 

Argentine film about a Holocaust survivor

(JTA)-When the Argentine-Jewish filmmaker Pablo Solarz was 5 or 6 years old, he asked his grandfather if he was Polish. On the phone recently, in heavily accented English, he described his...

 
 By Curt Schleier    News    August 3, 2018

An all-female Orthodox ambulance corps gets a film of their own

(JTA)-Like many heavily Orthodox sections of Brooklyn, Borough Park has been served for decades by an all-male volunteer ambulance corps called Hatzalah. The corps caters to a religious Jewish...

 
 By Curt Schleier    Features    May 11, 2018

Rachel Bloom on Michelle Wolf, her first movie and post-'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' plans

(JTA)-It should not be surprising that Rachel Bloom is on Team Michelle Wolf-supporting the comedian who may have singlehandedly killed the White House Correspondents' Dinner with her scathing public...

 

Jewish-American soldiers didn't just fight Nazis-they endured anti-Semitism

(JTA)-"GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II" begins as many Holocaust documentaries do, with a history of the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany mixed with what is now standard archival footage...

 

Zach Braff is happy to be back on TV

(JTA)-Lightning struck Zach Braff in 2001. The up-and-coming Jewish actor, who had appeared in a few films-perhaps most notably a small role in Woody Allen's "Manhattan Murder Mystery"-landed the...

 

Arthur Miller's daughter made an intimate HBO documentary about her father

(JTA)-"Arthur Miller: Writer," a lovingly crafted documentary about the award-winning playwright set to air on HBO, doesn't reveal a lot of new information. A good portion of the film involves Miller...

 

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried isn't a cranky loudmouth, as documentary about him shows

(JTA)-"It was very peculiar," said Gilbert Gottfried, 62, about becoming the subject of the aptly named bio-documentary, "Gilbert." "The filmmaker, Neil Berkeley, came to me and said he'd always...

 

Rob Reiner on Judaism, movies and his experience 'home shuling'

(JTA)-By his own admission, Rob Reiner was not the right person to direct "LBJ," a film biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president of the United States. "I had a lot of trepidation," he...

 

Once New York's toughest cop, now a TV star

(JTA)-There are almost as many reality cop shows on television as there are Real Housewives. "Cops" is the granddaddy of them all, in its 30th season, plus there's "Night Watch" and "Live PD," to...

 
 By Curt Schleier    Features    May 26, 2017

Carl Reiner, 95, dishes his secrets to longevity

(JTA)-The first thing Carl Reiner does every morning is pick up the paper and read the obituary section to check if he's named there. "If I'm not, I'll have my breakfast"-or so he says in the charming...

 

Chastain on playing Holocaust heroine in 'The Zookeeper's Wife'

(JTA)-Strong women are right in actor Jessica Chastain's wheelhouse. There's Maya, the fictional CIA agent in "Zero Dark Thirty," whose work led Seal Team Six to Osama bin Laden; Melissa Lewis, the...

 

Hank Azaria opens up about speaking Ladino and his latest role

(JTA)-Actor Hank Azaria is known for his portrayal of an array of characters-most notably voicing Moe, Chief Wiggum and Apu on "The Simpsons." While he may be best known for his work on the...

 

Try not to cry during this Oscar-nominated film

(JTA)-Filmmaker Kahane Cooperman hasn't written an Oscars acceptance speech yet, but she likely will before the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 28. Not to jinx things or appear overconfident, Cooperm...

 

Josh Radnor, beyond 'How I Met Your Mother'

(JTA)-Josh Radnor is starring these days in Richard Greenberg's off-Broadway play "The Babylon Line." For the 42-year-old actor, it is the latest in a long and impressive list of credits. However, the...

 

Comedian Nick Kroll is serious about being funny

NEW YORK (JTA)-Nick Kroll is serious, which is a tad unusual for a man who has largely made his living by being funny. But being funny for reporters isn't his job, he tells JTA in a telephone...

 

Ewan McGregor's biggest challenge: Philip Roth

(JTA)-Which is braver: Riding a motorcycle across the length of Africa, or taking on an adaptation of a Philip Roth novel for your first directing gig? For a second, actor Ewan McGregor is stumped by...

 

What's a nice Jewish boy like Daniel Radcliffe doing playing a neo-Nazi?

(JTA)-In his new film, "Imperium," Daniel Radcliffe plays FBI agent Nate Foster, who goes undercover to take down skinheads planning to set off a dirty bomb. The film, which opens Friday, is taut and...

 

Iran, the Holocaust, 'Septembers of Shiraz'-and me

(JTA)-"Septembers of Shiraz" is a film about a prosperous Jewish family in Iran caught up in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution that overthrew the shah. It's based on Dalia Sofer's well-received...

 
 By Curt Schleier    Features    May 20, 2016

Anthony Weiner lets it all hang out in new documentary

(JTA)-It's just before Rosh Hashanah in 2013, and New York City's mayoral campaign is heating up. Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, who in a surprise move had thrown his hat in the ring a...

 
 By Curt Schleier    Features    May 13, 2016

In new film, Yitzhak Rabin narrates his autobiography 

(JTA)-"Rabin in his Own Words," which opened last Friday in New York, Los Angeles and South Florida, is more than a tribute to the two-time Israeli prime minister tragically gunned down in 1995. Th...

 

'Batman v. Superman': Jesse Eisenberg on Lex Luthor's embrace of Jewish culture

(JTA)-When the highly anticipated movie "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" opened nationally last Friday, several burning questions might finally be answered. Among them: Which superhero is...

 

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