Friday, May 05, 2006

Lively Jewish Arts and Culture

Lively Jewish Arts and Culture The other night I heard a speaker, Dr Patricia Erens, talk about Hollywood films with Jewish characters, themes, and images. Her major point was that there are specific ways "Hollywood" has depicted Jews and that they pretty much have been the same since the seventies. In a sense, that representations of the Jew in "Hollywood" haven't changed to this day. I questionned her about films such as those made by the Coen brothers and David Mamet and even a comedy like "Meet the Fokkers" (that we both agreed was terrible -- though Ben Stiller is interesting) and she said that pretty much things are the same.

I wonder about this. For instance (and maybe this is coming from an "indie" approach rather than a "Hollywood" approach) but what about in The Big Lebowski or in Barton Fink -- I think both of these films are very interesting in their portrayals of Jews. And even in the newer Woody Allen films like Deconstructing Harry, Allen creates new Jewish characters.


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