Reviews

The Truth Is What Happened

In the 1920s, Isaac Babel (Danny Burstein), a Russian journalist stationed in Poland, enters his thoughts in a diary. He writes about the night, the field, the soldier with whom he shares a pilfered wine bottle (Zach Grenier). In 2010, a plane crashes, the Polish government is instantly obliterated and the diary slips into unlikely […]

Read more
Reviews

On the Other Hand

In Philip Roth’s Zuckerman Unbound, Nathan Zuckerman’s father tells him that the Barry Sisters and their recording of Fiddler on the Roof “are going to do more for the Jews than anything since ‘Tzena, Tzena.’”  Nathan allows the comment to go unchallenged, but Roth would call the Broadway musical “shtetl kitsch.”  Of course, his generation was closer, not just to the […]

Read more
Reviews

We All Need Mazel

Following Joel Grey as the Emcee in Cabaret is a bit like following Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire or, I would imagine, Mark Rylance in Jerusalem.  Mr. Grey is one of those performers who seems like he learned to entertain before he learned to crawl, and his Emcee is both attractive and repellent, with a face […]

Read more
Reviews

Stay Golden, Joey Boy

The script for Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy reads like the third movie you would see at a Film Forum triple feature, like one of those early, sixty-five minute talkies with bad sound and stock characters.  People say things like “Use your noodle,” “cock-eyed gutter rat,” and “phonus bolonus” without a trace of irony, which makes […]

Read more