Arts and Culture

Spike Lee’s Jewish characters have gotten better since ‘Mo’ Better Blues

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Spike Lee is releasing a new “joint” in August. “BlacKkKlansman” is a buddy cop film purportedly based on real events, in which a black officer (John David Washington, of the HBO show “Ballers”) and a Jewish officer (Adam Driver, of “Girls,” “Star Wars” sequels and...
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Israel wins Eurovision song contest

(JTA) — For the fourth time in its four decades of participating in the Eurovision song contest, Israel has won the international competition.

The song “Toy” by Netta Barzilai, 24, secured Israel’s victory at the Eurovision contest this year at the Finals Saturday in Lisbon, Portugal. The victory means Israel...
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French director Jean-Luc Godard among dozens of film professionals to boycott Israel cinema event

(JTA) – The French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard joined dozens of other film-industry professionals from France who vowed to boycott an event celebrating Israeli cinema.

Godard, a pioneer of the 1960s New Wave cinema and an avowed Marxist who has fought accusations of anti-Semitism, added his name to a May 4...
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‘Transparent’ will end after its upcoming fifth season

(JTA) — “Transparent,” the Amazon Studios television series about the Jewish transgender matriarch of a Los Angeles family, will end after its upcoming fifth season.

Actor Jeffrey Tambor, who plays the lead role of Maura Pfefferman, was fired from the series in February, following an investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed...
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Artists return German music award over rappers’ Holocaust lyrics

(JTA) — Several artists have returned their Echo Awards in Germany to protest the award won by two rappers whose lyrics boasted of having “bodies more defined than Auschwitz inmates.”

In response to the award controversy BMG, which distributes releases by Kollegah and Farid Bang, has announced a campaign...
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‘Schindler’s List’ at 25: How Steven Spielberg’s deeply Jewish story spoke to the masses

By MICHAEL BERENBAUM

LOS ANGELES (JTA) — 1993 was a dramatic year in the memorialization of the Holocaust.

In April, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened its doors; 45 million visitors later it is a fixture adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., not only telling the story of...
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Seth Meyers and his wife named their son after her Holocaust survivor grandparents

(JTA) — Seth Meyers’ newborn baby boy is named Axel Strahl Meyers. The Strahl in there might sound unusual, and that’s because it’s actually a surname — one that belonged to his wife’s grandparents, who were both Holocaust survivors.

In a touching segment on his NBC show “Late Night with...
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Hollywood executives offer support to Netflix after BDS movement asks it to scrap ‘Fauda’

(JTA) — More than 50 entertainment industry executives have signed a letter in support of Netflix, after the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel threatened a lawsuit over its distribution of the Israeli drama series “Fauda.”

The show focuses on a commando unit of the Israeli Defense Forces...
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Bruce Springsteen’s guitarist saved by an old bar mitzvah gift

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Bruce Springsteen’s longtime guitarist Nils Lofgren found himself in a pickle on Friday night: Just hours before a sold-out solo show in Dallas, he discovered that his four vintage guitars had been stolen.

Lofgren, who has also toured with Neil Young and Ringo Starr, tweeted that...
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Zach Braff is happy to be back on TV. ‘Scrubs’ fans should be, too.

By CURT SCHLEIER

(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 lead role of John “J.D.” Dorian in the hospital-based sitcom “Scrubs.”

Along...
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