Monday, November 30th 2020   |

Arts and Culture

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Casino’ is 25 years old. Here’s a primer on its Jewish protagonist and Hollywood’s other Jewish gangsters.

By STEVEN SILVER

(JTA) — “Casino,” Martin Scorsese’s examination of the mob’s control of Las Vegas in the 1960s and 70s, debuted in theaters on Nov. 22, 1995 — 25 years ago this past week. 

It may be a tick below “Goodfellas,” which came out just five years earlier, in terms of its reputation in the eyes of film historians. But the three-hour epic remains one of Scorsese’s most ambitious...

2021 Grammy Awards: All the Jewish nominees, from Haim to an orchestral ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ adaptation

By EMILY BURACK

(JTA) — This year’s Grammy Awards will almost certainly be different from past years, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. But despite the lack of details surrounding the ceremony, it’s still taking place, and as usual, several Jewish artists made the nominations list, which was announced Tuesday.

Ranging all the way from the sister rock band Haim to comedian Tiffany Haddish, these are the Jewish artists...

HBO adapts ‘Oslo,’ Tony Award-winning play about peace accords, into original film

(JTA) — HBO has begun production on a film adaptation of “Oslo,” the Tony Award-winning play about secret meetings before the Oslo Accords that nearly brought peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the 1990s.

The film, which will air next year, stars Andrew Scott (of “Fleabag” and “Black Mirror”) and Ruth Wilson (“The Affair,” “Mrs. Wilson”) as the Norwegian husband and wife diplomats who arranged covert negotiation sessions between...

7 especially Jewish ‘Jeopardy!’ moments from Alex Trebek’s 36 years as host

By PHILISSA CRAMER

(JTA) — Alex Trebek, the beloved baritone host of “Jeopardy!,” died of pancreatic cancer Sunday at 80. In his 36 years as host of the immensely popular game show, Trebek encountered his share of Jewish moments. We’ve rounded up a few especially notable ones from the last decade here.

2011: A rabbi appears on her ordination anniversary

Rabbi Joyce Newmark, a Conservative rabbi from Teaneck, New Jersey,...

‘Borat’ ads featuring Sacha Baron Cohen wearing ‘Allah’ ring (and little else) anger Paris Muslims

(JTA) — A billboard showing Sacha Baron Cohen lying seductively while wearing little more than a ring featuring the word Allah in Arabic is riling up Muslim bus drivers in France.

The ads are a promotion for the Jewish actor’s new film, the sequel to “Borat,” and they come amid a spate of jihadist attacks spurred in part by representations of Islam and at a time of rising tensions around...

An anti-Semitic cake, a Holocaust survivor and a whole lot of Hebrew: All the Jewish moments in ‘Borat 2’

By GABE FRIEDMAN

Spoiler alert: This article contains information about scenes and plot points in “Borat 2.” (JTA) — Sacha Baron Cohen’s new “Borat” sequel features plenty of crude gags and surprise appearances — sometimes colliding, as in the already infamous Rudy Giuliani scene. But the film also has a giant soft spot: for Judith Dim Evans, a sweet and loving Holocaust survivor ready to combat hate with a hug.

...

Mandy Patinkin on why Inigo Montoya is Jewish and what Saul Berenson would tell his Israeli sister about Trump

(JTA) — Mandy Patinkin brought a piece of his silver-screen past to the table in his first direct appeal to American Jews to vote for a candidate, Joe Biden.

Inigo Montoya’s sword plays a role in Patinkin’s appeal in a Jewish Democratic Council of America ad debuting Friday.

In an interview, Patinkin said it wasn’t the first time he used objects that melded his fictional and real universes: Saul Berenson,...

Prince and the Jews: The late rock star’s best Jewish friend tells all in new memoir

By STEPHEN SILVER

(JTA) — In the late 1960s, when Neal Karlen was not even 10 years old, he would spend time at the home of his grandparents, one of the few Jewish families that remained on the north side of Minneapolis. Karlen would play basketball and ride bikes with a group of African-American kids who lived in the neighborhood. One of them, he later realized, was a young Prince...

Holocaust survivor’s daughter wants her late mother’s interview out of ‘Borat’ sequel

(JTA) — The daughter of a late Holocaust survivor is suing to have her mother’s appearance in Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming “Borat” sequel removed from the film, stating that the comedy mocks “the Holocaust and Jewish culture.”

Cohen, who is Jewish, interviewed Judith Dim Evans earlier this year “under false pretenses with the intent of appropriating her likeness,” reads the lawsuit, which was filed this week with the Superior Court...

Gal Gadot to star as Egyptian queen Cleopatra in historical biopic

(JTA) — Gal Gadot will channel a real-life wonder woman as the star of a blockbuster film about the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

The Israeli star will work on the film alongside “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins, Deadline first reported.

Gadot’s husband Yaron Varsano and the couple’s Pilot Wave production company will be involved in the project as well. Universal, Warner Bros, Netflix and Apple also vied for the rights to...