Friday, September 24th 2021   |

Film & TV

Actor Jason Segel opens up about childhood as Jewish outsider

By ANDREW TOBIN

(JTA) — Actor Jason Segel — best known as the star of  “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “How I Met Your Mother” — opened up on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast this week about growing up with one Jewish parent and as a complete outsider.

Segel sat down for the Monday podcast ahead of the release of his film “The End of the Tour,” in which he plays the tortured...

What makes a mensch? A ‘digital diva’ wants to know

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — “Our technology has exceeded our humanity,” Albert Einstein allegedly once lamented.

But filmmaker Tiffany Shlain — who utilizes an online, collaborative process and distribution method she dubs “cloud filmmaking” — says it’s possible that technology, used correctly, can enhance our humanity.

As a testament to Shlain’s methods, as well as her rise to becoming one of the most influential filmmakers in the American Jewish world,...

Talking racism and housing with the writer behind HBO’s ‘Show Me a Hero’

By ERICA BRODY

(JTA) — Good storytelling, like good comedy, often draws from real life. It also relies on timing — finding the precise moment when it won’t just entertain but resonate, provoke, perhaps even shift our national conversation.

“Show Me a Hero” — the six-part HBO miniseries created by journalist-turned-showrunner par excellence David Simon (“The Wire,” “Treme”) with William Zorzi (who worked with Simon at the Baltimore Sun and on “The Wire”) and Paul...

Mayim Bialik: Being religious isn’t trendy in Hollywood

(JTA) — People of faith working in Hollywood are often out of step with the entertainment industry, American actress Mayim Bialik said. “I think in general it’s never going to be trendy to be observant or religious in Hollywood circles,” Bialik, 39, told Fox411 in an interview broadcast over the weekend. “There are people I know of faith and we tend to congregate together. I study Jewish texts weekly. That’s...

After ‘Trainwreck’ shootings, Amy and Charles Schumer join for gun control

(JTA) — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York joined with his cousin, comedian Amy Schumer, to launch a campaign for gun control.

At a news conference at the senator’s office in Manhattan on Monday, Amy Schumer said she agreed to his request for the campaign, dubbed “Schumer and Schumer, Enough is Enough,” in the wake of the July 23 shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, during a screening of her film...

Theodore Bikel, Tevye in ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ dies at 91

By JTA STAFF

(JTA) — Theodore Bikel, an actor and folk singer who was recognized in 1997 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, has died at 91.

Bikel, who won fame playing Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” doing more performances of the role than any other actor, died Tuesday morning of natural causes at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to...

Spielberg sells Malibu property for $26 million

LOS ANGELES (JTA) – The award-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg sold his housing compound in Malibu, bordering the Pacific Ocean, for $26 million.

The Los Angeles Times over the weekend headlined the sale by the creator of “Jaws,” “Jurassic Park” and “Schindler’s List” as “Spielberg’s latest blockbuster.”

The compound’s two-story main house features seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, a massage room and a home theater. Outside...

New film, ‘Rosenwald,’ tells story of Jewish philanthropist who transformed black lives

By LISA HOSTEIN

PHILADELPHIA (JTA) — Alex Bethea, the son of cotton and tobacco farm workers, was in sixth grade in 1965 when his family moved from Dillon, South Carolina, to the tiny town of Fairmont, North Carolina, where he attended a school called Rosenwald.

But it wasn’t until this week, 50 years later, that Bethea learned that his school was named for Julius Rosenwald, the Jewish philanthropist who is...

Oh Hell Yeah: An interview with ‘Sharknado’ writer Thunder Levin

By CURT SCHLEIER

(JTA) — Will lightning strike thrice?

Who better to ask than Thunder? That would be Thunder Levin, the writer of the campy, over-the-top “Sharknado” movies — the latest of which, “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!,” premieres on July 22.

For those unfamiliar with the “Sharknado”oeuvre, the films center on a strange weather phenomenon: A hurricane that precipitates a tornado. Together they suck up live, hungry sharks that subsequently...

Amy Winehouse, through the lens (and the bottom of a bottle)

By CURT SCHLEIER

(JTA) — To anyone who has read a rock-and-roll biography or caught an episode of VH1’s “Behind the Music,” it is a sadly familiar tale: An artist achieves great success only to self destruct.

There’s something called the “27 Club,” made up of a surprisingly number of influential musicians who died at that young age. Among them are Jimi...