Menashe: A Yiddisher Kop

By Pamela Zoslov Joshua Weinstein didn’t have an easy time making his movie Menashe. The filmmaker drew his cast of nonprofessional actors from members of the Hasidic Jewish community in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Many had never even seen a movie before. Some signed on and then dropped out, fearing the disapproval of their synagogues and […]

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Landline: Kickin’ It Old School

By Pamela Zoslov Gillian Robespierre’s new comedy, Landline, has many traits in common with her debut feature, Obvious Child, which got a lot of attention due to its abortion story line. Both films focus on the romantic/sexual misadventures of a young woman played by comedienne Jenny Slate, and are sprinkled with copious amounts of scatological […]

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Maudie: A World of Her Own

By Pamela Zoslov The difference between Art and Life is that Art is more bearable. — Charles Bukowski “A World Without Shadows” is the title of a stage play and short film about Maud Lewis, a celebrated Canadian folk artist who lived most of her life in a tiny, primitive house in Nova Scotia, covering […]

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The Beguiled: Damned Yankee

By Pamela Zoslov Beguiling is not quite the right word to describe The Beguiled, the new Civil War-set film directed by Sofia Coppola. Slender, diaphanous, insubstantial — those might be more descriptive of Coppola’s adaptation of a 1966 novel by Cleveland-based novelist Thomas Cullinan, a onetime writer for Cleveland’s Plain Dealer newspaper. Originally titled A […]

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Labour Pains: I, Daniel Blake

By Pamela Zoslov Daniel Blake, a 59-year-old carpenter in Newcastle in northeast England, has had a major heart attack, and his doctor has advised him not to return to work. “I nearly fell off the scaffolding,” he tells the Jobcentre worker performing an assessment of his “work capability.” Daniel’s nightmare descent into Kafkaesque government bureaucracy […]

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