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The Jewishness of ‘Scanners’

Sean Alexander unpicks the Jewish undercurrents to the film Scanners which was released forty years ago on this day. Probably best known to David Cronenberg fans as ‘the one with the exploding head’, Scanners (1981) has proven to be one of the Canadian’s most remembered and entertaining of early studio features.  Following the parasitical excesses […]

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Four Jewish John le Carré Adaptations

To mark the passing of John le Carré, who died on 12 December, Nathan Abrams recommends four Jewish adaptations of his work.    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963)  This was the first film adaptation of any le Carré novel. It was directed by Martin Ritt, who was Jewish. Oskar Werner plays the ‘brilliant and principled’ East German Jewish spy Fiedler. The name of the principal female character in the novel, the innocent […]

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Up Schitt’s Creek

Schitt’s Creek may not be The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, says Vince Brook, but It Is Marvellous and Very, Very Jewish! Let’s start with Eugene and Dan Levy, co-creators of the hugely popular, Emmy-monopolizing CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020). This actual Jewish father and son team also co-star in the series as the fictionally Jewish Johnny […]

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Mank the Mensch

Nathan Abrams offers another view on David Fincher’s latest movie that reveals the hidden Jewishness behind the film. Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) is widely regarded as a classic, if not the best movie ever made. It’s routinely taught at universities; indeed, I have taught it many times. Rarely, though, until now, has it been […]

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Six films that would have Roald Dahl turning in his grave

Nathan Abrams revisits those ‘Jewish’ adaptations of the famous author’s works. Roald Dahl has been much in the news this week following the revelation of his family’s apology for his antisemitic comments. ‘There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I […]

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Citizen Mankiewicz’s Hyper-Jewishness

Vincent Brook reviews David Fincher’s biopic Mank.  Commenting on the cast of Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories (1980), film historian Patricia Erens observed, ‘The rolling credits probably contain the largest list of Jewish names in film history, apart from the Yiddish cinema of the 1930s’. David Fincher’s Mank (2020), about Herman ‘Mank’ Mankiewicz’s writing contribution to Citizen Kane, may not compete with Allen’s film in the number of Jewish actors (Mank himself is played by […]

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Spartacus: A Jewish Epic

Nathan Abrams explores the Jewishness of a landmark film on its sixtieth anniversary. Conceived by Kirk Douglas and executed by Stanley Kubrick, the Roman epic Spartacus is still considered one of the best examples of its genre. It has left an indelible mark on our popular culture and has been much mimicked as well as parodied. […]

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Ten Reasons Why ‘Shrek’ Is Jewish

Nathan Abrams provides ten reasons why Shrek is Jewish. Every year, the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry chooses 25 films of historical, cultural, or aesthetic significance to be marked for preservation. Among this year’s inductees is Shrek (2001). The Registry commended the film thus: Even by DreamWorks standards, the charm and magic of ‘Shrek’ […]

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The Mysterious (Jewish) Monoliths

Nathan Abrams considers the religious symbolism of the mysterious monoliths that have been recently appearing. Strange monoliths have suddenly started appearing and disappearing at various locations around the world. No one knows who put them there or why. Immediately, the lyrics of the immortal Spinal Tap came to mind: In ancient times,Hundreds of years before the […]

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Flash Gordon, Moshiach of the Universe

Nathan Abrams tells the hidden Jewish history of a childhood favourite, Flash Gordon, which is 40 years old today. Imagine if the creators of Superman had read Susan Sontag’s ‘Notes on Camp’ and the result is Flash Gordon which celebrates the fortieth anniversary of its release today. In a nutshell, scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov, football […]

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