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British Jewish Horror

Molly Adams introduces six British-Jewish horror films. Since its birth as a genre, horror films have been preoccupied with religion and why not? The ritual, dramatic iconography, and terrifying promises of punishment in fiery pits for sinners to be found in Christianity are the perfect fuel for horror. However, if you’ve ever wondered where the […]

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Cronenberg’s Crime Films

Continuing our exploration into the link between Jews and crime, Sean Alexander looks at two David Cronenberg gangster films. You’d be forgiven for thinking that body horror director David Cronenberg’s canon of work is a world away from the crime thriller genre. Admittedly, Cronenberg’s halcyon period between Shivers (1975) and The Fly (1986) rarely crept any […]

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Groucho Marx and the Spirit of American Humour

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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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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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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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Roald Dahl’s Antisemitic Legacy

Sean Alexander takes a deeper look at Roald Dahl’s antisemitism. There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of generosity towards non-Jews.  I mean, there’s always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.  I […]

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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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The Top Ten Jewish Chess Movies

The Queen’s Gambit, a novel that has been adapted for and is currently streaming on Netflix (read a review here), has caused an uptake in the game of chess. Jews, as we know, excel at the sport, perhaps because it requires no physical contact, is played indoors and takes brains to master. In fact, the […]

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