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San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Missions Impossible

George Heymont | Posted 10.01.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Explorers come in all shapes and flavors. From the Vikings to the Spanish conquistadors; from the Portuguese to the English, those with restless souls who craved adventure found it difficult to resist a challenge.

All's Not Fair in Love and War

George Heymont | Posted 09.20.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Now that 70 years have passed since the end of World War II, it's interesting to look at it from new perspectives. Although I doubt there was any collaboration between the two San Francisco summer festivals that did so, the results were fascinating.

Art for Art's Sake

George Heymont | Posted 09.10.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Some people doodle. Others diddle or dawdle. But for those who feel compelled to draw, to dance, or to dabble, there is an inner fire which must be fed. Feeding that fire makes perfect sense to those who are creative. Trying to explain the process to others can be incredibly difficult.

New York's Finest

George Heymont | Posted 08.30.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

From 1894's "The Sidewalks of New York" to 1940's "Give My Regards to Broadway" and beyond, some songs have become closely linked to the mythology of New York. There are even two hit songs (from 1944 and 1977) entitled "New York, New York."

A Harem of Translators: Isaac Bashevis Singer at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 07.31.2015 | Books
Pamela Feinsilber

Singer wanted a translator who wouldn't share the spotlight, and thus began his employment over the years of some 40 unknown women, a few of whom didn't even speak Yiddish.

Closing the Empathy Gap

George Heymont | Posted 03.03.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

As technology allows us to erect more and more electronic barriers around us, the value of removing one's earbuds and looking up from one's smartphone becomes increasingly important. Some people understand how to use new technology while others remain decidedly unclear on the concept.

Finding the Right Gimmick for Your Art

George Heymont | Posted 02.03.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Ever wonder how lesser talents continue to survive? The answer can be found in this brilliant musical number composed by Jule Styne (with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim) for Gypsy: A Musical Fable.

Attention: Sports Fans!

George Heymont | Posted 01.28.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Any form of corruption can taint a sport whose integrity is held sacrosanct in the eyes of its biggest fans. Two recent Bay area productions helped to shine a light on how difficult it can be to win simply on the basis of one's merit.

When Chaos Theory Becomes All Too Real

George Heymont | Posted 12.26.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Two films screened at the 2014 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival reminded me of the old saying which claims that "When man plans, God laughs."

Mad About the Boy

George Heymont | Posted 12.19.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

While Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. built the Ziegfeld Follies on the concept of glorifying the American girl, songs written about masculine appeal have a distinctly different air to them.

Lovers Behaving Badly

George Heymont | Posted 12.05.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Deviations from previously-perceived norms can lead to increased passion, kinkiness, and excitement (as well as confusion about roles and responsibilities that were once strictly defined by gender). Such relationships also open up the door for writers to have a field day with mistaken identities and increased levels of dramatic tension.

Sounds of the Mamaloshen

George Heymont | Posted 12.03.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

In a time when audiences are quick to label a performer as a cultural icon, how does one describe an individual who has become a cultural hero to millions?

Death Takes a Holiday

George Heymont | Posted 11.28.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Ten days after attending the opening night of the California Shakespeare Theater's new production of The Comedy of Errors I experienced a more personal comedy of errors that fell into that memorable category of "Everything's all right now" stories.

There's Lots of Good Fish in the Sea

George Heymont | Posted 10.24.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

The lyrics to many choral refrains in Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas are often ignored or forgotten by audiences who favor the musical solos and pat...

Here's What Family Values Really Look Like

George Heymont | Posted 05.03.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

One of the joys of watching world cinema is that it takes you outside your standard frames of reference. In some cases this means stories with fewer guns, gore, and explosions. In other situations, it simply means that the influence of Jesus is never a given.

Trying to Put a Ring on It

George Heymont | Posted 04.17.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

A gay film from Israel presents a hair-raising depiction of the obstacles faced by two gay men who quickly fall in love despite the fact that they are surrounded by the kind of tribal hatred as old as the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues.

Finding the Funny

George Heymont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Two recent low-budget productions demonstrated the trickiness of trying to wrestle a complicated story filled with complex characters into a manageable format that can hold its audience's attention while keeping to a reasonable time frame.

Hit the Road, Jack

George Heymont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Today's action adventure films are so full of explosions and special effects that there is little opportunity to imagine what might be going on in the hearts and minds of their major characters

Agents of Change

George Heymont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

The 2013 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival included documentaries about two men with as much chutzpah as blood flowing through their veins. While not an international celebrity, each is a heroic figure in his own right.

Impossible Dreams

George Heymont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

While it's possible that those who aspire to less enjoy life more, I have no doubt that every generation of humanity has had its ass kicked by reality.

Doing It for the Children

George Heymont | Posted 11.23.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

So far this year, HBO has screened two films of social significance which deserve the public's attention. One will, of course, be an easier sell to audiences because of its high quotient of celebrity content. The other begs to tell a far more riveting story.

They Left Their Hearts in San Francisco

George Heymont | Posted 09.12.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

Coming up at this month's San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is a wonderful new documentary entitled American Jerusalem which details the history of the Jews who helped to build San Francisco (from the days of the California Gold Rush and up to the 1915 Pan-Pacific International Exposition).

Racing Against the Clock

George Heymont | Posted 01.28.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

How does the burden of honoring one's promise complement efforts to adapt sustainable approaches to farming and fishing?

Cantankerous Old Coots

George Heymont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Retirement often brings out the strangest passions in men. While some may join the Tea Party movement and use its activities as a vehicle for venting their frustrations, others take to volunteer work or seek out mentoring opportunities.

Never Forget

George Heymont | Posted 11.19.2012 | Arts
George Heymont

Jews will often invoke the phrase "Never Forget" as a way of stressing that memories of the past must not be stolen from us. Three films screened at the 2012 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival focus on moments that should not be forgotten.