Menashe: Ultra-Orthodox Ubermensch
Movies: Interview with Joshua Z. Weinstein
A documentary filmmaker explores the closed world of New York's Hasidic community in his first narrative feature shot entirely in Yiddish with amateur actors and a leading man who'd never set foot in a cinema
By Katherine Monk
There are approximately 330,000 Hasidic and Ultra-Orthodox Jews living in New York City, yet, the community remains largely closed and somewhat mysterious to outsiders. Filmmaker Joshua Z. Weinstein wanted to know more, so he focused his documentary skills on the world at his doorstep in the boroughs and neighbourhoods of his native New York City. The result is Menashe, a narrative feature shot entirely in Yiddish with an amateur cast of community members — some of whom had never set foot in a theatre until the film’s debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Weinstein says the experience was rich and memorable, but it’s not something he’ll do again — if only because as a director, he’d like ...
Margie Gillis moves through it
Dance: Pearl - The Show, Queen Elizabeth Theatre Oct. 27, 28
The Canadian dance icon digs deep in a new show that pays tribute to the Pulitzer-winning author of The Good Earth, but that's just the beginning of Margie Gillis's bid to help us 'reincorporate' and find our inner Pearl By Katherine Monk
(October 24, 2016) VANCOUVER – Dance icon Margie Gillis has many honours to pin on her lapels: Officer of the Order of Canada, Knight of the National Order of Quebec, Lifetime Achievement honoree at the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards and the first-ever winner of the Stella Adler Studio’s MAD Spirit Award. Yet, there’s one credit she’s particularly proud of, though it features no hardware, prize money or resume-worthy mention. “I was listed as one of the reasons why the Sun News Network failed,” says Gillis over a requisite latte in Vancouver Monday. In town for a two-night performance of Pearl, a “Broadway-style” production that celebrates the life and work ...
Rebecca Miller gets screwball
Interview: Rebecca Miller
She may be the daughter of the man who penned Death of a Salesman, but Rebecca Miller reveals an undeniable talent for thoroughly goofy comedy in her latest film, Maggie's Plan
By Katherine Monk
Rebecca Miller’s intellectual pedigree cannot be argued: daughter of Pulitzer-winner Arthur Miller, graduate of Choate and Yale, and married to the towering dramatic talent named Daniel-Day Lewis. But speaking to Miller over the phone, the legacy of Willy Loman walks out the door and the inner goofball emerges. It’s a side of Miller that’s on full display in her latest work, Maggie’s Plan, a feature film that charmed audiences at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and opens theatrically this week. A full-on comedy that’s been drawing comparisons to Woody Allen’s witty dissections of the academic elite, Maggie’s Plan stars Greta Gerwig as a modern gal looking to enhance her life in a millennial way. Maggie wants to have a baby without ...
Mob Rule: Part 10
Mopping up after a bloodbath
The price of doing business in New York City gets pricier by the day, forcing 'family-style' operations to retreat behind the reinforced steel walls of a downtown fortress while the local chamber of commerce hides its anxiety behind a fake smile By John Armstrong
When the first wave of medics had unloaded I went back down and found Meyer and Ricco then excused myself and headed for the nearest washroom, walking briskly but carefully; my bowels were sending urgent messages. Meyer came in while I was still in the stall. “You all right, Jackie?” I was covered in sweat and felt like I might never eat again. “Fine,” I answered. “Just need a minute.” I heard Meyer strike a match and smelled cigar smoke, which was probably a wise idea on his part. “It’s perfectly natural,” he said after a minute. “Survival mechanism. If you crap yourself you’re less attractive to predators. Saw it on a nature program. ...
Mob Rule: Part 9
A family reunion ends with gunfire
The mob bosses hope a friendly get-together at the Waldorf will defuse mounting tensions and expose the enemy, but the plan for peace is shattered like a ballroom chandelier, 'spraying shards like shrapnel from a crystal grenade'
By John Armstrong
I didn’t have a chance to phone Vanessa the next day until it was after 6 p.m. and when I did steal a minute, she wasn’t in. From the moment I stepped through the doors at work at eight that morning I’d been running back and forth from the Waldorf to the phone at my desk, overseeing arrangements for the meeting that night. The catering alone was a nightmare, given that many of the family Bosses were elderly and needed special foods – one could have no salt, another could have no dairy, another was allergic to shellfish, or nuts or something else – and then there was the problem of seating. Many of them were allergic to each other. Despite the long history of peace up to this point, there ...