December 27, 2012 |
It's not that Christoph Waltz is unwilling to discuss his movies, it's that he's cautious about too rigidly framing them for those who haven't seen them yet. It's of particular concern with material as complex as Quentin Tarantino's new "Django Unchained. " "Everybody has a different reason to see what they see in a movie. Everybody should very much listen to that inner voice when seeing any movie, but this one in specific," says the articulate, thoughtful Austrian actor, an Oscar winner for Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds.
December 15, 2012
Re "Not a club for Christians," Opinion, Dec. 11 I applaud Jonah Goldberg for questioning the GOP's approach to non-Christians and other minorities. It is a positive development that he recognizes the exclusion so many feel from the GOP. But while the GOP may be very strong in proclaiming its Christianity for all to see, it doesn't fare as well in following many of Jesus' teachings, including helping the poor, healing the sick, turning the other cheek and valuing the peacemakers.
December 11, 2012 |
In the scramble to make the GOP more diverse, a lot of people are looking at Asian Americans, whom many believe are a natural constituency for the party. I would love it if Asian Americans converted en masse to the Republican Party, but the challenge for Republicans is harder than many appreciate. President Obama did spectacularly well with Asian Americans, garnering nearly three-quarters of their vote. This runs counter to a lot of conventional wisdom on both the left and the right.
November 26, 2012
Seventy years after Norway helped send hundreds of Jews to Auschwitz, the nation's police have apologized for their role in rounding up and deporting people to Nazi concentration camps. The sober words from the Norwegian national police commissioner mark the first such apology from Norwegian police. After being invaded and occupied by Germany, Norway deported 772 Jews on ships leaving Oslo during the war. Only 32 of the people survived. The vast majority were expelled from Norway on Nov. 26, 1942, when 532 Jewish people were loaded onto the Donau.
November 23, 2012 |
El Iluminado A Graphic Novel Ilan Stavans and Steve Sheinkin Basic Books: 208 pp, $24.99 Halfway into the graphic novel "El Iluminado," a Spanish literature professor in an Indiana Jones hat wanders into a café in Santa Fe, N.M., and receives a pearl of wisdom from a gray-haired woman. "A Jewish soul is a Jewish soul," the woman says. "When you have it, you know. " The professor is a real person: Ilan Stavans, a Latino literary maven known for his insightful criticism, his authoritative anthologies and his quirky translation of "Don Quixote" into the mother tongue of millions of Americans, Spanglish.
November 15, 2012 |
"The Optimists" is a simple film, as much family memoir as documentary. But the story it tells is as significant as it is little known: how the people of Bulgaria rose up in 1943 and saved the country's Jews from deportation to the death camps of World War II. Completed several years ago, "The Optimists" (named after a jazz band of the period with Jewish members) is playing in Los Angeles now because of an exhibition at UCLA's Hillel Center titled "Bulgaria and the Holocaust: The Fragility of Goodness.
October 28, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - A simple, ancient ritual is threatening the delicate security balance atop Jerusalem's most sacred plaza: Jews are praying. On most days, dozens - sometimes hundreds - of Jewish worshipers ascend to the disputed 36-acre platform that Muslims venerate as Al Aqsa mosque and Jews revere as the Temple Mount with an Israeli police escort to protect them and a Muslim security guard to monitor their movements. Then, they recite a quick prayer, sometimes quietly to themselves, other times out loud.
October 19, 2012
Re "Debating free speech at Berkeley," Editorial, Oct. 15 Academic freedom and the right to free speech are sacred and deserve protection. At the same time, when anti-Israel activity crosses the line into anti-Semitism and expressions of support for terrorism, it is imperative to urge university officials to issue condemnations. There is a fundamental difference between criticizing Israel's government and its policies and "opposing" Israel's existence. The former may or may not be offensive speech.
October 1, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - If the Messiah descends from the Mount of Olives as foretold in the Bible, America's two biggest Christian broadcasters are well-positioned to cover it live thanks to recent acquisitions of adjacent Jerusalem studios on a hill overlooking the Old City. Texas-based Daystar Television Network already beams a 24-hour-a-day live webcam from its terrace. Not to be outdone, Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network last month bought the building next door. The dueling studios are part of an aggressive push by U.S. evangelical broadcasters seeking to gain a stronger foothold in the holy city.
September 18, 2012 |
The family always knew there was something mysterious about Wang Fanglian, secrets he dared not share with even his closest relatives. Although he was just an ordinary worker at a diesel engine factory, he spoke four languages, among them English with a guttural German accent. His narrow brick-faced house had a flush toilet, a gas stove and a balcony for drying clothes, all strange luxuries in his rickshaw-wide Shanghai alley. Only late in life did Wang explain himself, when it was safe to talk about his friendships with Jews.