American Jewish Filmmakers

Poster for American Jewish Filmmakers

Authors: David Desser, Lester D. Friedman

Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Sidney Lumet, and Paul Mazursky, all sons of East European Jews, remain among the most prominent contemporary American film directors. In this revised, updated second edition of American Jewish Filmmakers, David Desser and Lester D. Friedman demonstrate how the Jewish experience gives rise to an intimately linked series of issues in the films of these and other significant Jewish directors. This book presents the effects of the Holocaust linger, both in gripping dramatic form (Mazursky's Enemies, a Love Story) and in black comedy (Brooks's The Producers). In his trilogy consisting of Serpico, Prince of the City, and Q and A, Lumet focuses on the failure of society's institutions to deliver social justice. Woody Allen portrays urban life and family relationships (Manhattan and Hannah and Her Sisters), sometimes with a nostalgic twist (Radio Days). This edition concludes with a newly written discussion of the careers of other prominent Jewish filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, Barry Levinson, Brian Singer, and Darren Aronofsky.

  • Published: November 07, 2003
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Official site
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