By Norm Nielsen
Scarecrow Video’s Crosscut theme for April is Protest! Haskell Wexler’s Medium Cool exemplifies this theme. In documentary and narrative style Medium Cool captured the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention riots and the social and political milieu of the times. For me, watching Medium Cool 48 years after its release evoked vivid memories of the times I was tear gassed and chased by baton swinging cops through city streets after antiwar protests turned into riots. The film also evoked my memory of watching the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots on television as cops assaulted demonstrators chanting “The whole world is watching.”
by Maggie Corrigan
One of this year’s most controversial films is the new Ghost In the Shell remake, based on the Japanese anime, starring Scarlett Johanssen. By now, I’m sure you’ve heard the outrage caused by the decision to cast Johannsen in the role of The Major. Despite my never having seen the original Ghost in the Shell anime or its sequels, and not being a frequent consumer of anime in general, I still find the cultural debate surrounding this new Hollywood film fascinating.
by Nico Beland
Godzilla and Akira are two iconic films from Japan, different from each other in genre but both movies were of course heavily inspired by the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As part of the healing process of those dark times, many artists and filmmakers in Japan revisited the traumatic experience through literature, film, music, and art. In the case of Ishiro Honda’s 1954 Godzilla, the monster symbolizes nuclear holocaust and has since became culturally identified as a metaphor for nuclear weapons. When Godzilla attacks the city, the scenes replicate the horrors Japan witnessed when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed.
by The Seattle Jewish Film Festival Staff
The 22nd annual Seattle Jewish Film Festival kicks off on Saturday, March 25 for a 9-day tour of the globe. Come take a trip with us!
If you can’t make all the destinations, or want to be even more prepared for the journey, here are some other great Jewish films to add to your itinerary, as chosen by the expert Seattle Jewish Film Festival staff. Check out these great pairings of what’s in this year’s festival alongside what you can find in the deep vaults of Scarecrow Video.
Learn more and buy tickets at: www.SEATTLEJEWISHFILMFESTIVAL.org
by Norm Nielsen
Scarecrow Video’s March Crosscut theme is “March Badness,” and Robert Mitchum’s role as the child stalking, sexually repressed, gospel-spewing serial-killer Harry Powell in 1955’s The Night of the Hunter is one of the great cinematic portrayals of badness. Self-proclaimed preacher Harry Powell marries and murders widows for their money believing he is doing God’s work by eliminating women who arouse men’s carnal instincts. On the knuckles of his left hand is tattooed H-A-T-E on his right hand is L-O-V-E; given an opportunity Powell uses his clenched hands to demonstrate the Biblical struggle between love and hate. Two standout lines in the film characterize Powell: “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15), and “It’s a hard world for little things.”