Five of the Fourth Annual Joyce Forum Jewish Short Film Festival


crying macho: the old man, the young man and the rooster.

UPDATE: I mistakenly received a list of breeders including Lark and Symmetry of points. Neither film is included in the Joyce Forum. Sorry for any confusion.

With the San Diego Jewish Film Festival still months away, we turn our attention to one of its most anticipated offshoots, the Joyce Forum’s fourth annual short film festival. Festival founder Joyce Axelrod and her cheerful band of volunteers packed the program with a variety of 25 short films, just five of which are reviewed below. The festival runs from October 1-3. For the first time, the screenings can be seen from the comfort of your sofa or in person at Lawrence Family JCC’s David and Dorothea Garfield Theater. For a full list of titles and where to see them, visit

The hamburger

Before I came on the scene, my mom kept two sets of dishes. It didn’t take long for Larry to remind Babe that his definition of fine dining was a slice of baby back from Sally’s Barbeque. Soon after, the two sets of serving plates merged into one large dinner service, but some of the basic food laws associated with kosher preservation were unwavering. Mom never served milk on a bacon and egg breakfast, nor were the burgers topped with a melted American square. I’m still addicted to burgers without cheese, and I was tickled to see director Hillary Nussbaum attempt to dramatize the old adage: “You can drive a Jew to a cheeseburger, but you can’t make him eat.” In the kitchen, weaving the Sabbath challah, three yiddishe meydlekhdiscuss the deadly sin associated with combining meat and dairy products. Aliza (Danielle Strauss) votes no, Shira (Leah Gottfried) is on the fence, and new roommate Rachel (Jenna Dioguardi) has already sinned in Gd’s eyes. The philosophical exchange begs the question: what’s the difference between premarital sex and a cheeseburger? Answer: sex is not inherently non-kosher. Will Shira bite when she and Rachel show up for a showdown ending celibacy at Shake Shack? It will only cost you 5 minutes of your time to find out.

Only Angie Dickinson could come between Larry King and Herb Cohen.

Larry and me

Playboy Magazine crowned Herb Cohen “The World’s Best Negotiator”. For 75 years, Larry King called “Herbie” his “best friend”. But the man who interviewed over 50,000 people from all walks of life did not sit here for a testimony on camera; he died during production earlier this year at age 87. Baseball played a vital role in their relationship. Brooklyn-born Cohen remembers meeting his childhood boyfriend Larry Zeiger when they were nine. Standing at the curb, a rolled up newspaper in his hand replacing a microphone, Larry “called out” the traffic like a broadcaster would at a baseball game. The boys were hanging out around the corner with legendary left-hander Sandy Koufax and Fred Wilpon, future owner of the Mets. When their elementary school teacher asked his students to name the three major religions, Larry raised his hand and blurted out: “Jewish and Italian.” Cohen describes the silence that pervaded a classroom awestruck by King’s ability to name two out of three. There was so much delicious anecdotal material packed into the 12 minute duration that we wished it was 10 times longer.

Sounds from the sidewalk (A farewell trip)

Michelle Zousmer has spent four years documenting the homeless people of San Diego. All she asks now is that people spend half an hour rethinking the homeless crisis as seen through the magnanimous eye of her camera. It was during a Community Heroes event at SDSU that the humanitarian, art photographer and documentary filmmaker met Steven Ried. He played with the Voices of Our City choir. The group united the community, with weekly choir rehearsals on Market Street. The choir act gained national fame; fans of America has talent will remember the act of season 15 which reached the semi-finals. Too weak to accompany the troop to Pasadena, Ried spent the night with Terry Crews who won the golden buzzer. It was one of the last things he heard. Diagnosed with liver cancer a year earlier, Ried asked Zousmer if she would document her last days. Having lost her husband to cancer, Zousmer thought long and hard before agreeing to spend what would amount to the last 12 weeks of her life with him. I know how it sounds, but rather than a depressing one, you can experience it as a celebration of a man’s life.


Meet Adele Daly, 66, a retired school bus driver forced to quit her job due to a closed back. Don’t be afraid if a crazy lady shows up at your front door with more ear piercings than a voodoo doll from a vengeful shaman and the wallet you lost two years ago was holding tight in her hand. She is known in Dead Horse Bay as Mudlarker, a person who detects metals without using a metal detector. His advice to potential candidates: The best wanderers walk slowly back and forth, looking with their toes. Adele does not return lost items in search of a reward, although she would not refuse any. She earns a large part of her living by selling copper to scrap yards. The bay, a small body of water that runs through southern Brooklyn, was once an open dump that lined the shore. The National Park Service closed the beach due to the presence of potentially radioactive material, but that did not stop local treasure hunters from looting its riches. Along the way, directors Miles G. Cohen and Seb Tuinder introduce us to several of Adele’s associates, including Merrill, an off-the-grid with a wicked sense of humor.

Symmetry of points

Another fascinating subject for a short documentary that, with proper funding, could easily be developed into a narrative feature film. Director Anna Panova parallels the lives of two women who met at a Boston social club and whose fathers fought on opposing sides during World War II. The last stop for many of Lisa Rosowsky’s family members was Auschwitz. His father André, a survivor, remembers living under Hitler’s spell, when his childhood friend told him that the reason they couldn’t play together anymore was because he was a “dirty Jew.” Ute Gfrerer’s vater assisted Hitler Juden Raised and drafted at 17. Gfrerer hated his father for fighting on the side of pure evil. Faced with the realities of the Holocaust, he claimed ignorance. Curiously, the paths of the two women have taken artistic turns. Gfrerer is an internationally renowned singer and actress. His interpretation of “Daddy, can you hear me?” – especially when placed in this context – is frightening. Rosowsky is a multimedia artist whose work targets the Holocaust and family trauma. Damn myself to find laughter in the most terrifying places. Not since the glory days of National Lampoon has one picture dropped me at the intersection of devastating satire and the last revulsive slag stop of mankind. During the time spent contemplating the freeze frame of Rosowsky’s “Family Reunion,” I could have watched Symmetry of points twice.

Video on demand and summary of new versions

crying macho – In a perfect world, Bronco Billy would jump in his Gran Torino, run the gauntlet to make a million dollars chico across the border and along the way meet a kind of steaming romance that connects Madison County. Long before drones became the cinematographer’s best friend, Clint Eastwood chose passionless aerial shots to open the show. This is how we met Mike Milo (Eastwood), another infantryman in Eastwood’s army, a stranger with a dark past whom he prefers to forget as he plots the rocky road to redemption that awaits us. crying macho? Why should Eastwood scream macho? No sooner had he reinvented the macho than he started to deconstruct it. It’s 1979, and Mike accepts a job from Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam), the same man who had relieved him a year earlier from his duties with the rodeo. Mike broke his back when a horse fell on him, and the pain relievers and alcohol that helped his recovery have since dulled his senses. Polk does him a favor: he needs Mike to pull his 13-year-old son Rafo (Eduardo Minett) from his unstable wife’s clutches and take him across the border. Mike obliges with what he calls “old fashioned loyalty”. At 91, Clint still considers himself a ladies’ man. The border officer flirts with the three pretty girls in the convertible before Mike. When asked about his business in Mexico, Mike replies, “I’m with them. He resists advances from Rafo’s mother Leta (Fernanda Urrejola), and we end with Mike in the arms of Marta (Natalia Traven), a sultry cantina owner immediately seduced by his charm. Who is not ? If there is one thing in the film meant to woo an audience, it’s Clint’s allure. The same can’t be said of the characters he meets, especially Leta, who worries less about her son being kidnapped by a stranger than it is about Mike who berates his sexual advances. She points out to Mike Rafo’s favorite hangout, a roosters fighting ring. Following a threat to break Macho’s neck, the boy’s prize rooster, Rafo appears from the shadows. Mike produces a photo of the boy when he was five, and fills his head talking about Polk owning a hundred horses and a rodeo to accompany them. From now on it is The Good, the Young and the Rooster. The themes may be similar, but that doesn’t amount to a patch on Eastwood’s cross-border travel in The mule. crying macho moves at a leisurely pace, which cannot be said of Eastwood. He adopted an aged statesman demeanor a la Henry Fonda, and critics were taken aback by his ability to ride a horse and throw a punch. Eastwood scoffs at the idea of ​​aging gracefully. Mike has built a reputation as an animal whisperer and when the local Federal brings his dog to examine, Mike confides in Rafo, “I don’t know how to heal the old.” He also whispers lies intended to convince Rafo that his rightful place is with his father. We begin to see through the regular assurance that Polk is eager to be reunited with his boy. And Rafo is still too young to realize that Mike hasn’t dragged his shriveled carcass across the border without expecting a reward. But what about Eastwood’s teenage cast? I don’t want to take it out on young people, but Rafo makes sure that non-professionals Gran Torino it looks like something from Truffaut The 400 blows. And in the end, it’s Macho who makes the laughter the most. The older he gets, the more naps he needs. Mike takes a nap for Marta, but the feathered alarm clock wakes him up an hour later. Eastwood’s reflections find the concept of macho largely overdone. Loyalists have learned that The glove, where rather than spending eternity churning Dirty Harry sequels, Eastwood began to push his on-screen character to the dark side where he has remained pretty much ever since. In the end, it’s Macho who saves the day (in more ways than one) and in exchange for a battered Chevrolet, Mike rides into the setting sun behind the wheel of a battered Mercedes. 2021. – SM ??

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