Israeli Film 101, Or Why I Have Finally Joined Netflix

First, the Jewish Book Council lured me into opening a Twitter account–against my better, time-preserving judgment–so that I could participate in its online book club/discussions (the next one of which, featuring Julie Orringer and her amazing novel, The Invisible Bridge, happens to be taking place today at 12:30 p.m. EST).

But at least Twitter doesn’t cost anything. Now, thanks to my recent trip to Israel, I’ve finally succumbed and joined Netflix. Which does cost something (beyond time).

Here’s what happened: One warm Jerusalem afternoon, our group meandered over to the Hebrew Union College campus for what was billed as a session with an Israeli screenwriter and film critic. That gathering proved to be one of the highlights of the trip.

The screenwriter/critic, Galit Roichman, contextualized and presented clips from three Israeli films: Walk on Water (2004), Turn Left at the End of the World (2004), and The Band’s Visit (2007).

Suffice to say that I wished we could have stayed hours longer, to watch all three films in their entirety and to get more recommendations from the presenter (she has promised to assemble a list and forward it to our trip organizers, and I’m going to follow up on that). I knew I’d have to see those films somehow, so once my suitcases were unpacked and my jet lag had abated, I finally gave in and opened a Netflix acount.

The first film listed on my queue, Netflix promises, will arrive today. (It’s Walk on Water.) Meantime, anyone else want to suggest some Israeli films for me to view?

Call for Essays from “Generation H”

“‘Generation H’ is seeing submissions for an anthology of writing from 2nd and 3rd Generation Holocaust Survivors. If you grew up in a home where your parents or grandparents were Holocaust survivors, we want to hear from you. Even if you don’t consider yourself Jewish.

Seeking humorous, quirky, emotional, unusual, dramatic, creative, unique stories about how survival has affected your life, your decisions, and your relationships as a child or as an adult in a significant way.

All essays should be nonfiction narratives, written in the first-person. Whether narratives delight or disgust the reader, they should have a strong story line. Focus on one or a few selected events; do not send rants or political speeches. Stories should be titled and include your name and be between 1000 – 3000 words, double-spaced, paginated and word-processed in 12 point font. No funky fonts, please. No more than 1 entry per person. Please include a brief bio (1-3 sentences) at the end of your submission.

Deadline: March 20, 2011.

Please send your submissions to: projects(at)slashcoleman(dot)com. Write ‘Generation H’ in the subject bar. Writers chosen for the book will be contacted by May 2011. Pay to be determined.”


Notes from Around the Web

  • While I was away, Briton Howard Jacobson won the Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Finkler Question. I almost missed this New York Times profile of Jacobson–thanks to my friend B.J. Epstein for making sure that I caught it!
  • Another item from across the pond: a lovely post about Allegra Goodman’s latest novel, The Cookbook Collector.
  • Dara Horn reviews Cynthia Ozick’s new novel, Foreign Bodies.
  • The Boston Bibliophile reviews Joan Leegant’s novel, Wherever You Go.
  • Liel Leibovitz introduces readers to Dolly City, “the influential novel by Israeli author Orly Castel-Bloom…released this month in a superb English translation by Dalya Bilu….”
  • Most reviews of David Grossman’s new novel have been glowing. Daphne Merkin’s take is different.
  • The Hebrew literature department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is “in genuine crisis.”
  • On the Scribblers on the Roof website: three poems by Michael Jackman.
  • As mentioned on my other blog yesterday, my short-story collection, Quiet Americans, has just received its first review (and it’s a positive one!).
  • Shabbat shalom!

    Notes from Around the Web

  • Howard Jacobson’s latest novel, The Finkler Question, was already on my tbr list. Adam Kirsch’s review only solidified my interest.
  • On a lighter note, if you’re starting to look for Chanukah gifts for the little ones, you may want to check out this list of new titles.
  • I am so excited for the next Jewish Book Council Twitter Book Club! The chosen book is Julie Orringer’s The Invisible Bridge; the author will participate; and the event will take place online on Tuesday, October 26.
  • Mazel Tov to author Max Apple on winning a Pew Fellowship (you may recall my appreciation for his collection, The Jew of Home Depot and Other Stories).
  • More about David Grossman and his newly translated novel, this time from The Jewish Week.
  • Now up on The Jewish Reader: Philip Roth’s Nemesis.
  • This will be my final post for ten days or so. I’m heading to Israel tomorrow night! I don’t expect to be online much (if at all) while I’m there, but I do anticipate returning with lots of discoveries to share. Shabbat shalom, and see you when I’m back!