Many thanks to Betty Jo Tucker for inviting me on her show to talk about the upcoming 50th anniversary of one of the greatest family films of all time, Mary Poppins. Stay tuned for my review of “Saving Mr. Banks,” the upcoming film with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in the story of his 20-year effort to persuade P.L. Travers to allow him to make a movie based on her books about the magical nanny.
If children will be receiving holiday gifts, they should be getting ready to write their thank-you notes. A great way to begin is with SpongeBob Squarepants — I mean SpongeBob Mailpants — who is teaching children to write letters and postcards with a great new website. There are free SpongeBob postcards at the Post Office for you to pick up and mail the old-fashioned way. Parents can pick up a card to send to children to teach them the first lesson of letter-writing, the pleasure of opening up the mail to find something special just for you.
“Jews Telling Jokes & Stories” on Doc Club in December
The Jewish legacy of storytelling and humor enlivens December Doc Club’s diverse selection of films on IFC’s SundanceNOW, a virtual destination for streaming independent films online. From classic Jewish comedy to a look into Jewish worlds rarely seen by the public, no topic in the history of Jews and Judaism is off limits in this comprehensive selection of films.
Films included in “Jews Telling Jokes & Stories” are:
- A TICKLE IN THE HEART follows the kings of klezmer music on a tour as joyous as their music.
- DEFAMATION takes a witty and irreverent approach to examining anti-Semitism.
- ARGUING THE WORLD traces four New York intellectuals who came of age in the 1930s and took different paths of thought.
- FOUR SEASONS LODGE looks at an aging group of Holocaust survivors driven by an unquenchable passion for living.
- A LIFE APART takes us inside the closed world of Hasidism.
- JEWS AND BASEBALL interviews players and fans in a film that’s about more than just sports.
- Finally, the two-part WOODY ALLEN documentary delves into the life and career of the iconic comedian and filmmaker.
Nelson Mandela, one of the most inspiring figures of modern history, died yesterday and the world joins together in mourning his loss and paying tribute to his courage, integrity, and vision. There are many movie portrayals of this extraordinary man, including two new films this year, but today we need to him speak for himself.
“Social equality is the only basis of human happiness.”
“Difficulties break some men but make others.”
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
“I came to accept that I have no right whatsoever to judge others in terms of my own customs.”
“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
“Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
“I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days.”
“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”
May his memory be a blessing and may it inspire all of us to take up his great work and carry it forward.