In honor of the release of the Coen brothers’ “No Country for Old Men,” Entertainment Weekly created a list of the greatest hired killer characters in movies. As with all lists, it’s a conversation-starter, not ender. Some good choices, of course, especially Jean Reno in “The Professional” and Travolta and Jackson in Pulp Fiction. The choices are classic, I suppose, but a little obvious. Some of the lesser-known movie hitmen who are well worth a look include William H. Macy in Panic and Lee Marvin’s Oscar-winning performance in Cat Ballou.
It is more op-ed than movie. “Lions for Lambs” is a well-meaning attempt to encapsulate and move forward one segment of our current political debates. But it is mostly speeches, not stories.
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The Washington Jewish Film Festival has announced its 2007 schedule from November 29-December 9.
The Washington Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Washington DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts, seeks to create multiple dialogues about a variety of issues intersecting the Jewish experience through filmic representations created by Jews and non-Jews with a particular emphasis on debunking stereotypes and seeking unexpected stories. This gives the WJFF’s program an international focus, moving whenever possible beyond the traditional centers of Jewish life in the United States, Israel, and Europe.
To promote the preservation of Jewish culture by providing a forum for films with Jewish themes that would not otherwise find a place in the marketplace for public exhibition in the Washington-area: Many of the films we screen only have a life on the Festival circuit and in specialty DVD-release. In an age of major media consolidation the WJFF remains committed to keeping the public square populated by a diversity of narratives.
To encourage innovation and vitality within Jewish culture by highlighting films that place Jewish themes in new contexts or challenge long-held assumptions: The WJFF has been at the forefront of presenting films that reconsider the place of women and homosexuals in the Jewish tradition; that provide a constructive critique of Jewish identity and reconsider major cultural guideposts such as Zionism, the Holocaust and assimilation.