What we’re reading—and watching—this week.
Moment Zoominar: To All Who Call in Truth with Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren and Journalist A.J. Jacobs
Former Israeli ambassador to the United States, former Knesset member, historian and prolific author Michael Oren discusses his latest novel, To All Who Call in Truth, a story about passion, betrayal, adolescence, and murder, drawing on his own experiences as a teenager growing up in New Jersey in the early 1970s. He also talks about current events in Israel. Michael is in conversation with journalist and bestselling New York Times author A.J. Jacobs.
A glutton for punishment, I recently slogged my way through all 316 online comments attached to a New York Times piece in which two Howard University officials, Brandon Hogan and Jacoby Adeshei Carter, defended themselves against the accusation by Cornel West and Jeremy Tate in The Washington Post that their decision to eliminate Howard University’s classics department to save money was a “spiritual catastrophe.”
Moment Zoominar: The Man Behind the Masks: Stan Lee and Marvel Comics with Journalists Abraham Riesman and Dan Raviv
Stanley Lieber, better known as Stan Lee, revolutionized the comic industry and helped create superheroes like Spider-Men, X-Men, Black Panther and more for Marvel Comics. Abraham Riesman, author of True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee in conversation about Lee’s complicated life and legacy with Dan Raviv, author of Comic Wars and former CBS News correspondent.
Co-sponsored by Moment Magazine and the Association of Jewish Libraries in commemoration of Jewish American Heritage Month.
Moment Zoominar: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East with Journalists Gershom Gorenberg and Dan Raviv
In 1942 the Nazis came close to conquering the Middle East during World War II. Gershom Gorenberg , an award-winning journalist and author, spent years researching and piecing together the truth about Rommel’s army and just how close it was to Cairo and Tel Aviv. He will discuss his new book, War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East, and share the journey that took him around the world to learn more about this fascinating story of espionage and intrigue. Gershom will be in conversation with former CBS News correspondent and Moment contributor Dan Raviv.
Moment Zoominar: The Making of Midnight Cowboy with Journalist Glenn Frankel and Film Historian Rebecca Prime
In an era when a new wave of movies pushed the boundaries of mainstream filmmaking, Midnight Cowboy stands out as the riskiest, most unconventional, and most successful of them all. Glenn Frankel’s new book, Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic, explores the making of the only X-rated film to win a Best Picture Oscar and offers a window onto the creative ferment and social unrest that gripped New York and America in the 1960s: the rise of gay liberation, the treatment of sexual themes in popular culture, and the role of Jewish artists such as director John Schlesinger and star Dustin Hoffman. Glenn, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, in conversation with film historian and scholar Rebecca Prime, managing editor of Film Quarterly.
Moment Zoominar: Adapting Jewish Literature: Yentl and A Tale of Love and Darkness with Fania Oz-Salzberger, Ruby Namdar and Rokhl Kafrissen
Fania Oz-Salzberger, Ruby Namdar and Rokhl Kafrissen join in conversation about what it means to adapt Jewish literature for the big screen.
While many Jewish filmmakers choose to write their own material and draft their own stories, others turn to interpretation. This program compares two films that share biographical features, Yentl and A Tale of Love and Darkness. Though released decades apart, both were directed by acclaimed actresses making their directorial debuts, Barbara Streisand and Natalie Portman respectively. These women notably adapted literary works written by men and their star power was critical to getting these films made.
Historian Fania Oz-Salzberger shares personal insights about her father, acclaimed Israeli writer Amos Oz, and his autobiographical novel A Tale of Love and Darkness and author and educator Ruby Namdar considers the film and the legacy of the memoir. Critic and playwright Rokhl Kafrissen explores Yentl, based on a play and short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
This program is a collaboration between Moment Magazine and REWIND: The Shenson Retrospective Film Series, a project of Stanford’s Taube Center for Jewish Studies. Both movies can be watched on Amazon Prime.