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Picture of Ivor Davis

Ivor Davis

Letter from London: ‘An English Tragedy’ is timely on stage

In an atmosphere of increasing British anti-Semitism and vitriolic anti-Israel rhetoric in the left-wing press here, the play we\’re about to see, \”An English Tragedy,\” couldn\’t be more timely. Written by South African Jewish playwright and Oscar-winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood (\”The Pianist,\” \”The Diving Bell and the Butterfly\”), it is the story of John Amery, son of a Cabinet minister, who along with the infamous Lord Haw Haw made propaganda radio broadcasts for the Nazis that were beamed to England.

Rosenbergs’ Granddaughter Tackles Washington ‘Hill’

The Rosenbergs were executed for spying for the Soviet Union in June 1953. Their personal story was told 51 years later by their granddaughter, Ivy Meeropol, in the powerful 2004 documentary, \”Heir to an Execution.\”

Overcoming Germanophobia During the World Cup

I must admit that in countless trips to Europe, I had carefully avoided visiting Germany, having no desire whatsoever to see the Fatherland that had left me with such dark memories. But then came the summer of 2006, and as a football (soccer to you) devotee, I headed to Germany to cover the World Cup for a Southern California radio station.

‘Munich’ — a Risky Move for Spielberg

The billboards for Steven Spielberg\’s new film \”Munich,\” which opens Dec. 23, will soon be sprouting on buses, benches and boulevards around the nation. The image is simple and stark. A lone man sits gloomily in a dark, heavily draped hotel room, his body sparely illuminated by the light of a single window. His shoulders are hunched disconsolately and a pistol dangles from his hand. He seems very much alone.

Lights, Camera, Ventura

While some Jewish film festivals around the country often use older films or films playing at nearby theaters, the Ventura County Jewish Film Festival will show five new films never seen in Ventura County — as well as host their stars.

The festival starts on March 10 at 7 p.m. with the opening night film, \”The Aryan Couple.\” In the World War II thriller based on a true story, Oscar winner Martin Landau plays a Hungarian businessman who is forced to make a terrible pact with Himmler and Eichmann so he and his family can escape certain death. Landau and director-producer John Daly (\”The Last Emperor\”) will have a Q & A after the screening.

Q & A With Al Pacino

\”The Godfather\’s\” Michael Corleone has taken a crack at Shylock. Oscar-winner Al Pacino — always a daring actor — steps into the shoes of Shakespeare\’s notorious moneylender in the latest big-screen version of the Bard\’s classic, \”The Merchant of Venice.\”

The Passion of Mel Gibson

After watching Mel Gibson\’s two-hour-and-six-minute \”The Passion of the Christ\” at the Fox Studio\’s 200-seat Zanuck Theater, with barely a dozen carefully invited others in the audience, I came away with great admiration for Gibson.

Not for the film, I can assure you.

For while it is superbly photographed by Caleb Deschanel (\”The Patriot,\” \”Being There\” and \”Black Stallion\”) you can\’t but sit in awe of Gibson\’s brilliant publicity juggernaut that could teach Barnum and Bailey a thing or two about the not-so-delicate art of movie promotion and marketing.

Sept. 11 From the D.C. Perspective

\”I tried to persuade others in Hollywood to support his campaign because there was a lot of hostility there toward his candidacy,\” Lionel Chetwynd said. \”There was nothing dark to be read into it, although there was a preexisting relationship. They knew I\’d always been enthusiastic about Bush\’s presidential ambitions since the days he was governor of Texas.\”

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