Jewish existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ Wed, 29 Jun 2022 01:41:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://willtoexist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-6-120x120.png Jewish existentialism – Will To Exist http://willtoexist.com/ 32 32 The Problem of Human Existence and Transcendence | Church Life Journal https://willtoexist.com/the-problem-of-human-existence-and-transcendence-church-life-journal/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 10:08:19 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/the-problem-of-human-existence-and-transcendence-church-life-journal/ FFrench philosopher and poet Jean Wahl lived from 1888 to 1974. He was professor of philosophy at the Sorbonne from 1936 to 1947, but with a six-year break (1940-1945) during World War II. During this period, he suffered intense persecution – loss of his job, arrest, incarceration in a Parisian prison and in the Drancy […]]]>

FFrench philosopher and poet Jean Wahl lived from 1888 to 1974. He was professor of philosophy at the Sorbonne from 1936 to 1947, but with a six-year break (1940-1945) during World War II. During this period, he suffered intense persecution – loss of his job, arrest, incarceration in a Parisian prison and in the Drancy internment camp – because of his Jewish ancestry. He was, as far as his Nazi oppressors were concerned, destined to be eradicated from the earth.

Perhaps miraculously, that was not his lot. The reasons for his suffering are well known. What is unknown, even in France, is the story of Wahl, his life in prison and in the camp, his escape and his flight, first to the free zone of southern France, then to Morocco, and finally to America, which I began to tell (in the form of historical fiction) through my short story, Outside the doors. To tell this story (along with its next two planned installments), I spent many hours at the Memory Institute of Contemporary Publishing in Normandy, where Wahl’s archives are currently kept.

A few of Wahl’s writings exist in English, notably his Human existence and transcendence, which I translated in 2016 for University of Notre Dame Press. This book was originally published in 1944, during Wahl’s exile in America. If you were to open the first pages of this book, you would see the following words stand out as a sort of grave and biting statement about the European situation these days:

Circumstances have prevented the author from reviewing the proofs of this work. The publisher therefore apologizes for any errors that may not have been corrected and for the initiatives that it had to take without the author’s approval.

Circumstances have prevented the author from revising the proofs of this work. The publisher thus apologizes for errors that could not have been corrected and for initiatives that should have been undertaken without the author’s agreement.

The circumstance: the terms. What follows are a few excerpts from this remarkable little book, delivered on the eve of his trial, unvarnished, to the publisher.

The book is important for several reasons, perhaps most importantly because it contains, almost unchanged, the transcript of Wahl’s 1937 presentation to the French Philosophical Society, which constitutes its third chapter. His friend, the great Emmanuel Levinas simply called it “the famous Wahl lecture”. The ensuing debate and the letters submitted in response by the intellectual luminaries of the time are all contained between its covers.

Human existence and transcendence is a work from the heart of the era of “existentialism”. The central question of this era, as Wahl understood it, was uniquely reached, as the title suggests, by exposing the connection between our Human kind of existence (historical, mortal, and therefore incomplete, even nascent) with the excess that never ceases to disturb it (“transcendence”). Insofar as this connection truly defines us, it is also the central question of today, as of all times.

CM

Of existence (pages 23-4)

Existence cannot be defined, since there is existence of the “I”, of the “you”, of the “him”, of the “that”. This very conjugation of the verb to exist, its repercussions in thought, prove that there is no means by which existence can be uniquely characterized. The various existences which we have enumerated are by no means identical. Even if we restrict ourselves to the [bare] existence of the ‘I’, the conjugation is repeated again: ‘I existed’ and ‘I will exist’ are not identical with ‘I exist’. One could even say that existence is more about “I will exist” or “I will exist” than “I exist” in the sense that everything I understand about myself comes either from the past or from the future. , and especially of the future. if we are to believe Kierkegaard and Heidegger: according to them, it is from the future that I constantly construct myself. Existence will then tend to be defined by regret or hope. This forces me to consider that I can only speak of existence from outside of it, from behind or from before, without ever managing to stay inside of it. I am obliged to stay at a certain distance from my existence. It is the human condition. It has been said that human existence is essentially a questioning of existence. In reality, the person questioned is silent or disguises himself when he questions himself. So I don’t think that human existence can consist in questioning oneself. On the contrary, the questioning risks making its existence disappear. Existence flees before itself.

We thus return to an idea analogous to that of Jaspers the idea of ​​failure of any questioning of existence, and even the idea of ​​failure in general.

However, I don’t think existence is only in the past or in the future. It is in act—or in acts—that the existing being is destroyed and constructed, for existence, by itself, is ceaselessly destruction and construction. And it is in the acts by which this existent not only bears witness to the past or the future, but is constituted in the very present as being that which has such and such a future or such and such a past. This is what Kierkegaard’s idea of ​​repetition means. The me, the individual as me, is the one who affixes his seal to something from the past and says: “I am doing something which truly constitutes me”. The same idea returns as an element in the Nietzschean conception of the eternal return, the idea that at each instant the existent intervenes in its existence by its “yes” or its “no” – that one can or wants to affirm oneself -same.

The problem of existence is not solved theoretically, but practically, by the feeling that one has of being able, to a certain extent, to reconcile one’s past, one’s future and one’s present.

In fact, any answer to the question of existence is unsatisfactory; the question is too general. The only word, existence, is too vague for the feeling of existence that we had to describe. When someone says “I exist”, a boundary exists between “I” and “exists” just as another impassable boundary persists between the felt “I” and the expressed “I”. Moreover, when we try to look at it, the feeling of existence escapes our gaze.

It only lives powerfully when hidden.

On the idea of ​​transcendence (pages 25-6, 26-7, 28-f)

Undoubtedly, one of the reasons why the idea of ​​transcendence is so appealing is that when we to think it, we think we think both a movement and its end [terme], which denies this movement. We are not only thinking of the movement but of its end; we are not only thinking of the end, but of the movement. To the idea of ​​effort is added the idea of ​​end by which this effort, in accomplishing itself, is annihilated. We think of something unthinkable. We awaken in ourselves, according to Jaspers’ terminology, a thought which is not strictly speaking thinkable.

As Kierkegaard sensed, it is in contact with something that denies him that a human being becomes most intensely aware of his existence. He also feels that this hard relationship we find ourselves in, this enslavement to a higher principle, is a way of escaping from a kind of impotent liberalism that he feels like a prison.

At the same time, when we speak of transcendence, we have the feeling of a secret in which we participate.

Transcendence is both a no and a yes. It is a yes that is posed to all our affirmations; it is a no which is the affirmation of something beyond all our affirmations.

If the transcendence-movement is explained by the transcendence-end, then, strictly speaking, there is no longer any transcendence.

The same is true when transcendence-as-end is explained by transcendence-as-movement.

There is therefore a tension between the movement and its end. Neither the end nor the movement must be considered as given, either one by the other, or one without the other.

A hierarchy or even hierarchies of transcendence can be designed. If one can put it that way, there is a hierarchy directed downwards, of which, let us say, Lawrence was aware when he presented the unknown God below us, in the depths of being. There is not only a transcendence, but also a transcendence.

There is a movement of transcendence directed towards immanence. Here transcendence transcends itself.

This is perhaps the greatest transcendence: to transcend transcendence, to fall back into immanence.

There would therefore be a second immanence after transcendence has been destroyed.

One could conceive of the idea of ​​transcendence as necessary to destroy the belief in a thought which only knows itself and to make us then feel our immersion in an immanence other than thought.

But if this destructive idea must be destroyed in its turn, it is never completely destroyed, it is never completely overcome, and it remains in the background of the mind, like the idea of ​​a paradise. lost whose hoped for, lamented and lost presence establishes the value of our attachment to the here below.

On the Absolute (page 44)

We said the absolute stay beyond.

But if the absolute escapes language and thought, it is less because its idea is the idea of ​​a beyond than because it is that of a below.

In the transcendent there is both the transcendent and the transcendent. But there is also the idea that these distinctions are futile.

Poetry and metaphysics (page 78)

Metaphysics speaks and says:

Poetry, older sister,
Let your song fly away
I hear you, and it’s me who speaks.

We don’t know what metaphysics is or what poetry is, but the heart of poetry will always be metaphysical, and chances are that the heart of metaphysics will always be poetic as well.

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€1.5 million grant for work on medieval Hebrew philosophical manuscripts https://willtoexist.com/e1-5-million-grant-for-work-on-medieval-hebrew-philosophical-manuscripts/ Tue, 17 May 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/e1-5-million-grant-for-work-on-medieval-hebrew-philosophical-manuscripts/ Yoav Meyrav, a research associate at the Maimonides Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Hamburg, received a grant of 1.5 million euros (about $1.58 million) for his work on medieval Hebrew philosophical manuscripts. The grant is a late addition to the previously announced list of “starter grants” awarded by the European Research Council […]]]>

Yoav Meyrav, a research associate at the Maimonides Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Hamburg, received a grant of 1.5 million euros (about $1.58 million) for his work on medieval Hebrew philosophical manuscripts.

The grant is a late addition to the previously announced list of “starter grants” awarded by the European Research Council (ERC). You can see the previous post announcing the other philosophical projects among the ERC Starting Grants winners here.

Here is the summary of Dr. Meyrav’s project, “Hebrew Philosophical Manuscripts as Sites of Engagement” (HEPMASITE):

In the Middle Ages, philosophical activity undertaken in Hebrew was not conducted in an institutionalized environment. There were no universities, no regulated curricula, or professors, only small circles of scholars, most of whom we know nothing about. These scholars had to obtain themselves copies of the works they wished to explore, sometimes even by copying them themselves or with the help of others. Heavily involved in the production of the materials they used, they often interfered with the texts they studied, offering corrections, working notes, glosses, comparisons and observations. As a result, the body of philosophical writings in Hebrew is incredibly diverse, and it is rare for one copy to be similar to another. In this difficult landscape, individual copying is our primary entry point to understanding how Hebrew philosophy unfolded in the real world.

The Hebrew philosophical manuscript is not just a container of text; more than anything else, it’s an engagement site. With a few notable exceptions, scholarship in Hebrew philosophy still focuses on a relatively small number of major thinkers and works. Manuscripts are often stripped of their distinctiveness and used only for the purpose of producing critical editions. The story of the silent, nameless majority—which enabled philosophical activity by tirelessly editing, studying, translating, revising, and producing the material Hebrew philosophical corpus we have today—remains to be told.

HEPMASITE is the first project to tackle the corpus of medieval Hebrew philosophical manuscripts in order to unravel the hidden history of Jewish philosophy hidden within. By employing narrative philology and historiography of engagement – ​​new research methodologies that embrace textual particularity and fluidity – HEPMASITE will revolutionize the understanding of Jewish philosophy as it unfolded in the real world and as ‘it was studied by real people.


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Moon Knight and Judaism, Explained https://willtoexist.com/moon-knight-and-judaism-explained/ Sun, 15 May 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/moon-knight-and-judaism-explained/ It doesn’t matter to most Disney and Marvel viewers Moon Knight if Marc Spector is Jewish. However, for those in the Jewish community, it means the world. As a Jewish Marvel fan myself, I was so excited for Moon Knight because I knew the character was openly Jewish in the comics. For most of the […]]]>

It doesn’t matter to most Disney and Marvel viewers Moon Knight if Marc Spector is Jewish. However, for those in the Jewish community, it means the world. As a Jewish Marvel fan myself, I was so excited for Moon Knight because I knew the character was openly Jewish in the comics. For most of the show, I waited and waited for this performance to appear; once he came (after too long) i cried. It meant so much to me to see a Marvel superhero be so open about his Jewish heritage, for the whole multiverse to see.

Marvel heroes obviously aren’t required to have or be open about their religious backgrounds. However, Judaism is an ethno-religion, and therefore there are traditions common to the Jewish people, whether religious or not. To see a character participate in these traditions when it is vital to their character means a lot to members of the Jewish community. Representation matters, even on a small scale. Being Jewish is only part of who Marc Spector is.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Was Moon Knight Jewish in the comics?

In short, yes, Marc Spector (and Moon Knight) is Jewish in the comics. He was raised by a rabbi, so of course that played a big part in his connection to religion. In the comics, his father was a Chicago rabbi who survived the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia; you can’t really get any more Jewish than that. Marc Spector was pushed to become a superhero because of his Jewishness, not in spite of it. Marc started boxing because he felt his father’s passive response to anti-Semitism in their neighborhood was not helpful, and so responded to violence with violence. (Coincidentally, the new HBO movie The survivor follows a Holocaust survivor who becomes a boxer, and further points out the themes of Moon Knight).

Related:

Producer Hints Moon Knight Season 2 Is Really More A Case Of When Rather Than If

Marc then went to the Marines, and later became Khonshu’s avatar; all this goes back to his original passion for boxing and the fight against anti-Semitism. However, an important element of Moon Knight’s character is his diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID. Moon Knight’s alternate identity is Steven Grant, who is not Jewish. This is important because it means that the split that occurs in Marc’s brain is not only based on identity but also on culture.

How did her Jewish heritage show up in the show?

Not many, unfortunately. Marc Spector’s Judaism didn’t play a big part in the show at all; he didn’t even make an appearance until episode five. However, the minimal representation that was in the show was done very organically and still had an impact. Marc’s Jewish heritage came up naturally through a conversation between Marc and Steven (himself) about Marc not wanting to attend his mother’s Shiva. A Shiva is a Jewish tradition that occurs after someone dies and is a time of mourning with the family of the deceased. Marc developed Steven through his troubled relationship with his mother, and so Steven doesn’t know it.


Related:

Moon Knight Director Says Season 2 Would Focus On This Revealed Post-Credit Scene

Besides the Shiva, the only other glimpse into Mark’s Jewish heritage is a scene in which he wears a yarmulke, which is also associated with his mother’s Shiva. Thus, every connection to Marc’s Jewish heritage is based on this traumatic event, giving his connection to Judaism in the series a darker connotation.

Was this representation sufficient?

No, it wasn’t enough. Or, as Decider puts it, “Moon Knight attempt at Jewish representation was a failure. “Being openly Jewish is a big thing in modern media. Many characters are ‘coded Jewish’ and therefore not overtly Jewish, but rather seem Jewish without actually being representative. Since Moon Knight in the comics is so well known for being openly Jewish, it was upsetting for many fans to see him barely show his Judaism on the show.


Although there are great Jewish comedies, Jewish portrayal is not as common in the media as it seems. Many characters may feel Jewish but never observe the way real Jews do. That’s why people thought Moon Knight can be different. Moon Knight’s character was openly Jewish from his comic book origins, so fans hoped he would be on the show. However, this is nothing new for Marvel. they took away the Jewish heritage of characters from the past, as with characters like the mighty Avenger Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, who were canonically Jewish in the comics. Although this is only a small part of their story, it did not make it onto the screen.

Fans expected more from Marc Spector because his Jewish heritage played such a big part in his character. With the season now over, fans can only hope to see more of Marc’s Jewish heritage in the character’s future appearances.


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10 Scariest Non-Horror Movies, According To Reddit https://willtoexist.com/10-scariest-non-horror-movies-according-to-reddit/ Sat, 14 May 2022 00:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/10-scariest-non-horror-movies-according-to-reddit/ Thrills and chills aren’t limited to any particular genre, even a genre as broad as horror. Filmmakers like David Lynch, who recently announced a mysterious upcoming series, use unconventional methods to disorient and terrify viewers. Also, what can be defined as “horror” or “scary” is purely subjective, as many Reddit users have openly shared their […]]]>

Thrills and chills aren’t limited to any particular genre, even a genre as broad as horror. Filmmakers like David Lynch, who recently announced a mysterious upcoming series, use unconventional methods to disorient and terrify viewers.

Also, what can be defined as “horror” or “scary” is purely subjective, as many Reddit users have openly shared their fears in several related posts. Many of these movies aren’t even categorized as “Horror,” which has a bigger impact on viewers who don’t expect the tones and aesthetics often associated with the genre. From polarizing kids movies to graphically realistic dramas, these are the scariest non-horror films, according to Redditors.

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Diablo (2014)


Jake Gyllenhaal's Nightcrawler Banner

In a discussion post titled “Scariest non-horror movie?” in the r/horror subreddit, Redditor u/SunnyZAK mentions Daniel Powter’s ruthless character study, Somnambulist. To quote another user in the same thread, “Lou Bloom is such a scary character.”

Related: 15 Scariest Horror Movies, According To Reddit

Jake Gyllenhaal delivers what some consider the best performance of his career as Bloom, an amateur but overambitious journalist desperate for the most exclusive coverage. Although the film is labeled and stylized as a neo-noir crime thriller, the protagonist is a wide-eyed sociopath whose smiling facade is guaranteed to make skin crawl more effectively than most horror villains.


Return to Oz (1985)


Victor Flemming’s Wizard of Oz has its fair share of scary imagery, but the 1985 sequel from Walt Disney Pictures is pure nightmare fuel. Echoing the thoughts of other Redditors, user u/Idler- rightly asks, “WTF Disney?”

By removing all the wonders of the original in its opening shot, Back to Oz begins with Dorothy receiving electrotherapy for her fantasy land “delusions”. His second trip to Oz only descends deeper into obscurity with moments that involve screaming severed heads, the formidable Nome King and, of course, the infamous Wheelers. Impede the sleep of 80s kids for years to come; when the Wheelers enter the frame, viewers will want Flying Monkeys.


Jumanji (1995)


Sarah on the ground at Jumanji

Unlike popular sequels that pushed the reset button on Jumanji for a new generation, the original adaptation focused on the darker and weirder elements of the titular game. Audiences never see the world of the game, only the terrors that inhabit it, making this dark fantasy one of the most melancholy family movies of the 90s, and probably of all time.

Redditor u/Tiny-Chemistry-156 recalled, “Something about this movie always scared me.” After young Alan Parrish is horribly sucked into the jungle world via the board game, he returns to his hometown over 25 years later, hopeful but damaged as he copes with loss. of his beloved family. The reintroduction of Alan, played by Robin Williams, sets a dark and cloudy atmosphere before the curse of the board game awakens and the wild beasts make their way into the real world. So, that being said, beware of arachnophobes.


The Neverending Story (1984)


by Wolfgang Peterson The never-ending story is fondly remembered as an imaginative ’80s fantasy that achieved children’s classic status despite the original author’s criticism of the overly kitschy film. Petersen’s adaptation features iconic moments of movie magic like Falkor’s flight, but Redditor u/TheRealReapz recalls that “there are more than a few scenes that are nightmarish material.”

Related: 10 Scariest Moments In Movies For Kids

The metaphysical antagonist, The Nothing, threatens to defeat the magical land of Fantasia, trapping all the imagination that has manifested it in a meaningless void. Judging by the comments section, it looks like The never-ending story introduced many children to existentialism with moments such as Atreyu’s horse being consumed by The Nothing and the wolf G’Mork sneakily revealing the source of The Nothing’s power.


We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)


User u/belzeboobie echoes another Redditor who claims that We need to talk about Kevin is “their favorite psychological film, but would never recommend it to anyone”. Undoubtedly a hard pill to swallow, director Lynne Ramsay’s harrowing adaptation is an urgent message, not just for parents, but for anyone who is or knows someone who lives with a worsening mental condition. with time.

Tilda Swinton gives a tour de force performance as a mother who senses something unsettling about her eponymous son. Ramsay generates a palpable unease through grief and despair as the film reveals the telltale signs that inevitably lead to a shocking act of violence. As sad as We need to talk about Kevin Perhaps, it cemented Ramsay as an emerging director.

Mulholland Drive (2001)


A handful of Redditors insist that Mulholland Drive, like most of David Lynch’s work, is unmistakably a horror movie, though the director himself would probably disagree. While it doesn’t share the same qualities as a traditional horror movie, the absurd and surreal elements present in Lynch’s Hollywood dreamscape are often eerie enough to warrant a shiver down your spine.

Most users refer to the nightmarish sequence featuring the reveal of a bum behind Winkie’s Diner as one of the best Lynchian moments for being so utterly shocking, even after the events were predicted moments before. It exemplifies the insidious fear that pervades everything. “The moment the singer stops and the song continues chills my soul,” says an unknown Redditor who claims that Mulholland Drive is, indeed, an existential horror film.

One Hour Picture (2002)


As well as being one of the funniest comedic artists of his time, Robin Williams was an incredibly gifted actor, and no performance showcases his range of layered emotional complexity quite like Sy Parrish from One hour photo. “This is Robin Williams at his spookiest,” says Redditor u/CommanderSmokeStack who, like many viewers, was put off by William’s mismatched portrayal.

Mark Romanek’s disturbing thriller centers on a lonely photo technician, Sy, who secretly develops an obsession with a family that hides their own private affairs. Sy’s behavior is immoral and, ultimately, downright deplorable, but what’s hardest is how easy it is to sympathize with him as a victim of child abuse, especially when Williams impregnates him with such passion and sincerity in times that find him desperate for the human. link.


Requiem for a Dream (2000)


Sara receives electroshock therapy in Requiem for a Dream.

Requiem for a dream is one of the most powerful films about drug addiction and its tragic conclusion is truly more effective than most public service announcements. Redditor u/crutchlen1 believes the immensely compelling psychodrama should be presented “in school health classes as a scare tactic against drug use.”

Related: The 10 Best Movies With Disturbing Endings That Will Haunt Viewers

Director Darren Aronofsky and editor Jay Rabinowitz weaponize the “cool” hallucinatory effects of substance use as they begin to highlight the deterioration of the mental (and physical) states of the four main subjects. Both visually haunting and uncompromising, the psychedelic imagery crescendos in a distorted cacophony meant to disturb rather than evoke euphoria.

Come and See (1985)


by Elem Klimov come and see depicts the lesser-known events of the Holocaust that occurred in Nazi-occupied Belarus during World War II. Wearing the aesthetic of a horror movie, come and see uses dark, visceral cinematography and haunting sound to create an immersive hellscape not recommended for the faint-hearted.

“I knew war was scary but I didn’t know it was scarier than Freddy, Jason and Michael Myers combined and multiplied by a million,” Redditor u/anotoriousbug says of the anti-war drama. Audiences perceive the hyperrealism of war through the perspective of Flyora, a Belarusian boy masterfully and terrifyingly played by child actor Aleksei Kravchenko.

Schindler’s List (1993)


The Girl in the Red Coat from Schindler's List.

Similar to the above come and see, Schindler’s list is a heavy historical drama that shows the ugliness of mankind during the events of the Holocaust. Although in the end the story of Oskar Schindler securing the safety of approximately 1,200 Jews from the Brünnlitz labor camp inspires much hope, the cruel and malevolent actions of SS Commander Amon Göth will cause you to lose sleep to some viewers.

“Reality is scarier than fiction,” according to Redditor u/blacksnakewhip. Director Steven Speilberg and cinematographer Janusz Kamiński shot in black and white to achieve a sense of timelessness, as well as documentary-like realism. Spielberg even downplayed the actions of the real Amon Göth so the public wouldn’t view him as cartoonish evil despite the facticity of his “exaggerated” war crimes.


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Best American TV Comedies of the Last 15 Years https://willtoexist.com/best-american-tv-comedies-of-the-last-15-years/ Fri, 13 May 2022 09:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/best-american-tv-comedies-of-the-last-15-years/ It may have been a case of the candle that burns the brightest also burns the fastest, but the series didn’t last long for this world and never quite replicated the controlled chaotic glow (read : madness) of its first three seasons as it goes. But the real testament to its quality is the talent […]]]>

It may have been a case of the candle that burns the brightest also burns the fastest, but the series didn’t last long for this world and never quite replicated the controlled chaotic glow (read : madness) of its first three seasons as it goes. But the real testament to its quality is the talent that came out of it to soar even higher after the fact: Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, Jim Rash (who won a Oscar for screenwriter during the series), and the perpetually underrated and multi-talented Danny Pudi. Even Marvel’s Russo Brothers and Fast and Furious‘ Justin Lin can claim this streak as a major touchstone of his career. To what we say…cool. Fresh, fresh, fresh. – CC

2. The right place

Existentialism and moral philosophy have never been funnier and probably never will be again! Michael Schur has assembled the right cast for his exploration of the afterlife in The right placeincluding Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, a new resident of non-denominational Heaven who discovers she doesn’t belong there, and Ted Danson as Michael, the celestial architect of supposed Heaven.

In addition to Bell’s cute and rude delivery, The right place introduced us to characters like D’Arcy Carden as Janet, the “not a robot” artificial assistant in the afterlife, and William Jackson Harper as Chidi, the undecided ethics student who leads Eleanor’s rehabilitation. Each season has changed the paradigm of the afterlife, but the series has always remained grounded and undeniably hilarious, from the mundane evil of “bad place” demons to the pop culture banter many characters were known for. The right place is one of a kind! – MY

Best American TV Comedies - What We Do In The Shadows

1. What we do behind the scenes

History is riddled with the corpses of failed TV spinoffs/loose adaptations of hit comedy movies. For every MASH POTATOES There are many others Ferris Bullers. And while there’s no shortage of memorable horror comedies on the big screen, it’s not a format that’s had its day on the small screen…until recent years.

From its impossible-to-choose core cast to its incredible assortment of guest stars, What we do in the shadows survives what might otherwise have been a premise for a joke in the wrong hands. But the real brilliance of What we do in the shadows So while it gives reality TV the ruthless mockery it deserves, it’s also an incredibly competent example and loving dispatch of every element of pop culture’s very concept of the vampire. It takes its own mythology and internal logic very seriously, and each episode is full of homages and loving inversions of pop culture vampire lore. A modern classic destined to last for eternity.

US TV shows also receiving votes (in descending order): Search Party, Archer, Master of None, Baskets, Harley Quinn, The White Lotus, Letterkenny, The Other Two, Eastbound and Down, Xavier: Renegade Angel, Mythic Quest, The Last Man on Earth, Kim’s Convenience, Broad City, One Day at a Time, American Vandal, Happy Endings, Monk, Party Down, Superstore, Insecure, Only Murders in the Building, AP Bio, Miracle Workers, Ghosts, Girls, Delocated, Don’t Trust the B—- In Apartment 23, The Righteous Gems, Resident Alien, The Paul Reiser Show, Cougar Town, Black-ish, Solar Opposites, Big Mouth, Dave, You’re the Worst, Schmigadoon!, Californication, Louie, Angie Tribeca, Detroit’s, The Middle, Atypical , Chuck , Web Therapy, The Big Bang Theory, Avenue 5.

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Come and See is the greatest anti-war movie ever made – and it’s Russian https://willtoexist.com/come-and-see-is-the-greatest-anti-war-movie-ever-made-and-its-russian/ Fri, 29 Apr 2022 12:38:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/come-and-see-is-the-greatest-anti-war-movie-ever-made-and-its-russian/ As horrifying as the reports coming out of Ukraine are, we are seeing – quite literally – only a small part of what is happening. Media organizations pixelate parts of images they deem too graphic and cut video clips before they get too awful. There are, of course, ways around this (social media links, unregulated […]]]>

As horrifying as the reports coming out of Ukraine are, we are seeing – quite literally – only a small part of what is happening. Media organizations pixelate parts of images they deem too graphic and cut video clips before they get too awful.

There are, of course, ways around this (social media links, unregulated websites) for those determined and tech-savvy enough, but if you’re a “normal” consumer of news, then what you see is, for many obvious and generally reasonable reasons, well packaged and checked.

The same goes for war dramas. Very few movies or TV shows have managed to properly capture the conflict in all its myriad horrors. Heroism, redemption, courage, sacrifice and camaraderie: these are the tropes we understand and demand, but they are only the surface of war.

There is, however, a point where the two threads intersect: a film that shows without flinching the reality of the war in Eastern Europe. It’s called Come and See, and it’s one of the most amazing movies ever made. Despite its title, it sometimes seems to bypass normal methods of visualization (eyes, ears, and brain), sneaking right into your cells and central nervous system.

The title itself gives a clue as to what is hidden inside. “Come and see” is taken from the book of Revelation and appears four times in a row, once for each of the four horsemen. The last of them is the pale horse, “and his name that sat upon him was death, and hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the quarter of the earth, to kill by sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

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A breathtakingly animated journey into an artist’s life during the Holocaust https://willtoexist.com/a-breathtakingly-animated-journey-into-an-artists-life-during-the-holocaust/ Fri, 22 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/a-breathtakingly-animated-journey-into-an-artists-life-during-the-holocaust/ Charlotte is a breathtaking animated film that painstakingly recounts the tragic journey of a visionary artist. “Life? or theatre?” by Charlotte Salomon consists of nearly a thousand paintings that depict her memory of a harrowing upbringing. It is the largest work of art created by a Jew during the Holocaust. Born in Germany into a […]]]>

Charlotte is a breathtaking animated film that painstakingly recounts the tragic journey of a visionary artist. “Life? or theatre?” by Charlotte Salomon consists of nearly a thousand paintings that depict her memory of a harrowing upbringing. It is the largest work of art created by a Jew during the Holocaust. Born in Germany into a wealthy family, Charlotte Salomon’s artistic gift documented the rise to power of the Nazis and the uncovering of dark secrets in her line. The film sublimely uses his work as a transition between scenes. The narrative sometimes stumbles with a time-driven dependency. But overall captivates with a deep emotional connection to its subject.

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We first see Charlotte Salomon (Keira Knightley) in 1943 Côte d’Azur, France. She gives kind Dr. Moridius (Henry Czerny) a suitcase of valuable paintings. The film returns to Berlin in 1933. A young Charlotte remembers the death of her mother when she was a child. A brilliant painter and draftsman, her doctor father, Albert (Eddie Marsan), and her singer stepmother, Paula (Helen McCrory), try to find her a job as an apprentice tailor. Lotte, as she is affectionately known, is gifted with her hands. Paula warns him that an artistic life is difficult. Charlotte ignores her parents. She is accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts, a major achievement for a Jewess in an increasingly racist Germany.

A few weeks later, during a trip to Italy with her grandparents, Grossmama (Brenda Blethyn) and Grosspapa (Jim Broadbent), Charlotte meets Ottile Moore (Sophie Okonedo). The American heiress is impressed by Charlotte’s talent and spirit. Charlotte returns to a Berlin overtaken by Nazi ideology. The Jews became the main target of the German government. On Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass in 1938, a terrified Charlotte and Paula stand helpless as Albert is kidnapped. Her father’s ordeal forces drastic action. Albert decides to send Charlotte to France; where Ottile Moore shelters Jewish children and refugees. Charlotte leaves her terrifying home for a beautiful paradise. But life on the Côte d’Azur is no escape. His family’s hidden tragedies and Nazi villains follow.


Related: The Duke Review: The heartwarming true story of an irrepressible dreamer

Animation punctuated by superb paintings

Charlotte’s story is told with relatively simple animation punctuated by her stunning paintings. This visual contrast serves a key purpose. Charlotte’s coming of age is filled with sadness. But she has moments of joy. Finding love, friendships and expression in his work. She is surrounded by a hideous prejudice that turns into deadly violence. Charlotte’s teachers recognize her immense skills but degrade her as a Jew. The paintings serve as living snapshots of his encounters. Directors Tahir Rana and Éric Warin masterfully integrate them at inflection points. Charlotte is maturing in a place that hates her existence. These are strong moments that carry the weight of the film.


Charlotte ebb and flow with its bullet structure. At that time Charlotte was here doing specific things with these exact people. Tahir Rana and Éric Warin should have been more flexible in the delivery of the plot. A biopic must illustrate important events. Charlotte exposes them too directly. This Wikipedia-esque execution somewhat blunts the artistry in better parts of the film.

Charlotte includes shocking revelations newly discovered after decades. I give credit to the filmmakers for not having ignored them. Her struggles, the way she dealt with them, good and bad, are integral to understanding a complex young woman in a terrible time. The last act of the film is heartbreaking.

Marion Cotillard plays Charlotte in the French version of the film. It is also the final performance of brilliant British actress Helen McCrory. Charlotte is produced by January Films, Balthazar Productions, Walking The Dog and Telefilm Canada. It will have a limited theatrical release in the United States on April 22 by Good Deed Entertainment.


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World War II Revisionism at the Jewish Museum https://willtoexist.com/world-war-ii-revisionism-at-the-jewish-museum/ Thu, 21 Apr 2022 11:59:00 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/world-war-ii-revisionism-at-the-jewish-museum/ When it comes to Mekas’ wartime past, conservative texts tend to be ill-reasoned and riddled with mistakes, big and small. The show’s online documents set the tone from the start, claiming that “during the last moments of World War II in 1944, Mekas was forced to flee his native Lithuania”, when every schoolboy knows that […]]]>

When it comes to Mekas’ wartime past, conservative texts tend to be ill-reasoned and riddled with mistakes, big and small. The show’s online documents set the tone from the start, claiming that “during the last moments of World War II in 1944, Mekas was forced to flee his native Lithuania”, when every schoolboy knows that the war ended in 1945. left in 1944” or a place “where he could not return [to] until 1971”? The same text offers both versions. We’re told that Mekas was “largely self-taught” but also attended high school, was tested at a gymnasium high school, and “taught courses toward a degree at the University of Mainz. while living in camps for displaced persons”.

This confusion is expanded in the exhibition catalog, which Taxter co-edited with the curators of a sister exhibition at the National Art Gallery of Lithuania, Lukas Brasiskis, Lithuanian doctoral candidate in film studies at NYU, and Inesa Brašiškė, historian of art and curator based in Vilnius. Published by Yale University Press, the catalog features four essays, a timeline of Mekas’ life, and hundreds of color images of film stills and ephemera, some of which appear in the exhibit itself. Mekas’ essays on craft that follow the curatorial statement are carefully researched and well worth reading. Ed Halter, founder of the Brooklyn cinema Light Industry, gives a participant observer’s perspective on Mekas’ work (and mixed reception) as a film programmer. Andrew Uroskie’s contribution examines how Mekas perceived and used performance, with particular attention to his award-winning film The Brick (1964). An essay by Cash (Melissa) Ragona explores Mekas’ innovative use of sound and silence, detailing his connections to John Cage, Lou Reed and Lithuanian folk music. But two important pieces – the catalog introduction and curator Kelly Taxter’s opening essay on Mekas’ life – lack the rigor and originality of the essays that follow, offering instead a version of Mekas’s biography. which obscures rather than illuminates.

In the introduction to the exhibition catalogue, the publishers promise that Mekas’ work will be “contextualized in a timeline that sketches Lithuania’s interwar political history, offering insight into the conditions under which Jonas and Adolfas were forced to flee their home”. As for the timeline, attentive readers might notice a few things missing under 1941. In fact, everything that appears under 1941 – that very significant year in Lithuanian history when the Nazis entered and oversaw the mass murder of most of the large Jewish community. — are two events in June: the German émigré Hans Richter taking over as director of the Institute for Film Techniques in New York, and the mass deportations by the Soviets of Lithuanians to Siberia shortly before the Nazi invasion. Unlisted events include: the June uprising led by the anti-Semitic Lithuanian Activist Front, the Nazi invasion, the start of the Holocaust, and Mekas’ early work in an Activist Front newspaper. Instead, the reader finds them incorrectly counted on the page, under 1942. By blurring the order of these events and referring to the Mekas diaries only by their pre-war names and not those they were using during the German occupation, the editors effectively extracted Mekas from its distant – straight tangles. This is not an innocent mistake but a mode of prevarication that Mekas himself practiced in interviews and memoir pieces as a means of obscuring his true wartime activities.

Kelly Taxter’s opening essay – who, the catalog tells us, had “advocated for a Mekas investigation” since joining the Jewish Museum in 2013 – is a masterclass in revisionism whose treatment of the WWII would not be out of place on the most right-wing Lithuanian historical websites and commissions. Taxter’s article is a hodgepodge of inflated statistics about victims who suffered at the hands of the Soviets (she cites two million Lithuanian IDPs versus the more accurate 100,000), easy comparisons between Nazis and Soviets , equivocal clauses on Nazi censorship, and a revamped account of events. Additionally, she follows Mekas’ own method of strategically collapsing distinctions between Nazis and Soviets, writing, for example, “the Soviet and then Nazi-controlled newspapers in which Mekas published his poetry contained anti-Semitic propaganda”. It’s a tactic with a steep history in Lithuania, where the same state-sponsored commission investigates “the crimes of the Soviet and Nazi occupation regimes,” ironing out historical distinctions between the regimes. (I found no evidence that Mekas published during the Soviet period of 1940-1941, nor any anti-Semitic propaganda published in Lithuanian newspapers of that time. Articles published under the Nazis are, on the other hand, and as one could s expected, full of anti-Semitism.) Taxter then doubles down on the misleading amalgamations: “Anyway, there hadn’t been a free press since 1939, when the Soviets took over of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The characteristic sloppiness with dates aside – a quick glance at the timeline in his own (admittedly unreliable) book would show that Lithuania was invaded by the Soviets in 1940 – Mekas himself told me in a interview that during the Nazi occupation only the front pages of the newspapers were dictated by the Germans and that he and his friends had full editorial control over the rest. Perhaps worst of all, in addressing the Nazis’ genocidal campaign against Lithuanian Jews, Taxter writes: “Many Lithuanians were willing collaborators in this brutal mass extermination; under the Soviet occupation, they resented Jews deeply, who could open businesses and hold public office with the support of the oppressor. This overly clear explanation of the Holocaust, with its false assertion that Jews received preferential treatment under the Soviets, is a blatant example of victim blaming; it also unquestionably reproduces the right-wing stereotype of the Judeo-Bolshevik, which presented the Jews as the natural enemy of the Lithuanians.

Taxter’s attempts to position Mekas as a moral authority by trumpeting his “resistance to the Nazis” is also worth examining. For example, Taxter’s essay states – and the exhibit wall text repeats – that “Mekas’ underground resistance activities made him an enemy of both [the Nazi and the Soviet] schemes”. Mekas recounted how, under the Soviet occupation, he disseminated anti-Soviet pamphlets, but he did so as part of a group that would later take over the city newspaper under the umbrella of the Ultranationalist Lithuanian Activist Front, who aided the Nazi occupation. After working in this newspaper and another newspaper founded by the fascist Lithuanian Nationalist Party for the next three years, Mekas said he again took part in underground activism, this time against the Nazis. Let us accept, for the sake of discussion, Mekas’ assertion, reproduced by the Jewish Museum in the chronology of the exhibition catalog, that in July 1944, when the Germans were losing on the Eastern Front, he served as “typist for a resistance group that publishes[d] a weekly bulletin containing transcripts from the BBC and other news broadcasts. Since Mekas fled Lithuania in mid-July – retreating deeper into the Third Reich at the last possible moment before the Soviets entered – that would mean that as the tide turned in the war, he typed what could only be one or two issues of this “weekly” bulletin. By then he had risen through the ranks of the Lithuanian collaborationist literary world and, like many Lithuanians, he welcomed the Germans in 1941. Mekas frequently confused the timing and nature of his clandestine activism in writings and interviews, and Taxter presents also a mixed version: “While in high school he started distributing pamphlets containing transcripts of BBC broadcasts”, she wrote. “The pamphlets were circulated among intellectuals and played an essential role in organizing the resistance.

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My First Passover – St. Louis Jewish Light https://willtoexist.com/my-first-passover-st-louis-jewish-light/ Fri, 15 Apr 2022 11:18:31 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/my-first-passover-st-louis-jewish-light/ Passover was March 30 the first year I celebrated it. I remember it was a stormy spring in Los Angeles. Rainwater roared through the city’s aqueducts. I had never seen so much rain in Southern California before. Everything seemed to move in slow motion, and everything seemed so vibrant and clear – grief has a […]]]>

Passover was March 30 the first year I celebrated it. I remember it was a stormy spring in Los Angeles. Rainwater roared through the city’s aqueducts. I had never seen so much rain in Southern California before. Everything seemed to move in slow motion, and everything seemed so vibrant and clear – grief has a way of turning the most mundane sights into something memorable.

What was really memorable for me was Passover – the Seder plate and Elijah’s cup were so beautiful in shape and meaning. My boyfriend, Tuvia, and his family took care of me after my mother died. Despite the grief, I helped Tuvia’s mother put together the Seder plate. She explained symbolic foods to me and kept grabbing my face to tell me she loved me. “Ah! I love you Mameleh. It wasn’t easy to smile, but I tried. I helped Tuvia’s dad make the salmon croquettes and minced liver – those were also the two foods we made when I was a kid. Tuvia’s sister was in charge of the matzoh balls. She rolled each meatball carefully and placed them in the chicken broth to simmer. I poured the pot of gefilte fish into pretty flowery bowls. It was a different brand of gefilte fish than my grandmother ate, but it looked and smelled much the same – gelatinous and fishy.

It was 1991. I was only two months away from my 20s.and year my mother died. Her death seemed sudden, even though she had been sick since I was in third grade. First, she had a stroke under anesthesia for an umbilical hernia. After that, there were more strokes and grand mal seizures. Then in 1985, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. His cancer loomed over my high school years like a dark shadow.

Again, that wasn’t the only darkness I had to deal with. My high school was located in a small rural town in the Upper Midwest. The people of this small town could never be described as friendly, especially to those they considered strangers. My family was made up of swarthy foreigners with thick accents – there was little or no chance of fitting in.

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Perhaps the most appalling thing for our neighbors was that we didn’t go to church. I was harassed almost daily on the school bus for this offence. The children of the faithful were especially cruel. They told me that AIDS was my fault because I was not a believer and that I would be punished at the end of days. The tone of their words was so hateful that I shudder to think about it for too long. They wished my family and I would all catch AIDS and burn in hell. For this reason, I still cringe whenever I hear the phrase “Minnesota Nice”.

However, their favorite insult was to call me ugly. The inhabitants of the city were all of Nordic, Germanic and Finnish origin. They said my dark brown eyes reminded them of shit. My darkest brown hair reminded them of horsehair. My hourglass figure seemed to enrage everyone, girls and boys. An overly feminine waist-to-hip ratio in a very masculine part of the country. My big aquiline nose was an ugly witch’s nose, of course—originality was never a priority in the country. One boy in particular liked to sit in the seat before mine and call me ugly until school, which was almost a two-hour bus ride. This is how I started most of my school days in a small American town.

One night while watching late night TV with my dad, a Woody Allen movie played on one of three channels we were able to access with rabbit ear antennae. My dad said Woody Allen was a naughty Jew. I noticed that Woody and I had a few characteristics in common – the same characteristics the kids at school teased me about. Meanwhile, I didn’t think Woody Allen was ugly – his big puppy eyes completely won me over. And he was smart. I had never heard anyone, except my family, talk about famous composers: Beethoven, Schumann, Mozart, Russian literature and the philosophers of existentialism before. There were no boys in rural Minnesota like Woody, I was sure. I decided to stick with boys, until I found one like him. When I told my mom I had a crush on Woody Allen, she looked worried. This was long before he became a controversial figure. His concerns came from a deeper place.

My mother didn’t want me to associate with Jews. It was easy to accomplish when we lived in Two Inlets, Minnesota, but not so easy when we moved to Los Angeles. My father was given an apartment in the La Brea Towers as an art studio by his long-time employer – prominent businessman and art collector Louis Warschaw. I found a job at the bookstore closest to the Farmer’s Market on the 3rdrd and Fairfax Ave. I spent the whole day with the Jews of this very Jewish neighborhood. I started dating someone Jewish. My mother panicked: “They’ll have you by association!” She cried. I did not understand. I assumed his illnesses were beginning to affect him emotionally.

I started dreaming about Jews, especially the Holocaust. One night my roommate found me standing on my bed, clawing at the wall and crying. I dreamed that I was in a gas chamber. I asked my Jewish friends what they thought. They were surprised to learn that I was not Jewish. They just assumed I was. I told my boyfriend, Tuvia, that my grandmother had a little old book in her room with a Star of David on it. He thought it was weird and then confessed that he sensed something in me from the moment we met – something he called Yiddishkeit. My mother told me that she had a crucial detail to tell me, a secret. She called and asked me to come, but she started to sob and said she was too scared when I arrived. I waited by her bedside for hours, but she never told me her secret.

Then suddenly she died. I was on the phone with my brother when it happened. I heard my beloved mother scream my name with such desperation that it still haunts me. After that she stopped breathing and my brother hung up the phone. I ran to the hospital, but she was already gone.

The following week, we had his body cremated. She asked to be cremated. One of the only requests she’s made in her entire life, so we honored it. I watched his simple wooden coffin enter the flames of the crematorium. My heart started pounding. I felt like I was going to vomit. I went mad with horror and grief and ran out of the building. Outside, breathless, I inhaled the sweet scent of my mother’s burning body through the fireplace. I thought I was going to faint. My father came to see me. He turned his head to look at the billowing smoke billowing from the crematorium and shook his head. Maybe it was because of all the Holocaust reminiscent images of that moment, but from that moment on I knew I was Jewish and had a connection to the Holocaust .

We went to celebrate my mother’s life at Canter’s Deli on Fairfax Ave. I ordered my mom’s favorite matzoh ball soup, with a colossal matzoh ball in the bowl. Lots of Gentiles eat at Canter, sure, but my dad’s choice of restaurants didn’t escape my newfound insights into my Jewish ancestry.

When we got back to my parents’ apartment, I went straight to my mom’s dresser in her bedroom. She kept her hairbrush in the top drawer. I loved the smell of her hair – natural with a hint of perfume. I wanted to smell her hair before it disappeared. I noticed a little yellow envelope with age under his brush. I opened it. Inside were my mother’s Displaced Person Card issued by the Allied forces and her release papers from Bergen Belsen – it was on this document that I first saw my mother’s real surname. mother: Silverberg. There were more documents. All bore the stamps of various Jewish agencies, including HIAS.

I called Tuvia, and we immediately went to the Museum of Tolerance, which was nearby, to have the documents authenticated. I cried when the young Orthodox archivist told me they were real and that I was Jewish. “Come on, it’s not that bad,” he tried to joke. Then Tuvia took me to her rabbi at Chabad in Westlake Village. He called me a talented investigator but backed off a yard when I unwittingly tried to shake his hand.

I found out I was Jewish on March 9, a week after my mother died. With my return to Judaism, I felt like I was finally home in the United States and, more importantly, in myself. Everything made sense – my grandmother’s Star of David prayer book, Woody Allen, my Holocaust dreams, my moving and haunted mother, my appearance, why we didn’t go to church, etc

I also began to understand my mother’s request to be cremated. I believe she suffered from survivor’s guilt and wanted to reunite with her many Jewish relatives and friends, whom she lost in the gas chambers and crematoria of the Holocaust. It was also a form of homecoming for her, after decades of hiding her Jewish ancestry.

My first Passover, my first Seder, was the most spiritual and profound ritual I have ever participated in. The Exodus story seemed to fit my story, and when we read how Moses didn’t know he was a Hebrew, everyone looked at me. “Just like you,” they said. “A Jewish soul, a Yiddishe Neshama, always finds the way home,” Tuvia said, holding my hand. We broke the matzoh and drank wine by the warm candlelight, although the hurt of my mother’s death hurt me deeply, I felt such love and gratitude and something I don’t never felt before: belonging.

Dayenu.

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David Willinger’s new play EXISTENCE hits theaters for New Town https://willtoexist.com/david-willingers-new-play-existence-hits-theaters-for-new-town/ Fri, 15 Apr 2022 10:27:12 +0000 https://willtoexist.com/david-willingers-new-play-existence-hits-theaters-for-new-town/ Theater veteran David Willinger directs an exciting hybrid showcase of live theatrical experience coupled with video featuring Espirito Domingo, Sharendelle Murga, Robert Striker and Hanna Ventura. A theater and video hybrid155 1st Avenue, New YorkJune 9-19 (Thu-Sat 8pm; Sun 3pm)Tickets: $18 and $15 for students and seniors Visit https://theaterforthenewcity.net/ for reservations and more information The […]]]>

Theater veteran David Willinger directs an exciting hybrid showcase of live theatrical experience coupled with video featuring Espirito Domingo, Sharendelle Murga, Robert Striker and Hanna Ventura.

A theater and video hybrid
155 1st Avenue, New York
June 9-19 (Thu-Sat 8pm; Sun 3pm)
Tickets: $18 and $15 for students and seniors

Visit https://theaterforthenewcity.net/ for reservations and more information

The play takes us to the Institute of Philosophy of an urban university which organizes a conference on existentialism with famous speakers, descendants of four famous existentialists. An essay contest is announced. Three graduate students are announced as finalists – including Enrique, Liora and Matthias. They will have 24 hours to write an essay on the theme of Existence. They travel to the five boroughs of New York, seeking inspiration for their essays. During their travels, they visit real and imagined places, all of which suggest infinity. As they go, they fight, make love, sleep and dream, have achievements, engage in rituals, take Covid tests, fall ill, stumble upon a life-changing sacred relic, stumble upon a deadly protest demonstration and finally write their essays. The play is written in a magical realist style evoking dreams and hallucinations.

New York native David Willinger has been active in theater for decades. As an actor, David has been seen on the stages of Theater East, Mercer Arts Center, Manhattan Theater Club, Provincetown Playhouse, Mahopac Playhouse, Dorset Playhouse and in college productions, among others. He traded acting for directing and writing. Credits include Andrea’s Got Two Boyfriends (published by DPS and performed nationwide – and even in Poland), Malcolm’s Time, Frida y Diego, Bombing the Cradle, Caprichos and The Trail of Tears: A Drama from the Historical Record, written with Peggy Dean. His play Out of Their Minds about James Joyce’s eccentric daughter, Lucia, and her affair with young Samuel Beckett, was produced at New Media. He has adapted and directed novels such as The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad, The Stranger by Camus, The Heart is a Solitary Hunter by Carson McCuller, The Wound by Paul Willems, Martin Chuzzlewit by Dickens, The Dead Girls by Ibarguengoitìa and the novel Rock Wagram by William Saroyan under the title The Upper Lip. Wrote the book and lyrics for the musical The Open Gate with music by Arthur Abrams, based on Isaac Bashevis Singer’s epic novel The Manor, and for a musical version of Thomas Hardy’s famous novel Casterbridge with Christopher Beste. He also wrote a book and lyrics for The Tale of Tiresias and the Idiot which was shown at Hartley House Theater as well as an opera based on the life and works of Leopold II by Hugo Claus with Hellmuth Dusedau composing. He has directed TNC, La Mama, Interartheatre, HERE, the Laurie Beecham Theatre, the Avalon Repertory Company and the Cubiculo, all in New York, as well as for the Ambassador Theater in Washington D.C. He has directed the world premieres of ‘Eduardo Machado Don Juan in NYC, The Sorcerers by Serge Goriely, Diary of Lights by Adrienne Kennedy as well as the co-production of his Solo Voyages with Joseph Chaikin. On Jewish subjects, he directed Jim the Lionhearted by René Kalisky as well as Job’s Passion and Winter Wedding by Hanoch Levin. As an acting professor at City College NY, he directed such large-scale productions as King Lear, Richard III, Twelfth Night, The Cherry Orchard, Mary Gallagher’s De Donde? Rhinoceros by Ionesco, Gorky’s Enemies, The London Cuckolds by Edward Ravenscroft and musicals such as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Promenade, The Wiz, Little Shop of Horrors. He co-wrote the screenplay for the film Take the Bridge, and wrote and directed the feature film Lunatics, Lovers, and Actors. He has published 9 anthologies of French and Dutch play translations to his credit, and also recently published Ivo van Hove Onstage with Routledge. He has won two Fulbright scholarships, three Jerome Foundation scholarships, a Drama-Logue award, a BAEF scholarship, a Peg Santvoordt Foundation scholarship, a Translation Center award, etc. He studied and worked with Joseph Chaikin, with Arlen Digitale, at HB Studios and, mainly with Eve Shapiro, at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

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