A NIGHT AT THE OPERA OF TALMUDIC REASONING: THE "JEWISHNESS" OF JEWISH CINEMA

Shai Biderman, Tel, Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Mel Brooks, Steven Spielberg, Joel, Ethan Coen, Roman Polanski, Fritz Lang
unpublished
THE PROBLEM OF DEFINITION Jewish cinema is a hybrid concept which invites a multitude of interpretations. It can stand for an anthropological or cultural classification, as well as for historical or film-studies perspective. Inasmuch as the term exists independently as a meaningful cinematic classification, the attribution of Jewishness to cinematic work is still murky and ambivalent. For it is often unclear what we should take the word "Jewish" to mean, and, accordingly, what it have to say
more » ... t it have to say about cinema. What, then, is Jewish cinema? Two complementary approaches might apply here. First, one can take the word "Jewish" to allude to the cultural (or anthropological) identity (and heritage) of an agent (or agents), whose mark on the cinematic end-result is singular and distinctive. In this category we might include filmmakers such as
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