‘Selma’: A bracing tonic for troubled times

It has been a rough year for race relations in America. The corrosive effects of bad religion have also made far too many headlines. Selma arrives as a refreshing tonic for our troubled times. It offers a feature length portrait […]


‘Whiplash’: Fear and trembling

What is the most effective way for a teacher to motivate a student? Some may advocate nurture and encouragement, while others adopt fear and trembling. Whiplash is the bracing flip-side to Mr. Holland’s Opus, an exploration of how cruel and […]


‘Philomena’: The little picture that could?

While much of the Oscar race has centered around 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, and American Hustle, a much quieter (and more profound) picture slipped into theaters. Philomena is a modest, true-life story about a woman in search of her […]


A cinematic eulogy in ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’

I hosted a screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom just two nights before Nelson Mandela died. The legacy of Mandiba was already in the forefront of my mind before the news of his passing. It will be tough to […]

12 Years a Slave poster art

And the Oscar goes to…’12 Years a Slave’

12 Years a Slave pinned me to my theater seat. I couldn’t move. I could barely breathe. And even a month after I saw it, words seem insufficient to try and describe the totality of this cinematic achievement. How long […]

George Schlatter and Lily Tomlin

Why would a Jewish producer attend a Christian university?

I was encouraged by The Hollywood Reporter’s enthusiastic review of Pepperdine University’s gala tribute to pioneering television producer and alum George Schlatter. Still Laugh-In drew upon the best of Schlatter’s seminal show, with key cast members like Lily Tomlin and […]

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