By C.J. Hirschfield
July 19, 2022
In the upcoming (2023) Netflix biographical film Maestro, based on the life of renowned conductor/composer/pianist Leonard Bernstein, directed by and starring Bradley Cooper with Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg producing, there is a scene already circulating on social media of Bernstein passionately kissing his male lover.You will not find this sort of scene depicted in the new documentary film Bernstein’s Wall, which has its San Francisco premiere at the 42nd San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 21-August 7. What you will see, however, is a richly textured biography of a man whose remarkable story includes a deep commitment to his Jewish heritage, to political activism, to his art, to teaching, and to his family. His bisexuality, not so much. Continue reading
Part Two- What I Will Be Seeing
By Meredith Brody
May 4, 2022
I learned my lesson early with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival: GO TO EVERYTHING.
The first year I attended, I cherry-picked only the movies I hadn’t seen before. The ones I went to were such a revelation – both in the presentation and the group experience – that my heart hurt as I walked away. What a MAROON I was. Even a movie I thought I knew well would be a fresh experience, featuring as it did not only live music, but one of the world’s great audiences. There’s a kind of euphoria that sets in when you commit to seeing everything on offer. Continue reading
By C.J. Hirschfield
(Editor’s note: On August 20, 2021 Michael Morgan unexpectedly passed away at age 63 from an infection. In the weeks prior to being admitted to the hospital he had conducted at the San Francisco Symphony and Bear Valley Music Festival. The Oakland Symphony paid tribute to him.)
In April, 2021, ten documentary short subject films were short-listed for this year’s Oscars. At their best, documentary shorts tell a compelling story that, while lacking in length (they must be under 40 minutes) still manage to grab and hold us, leaving us richer for the experience.