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AIDS, Gypsies and American Jews: Two New Films

Looking for thoughtful, hip controversial programming?

Two films, recently shown by Jewish film and video expert Roberta Newman, make for extraordinary programming;

The Gypsy Princess is a 19-minute. droll, jolly, painful reframing of the so called Jewish American Princess by director Beverly Ginsburg. The experimental documentary (which employs Ginsburg’s grandfather’s home movies along with voice-over narration) tells of one immigrant family’s American odyssey. “There once was a princess who lived in the Bronx. She spent summers in the Catskills and Las Vegas. When she grew up she had a daughter. The daughter divulged .secrets like her mother’s out-of-wedlock birth [and eventual suicide], her grandfather’s rum-running [and four marriages]. and her great-grandmother’s Gypsy heritage.” Ginsburg (whose father owns that Jewish landmark, Art’s Delicatessen, in Studio City, CA) can be reached at: 818-789-3832, or 212-496- 6421.

Fast Trip, Long Drop is a 54-minute fin de siecle roller coaster ride (with soundtrack by the crazed Klezmatics) by young director Gregg Bordowitz about his own AIDS. Casting himself as a fictitious dying protagonist—nihilistic, brainy, black-humored Alter Allesman (the Yiddish personification of “Everyman”)— Bordowitz meditates on the nature of risk, on gay and Jewish fears about the politics of assimilation, and on the media’s ability to marginalize whatever it chooses. Brilliant and terrifying (and not for children). Available from Drift Distribution: 212-254-4118; Fax: 212-254-3154.

Newman herself teaches delightful mini-courses on the topic of Jews and film/video. Contact her at: 212-678-0829.