Monday, March 23, 2009

Here's an interview with me that appeared in a Long Beach newspaper and also in the Long Beach Art Blog.
Below is the article and the link to it's website. It relates to the screening of the film this month at the Film Festival there.


Dan Katzir, the director of “Yiddish Theatre: A Love Story” is a funny guy. He has a lot of things to say and laughs a lot. Even though he just turned forty years old, he undoubtedly has the soul of a 20-year-old. His film “Yiddish Theatre: A Love Story” is one of the four films being shown at the Long Beach Jewish Film Festival. He was the only director that I met with to interview for a story about the Festival, so I feel a little more strongly about this film than the others. It truly is beautiful. The film simultaneously warms and breaks your heart. Here are some things that he had to say about his experiences with dreaming, Yiddish theatre, filmmaking and Long Beach:

He said that the most important message of the movie is, “not to let go of your dream. Because too many times in our society we believe in instant gratification. If you don’t get immediately what you want-move on to the next dream. But that’s not the way. The whole thing with the dream is that you have to chase it. And the more elusive it is, the harder you have to chase it. Not give up. And I think that’s why this one woman (Zypora Spaisman, a Yiddish theater actress from Dan’s documentary, “Yiddish Theatre: A Love Story”)- she kept her theater running for 50 years. She was always on the verge of bankruptcy. But she continued with that crazy dream of teaching people about this old, forgotten language (Yiddish).”

“As a filmmaker, all of my documentaries…are all very emotional.” he said, “So I always go for emotion. I think today more and more filmmakers and artists in general are going more for color and pizzazz and fast edit. They’re trying to get pace but what it lacks is heartfelt. I personally like stuff that moves me emotionally.”

He also said that Long Beach is a very sleek, sophisticated city. But, he said, ““I’m sure that even the people who live in the brand new houses have some connection to very old history which is their own. Cause even if they live in a brand new city,” he giggles, ” their parents, and grandparents and great grandparents probably lived in a rotting and molding old city somewhere on the planet.”

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