Paula Review WJC 4/15/1976

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Paula Review WJC 4/15/1976 - Butte's Youth T "Hester Street" is like a...
Butte's Youth T "Hester Street" is like a series of vintage photographs photographs found in an album tucked away in your grandmother's grandmother's attic. They let you visualize your grandparents' grandparents' (or parents') early years in the United States with a feeling of warmth and nostalgia. But warmth and nos- nos- talgia are not enough to give a film substance. And that is the problem with "Hester Street;" it remains on a charming, even keel, sudden ups or downs and no surprises. It is the story of becoming Americanized the story of Jake, who comes to New York from Russia Russia without his wife and young son. By the time they arrive, arrive, he is a different person, something his wife, 'GUI, finally understands. Woven throughout their story are '. the faces and voices of rabbis, bosses, peddlers, landladies landladies and children. The fine quality of the street scenes (shot in black and white), give you the feeling of being there is thanks to Kenneth Van Sickle, director of photography. Director Joan Miclkin Silver has made a calm, almost semi-documentary semi-documentary semi-documentary film of Jewish life here at the turn-of-the-century. turn-of-the-century. turn-of-the-century. turn-of-the-century. turn-of-the-century. turn-of-the-century. turn-of-the-century. The dialogue, in both English and Yiddish (with subtitles) is often difficult to understand and, I was told, the Yiddish lost much in) the translation. "Hester Street" is showing at the Times Theater. Paula Orth 'Niger' Lacks Power . "The River Niger" is a good movie, but it was ah intense, powerful play. The story about the conflicts within the contemporary contemporary black Williams family can provide powerful -drama. -drama. It did in the play. The film has been rewritten so that much of the focus is on a group of young black "revolutionaries." In the play, they were catalysts; , in the film, too much of the focus is placed on them. But this version version is saved by some fine acting. Cicely Tyson, as the mother, is quietly magnificent, when given her chance7iut the part in the film gives her only a few, brief moments to shine. As Johnny, the father, James Earl Jones brings nuance and adds many dimensions to the central character. Glynn Turman provides the intensity needed for the role of the son; and Lou Gossett, as a family friend, is the perfect' foil for Jones. Fine as the acting may be, it does not make up for the lack of character delineation. In the stage version, this was provided through the dialogue. Director Krishna Shah has sacrificed this aspect to move the action around, 1 outdoors and in the streets. The play took place in onejoca-tion, onejoca-tion, onejoca-tion, the Williams house. "The River Niger" is a good film, but it was a better play a play that should not have been transferred to the screen. ' Paula Orth

Clipped from The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle15 Apr 1976, ThuPage 14

The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)15 Apr 1976, ThuPage 14
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  • Paula Review WJC 4/15/1976

    imawriter2 – 03 Dec 2016

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