A Price Above Rubies

A Price Above Rubies

Though scoffed at by some professional Jews, writer-director Boaz Yakin’s 1997 second feature (after Fresh), about the painful break of a young wife and mother (Renee Zellweger) from her husband and Hasidic community in Brooklyn’s Borough Park, is for me a potent and very moving polemic about the oppressive misogyny often found in Orthodox Jewish life, predicated on a kind of patriarchal mind-set that seems surprisingly close to attitudes found throughout the Middle East. After becoming involved in the jewelry business through her husband’s double-dealing brother (Christopher Eccleston), the heroine finds herself drifting further and further from her family; once she begins to champion the work of a Puerto Rican artist who makes jewelry (Allen Payne), her ejection from the Orthodox Jewish community becomes total. Yakin isn’t always successful in shoehorning various forms of magical realism–appearances of the heroine’s late brother and a spectral bag lady–into the story, and the denouement, like some of the events preceding it, may seem a bit overdetermined. But this is still a powerful and persuasively acted piece of dramatic agitprop about a neglected subject, provocative and spellbinding. 900 N. Michigan. –Jonathan Rosenbaum

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): fiml still.

Published on 10 Apr 1998 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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It

From the Chicago Reader (April 3, 1998). — J.R.

A department store clerk (Clara Bow) tries to live according to the tenets of Elinor Glyn’s book about sex appeal (also titled It) and winds up marrying her boss. This fast and funny silent comedy of 1927 has one of the great lines of the period — “Hot socks! Here comes the boss!” — and as Dave Kehr has pointed out, it “launched Clara Bow as a star of extraordinary dimensions (most of them around the hips).” Directed by Clarence Badger, with Antonio Moreno, William Austin, Jacqueline Gadsdon, a young Gary Cooper, and Glyn herself, who worked on the script with Hope Loring and Louis D. Lighton. A real treat. (JR)

Published on 03 Apr 1998 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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La Seconda Volta

A university professor in Turin (Nanni Moretti) has a chance meeting with the woman who tried to kill him 12 years earlier in a terrorist attack. Mimmo Calopresti directed this 1996 Italian feature, which will be shown on video without subtitles.

Published on 01 Apr 1998 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Eighteen Springs

Ann Hui

Published on 01 Apr 1998 in Featured Texts, by admin

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