AJFF What to Watch in January

01/8/2020

Academy Award-winning films, classics, including a now-classic comedy based on a classic, reflect this month's picks. 

In Theatres

All the President's Men
With a gripping screenplay by notable Jewish screenwriter William Goldman, the film is based on the true-life story of the two reporters, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), who wouldn't give up on the story of the Watergate break-in. 

An American in Paris
Though the recent stage adaptation embraces a more direct Jewish through line, the origins of this now classic film, winner of 6 Academy Awards, are still rooted in the music of Jewish composers, George and Ira Gershwin. Of his many melodies and works George Gershwin felt that, “While I actually do not know much about Jewish folksong, I think that many of my themes are Jewish in feeling.”

Video on Demand

Schindler’s List
Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece achieves the seemingly impossible: a rigorous, sobering, accessible and artistically stunning Holocaust drama, told through the incredible true story of an unlikely humanitarian. Winner of 7 Academy Awards including for Best Picture, its black-and-white cinematography, and John Williams's haunting score. AJFF screened the film for its 25th anniversary in 2018. 

Spaceballs
Made over 30 years ago (we can't believe it either!) in 1987, the Mel Brooks co-written, produced and directed Star Wars spoof is considered a cult classic and remains one of Brooks's most popular films. George Lucas was such a fan of the idea that he allowed Brooks full permission to lampoon anything he wanted with one condition, that no merchandise of the film ever be made. Though many have hope for a sequel, the odds of it materializing seems less and less likely

Blu-Ray & DVD

The Birdcatcher
After losing her parents, a Jewish girl, Esther, conceals her real identity and pretends to be a boy on a Nazi-occupied Norwegian farm while planning her escape to Sweden. The film, based on true events, had its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.