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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 28, 2005 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Paris in reel life

By Diana West


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Maybe the best comment on the French Intifada came from French Tourism Minister Leon Bertrand: "You get the impression that France is awash with flames and blood, which is not at all the case," he said. "You cannot deny the images, but there are images and images."


What's French for "huh"?


Then again, maybe there are images and images. For example, once it was Crepes Suzette; now it's Roasting Renault. Once it was Hermes; now it's hijab. Used to be, the Frenchman was always named Francois; now he might well be called Muhammad. And so what if "Vive La Secularisation" has now given way to "Let's Fund French Islam"? Monsieur Bertrand doesn't care because the banlieues are back under control — back to the "normal" rate of burning about 100 cars per night. As much as anything else, this tells us France — the historic image of La Belle France — has gone up in smoke.


This has more than geopolitical ramifications; it's an American cultural loss. That's because France, as an American muse, has long inspired some of the best of American arts and letters. From the Doughboy bravura of "How Are You Going to Keep 'Em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree?)," to the disaffection of Hemingway and the Lost Generation; from the 1928 exuberance of George Gershwin in Paris writing "An American in Paris," to the 1940 regret of Jerome Kern writing "The Last Time I Saw Paris" after the Nazi takeover, France, particularly Paris, has occupied a place in the American imagination that no other European country has. In its disappearance, a living link to that culture disappears also.


And I haven't even mentioned movies. In the days before Americans traveled to France to see Paris, they went to the movies to see Paris. There, on the screen, they very often saw themselves: brash New Worlders alternately clashing with, embracing, or sacrificing themselves to an always glamorous, cynically decadent or elegantly troubled Old World.


Below is a not-quite random list of movies that fixed the 20th-century-image of Paris in the American imagination.


"Love Me Tonight" (1932): Unforgettable opening in which the homely sounds and sights of waking Paris (a sweeping broom, a clanking chimney pot, a snoring tramp, etc.) inventively build into a Rodgers and Hart number sung by Maurice Chevalier. Quintessential Paris — via Paramount Pictures.


"Desire" (1936): A gem of a caper with jewel thief Marlene Dietrich and her gang roping in wide-eyed auto engineer Gary Cooper — who sets them and their continental decadence straight as an American arrow.


"That Girl from Paris" (1936): Parisian opera star Lily Pons sneaks into the United States for American bandleader (Gene Raymond) and — incredible as it seems — runs afoul of immigration laws. Charming.


"Dodsworth" (1936): American auto magnate (amazing Walter Huston) and wife (amazing Ruth Chatterton) set out to discover how to "live" in the Old World, starting in Paris. Should be on everyone's Top Ten List.


"Midnight" (1939): Another Top Ten Listee. With effortless wit, easy sophistication, and a scene-stealing John Barrymore, Claudette Colbert can't give in to European decadence, no matter how hard she tries (Don Ameche and scriptwriters Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder don't let her). Directed by Mitchell Leisen.


"Ninotchka" (1939): Greta Garbo as the communist official who can't resist Paris or Melvyn Douglas. Another Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder comedy classic, this one directed by Ernst Lubitsch.


"Arise My Love" (1940): Claudette Colbert again; Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder again; Mitchell Leisen again. Romantic comedy about Claudette Colbert the syndicated columnist chasing the story of Europe on the brink of World War II, and Ray Milland the Spanish Civil War vet chasing Miss Colbert. A big boost for American interventionism.


"Casablanca" (1942): The most famous of them all. "We'll always have Paris," Humphrey Bogart tells Ingrid Bergman in this World War II drama written by Julius J. and Phillip G. Epstein. Not to be forgotten is the vocal battle between "Die Wacht am Rhein" and "La Marseillaise."


"An American in Paris" (1951): Lush American celluloid canvas of Paris, with Gershwin score, Vincente Minelli direction and Gene Kelly ballet.


"The Last Time I Saw Paris" (1954): With Van Johnson and Elizabeth Taylor and also written by the Epstein brothers, this one's a soap opera, but it's also powerfully evocative of the postwar Paris that enthralled so many Americans.


These movies, these images, may or may not have reflected reality — it was always said that Ernst Lubitsch's Paris surpassed the real thing — but they were artistic perceptions of a time and place. Today, they seem more like figments of imagination. Thankfully, they're figments preserved on DVD.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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