16 September 2010

Southern California: "Ost meets West," Oct. 4

"Ost meets West: Immigrant Film Moguls, Émigré Directors and the Rise of Film Noir" is the program for the fifth anniversary meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Conejo Valley, on Monday, October 4.

The program runs from 7-9pm at Temple Adat Elohim, 2420 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. This is a different day and time than usual.

A group of Eastern European Jews, who headed most major American film studios, founded the Hollywood film industry. Another influx of German/Austrian Jewish film directors were driven, in the 1930s, to the US by the Nazis. A number of them, such as Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Otto Preminger and Edward G. Ulmer would play a determining role in the rise of what was called film noir.

The Hollywood film noir genre ranged from the early 1940s-late 1950s, and is associated with a black-and-white style with roots in German Expressionist cinematography.

Speaker Vincent Brook will examine the ethnic origins of the two groups and how their different backgrounds enabled their considerable contributions to the cinema, and in particular film noir.

Brook holds a PhD (film and television, UCLA) and teaches media studies at UCLA, USC, Cal-State LA, and Pierce College. He is the author of "Something Ain’t Kosher Here: The Rise of the 'Jewish' Sitcom," and dozens of journal articles, essays and reviews. His book, “Driven to Darkness: Jewish Émigré Directors and the Rise of Film Noir "will be available for purchase ($20, cash/check) at the meeting

The free meeting is co-sponsored with Temple Adat Elohim. For more information, see the JGSCV website.

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