Jews in the News: Andrew Garfield, Sara Jessica Parker and Jack Fishman

Movie News

“Under the Silver Lake”, a contemporary “film noir”, set in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, was supposed to open last April (so this item may be vaguely familiar). It now opens on Friday, Dec. 7 in limited release. ANDREW GARFIELD, 35, stars as Sam, an unhappy guy who discovers a mysterious woman frolicking in his apartment complex’s pool one night. The woman suddenly disappears and Sam embarks on a quest across Los Angeles to find her. As he hunts for the woman, Sam encounters much more than he expected—scandals and a big time conspiracy. The supporting cast includes ZOSIA MAMET, 30 (“Girls”).

Zosia Mamet is, of course, the daughter of famous playwright and film director DAVID MAMET, 70. Actor and master magician RICKY JAY was a favorite of David Mamet.  He co-starred in three films written and directed by Mamet (my favorite was “House of Games”). Sadly, on Nov. 24, Jay died, age 72.  I recommend watching the PBS “American Masters” bio on Jay, entitled “Deceptive Practice” (posted on Youtube).

Another sad note: British film director NICOLAS ROEG died on Nov. 25, age 90. His films include "Walkabout," “Performance” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth”. The latter two films featured, respectively, Mick Jagger and David Bowie in their first starring roles. Almost all bios say that Roeg’s father was of “Dutch ancestry.” That should be qualified—his Brit father was a Jew (whose ancestors were Dutch Jews).  Roeg’s mother wasn’t Jewish.

Alec Talks to Sarah

“The Alec Baldwin Show,” an ABC celebrity interview show hosted by Baldwin, began in October. Reviews of the series haven’t been great and we’ll see whether it will continue much past New Year's day. Baldwin interviews actress SARAH JESSICA PARKER, 53, in the episode airing on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 10PM. Topics discussed include Parker’s move into publishing; about the first anniversary of the “Times-Up” anti-sexual harassment movement and how, as an actress and producer, Parker has had conversations on the set about harassment that often are surprising and never easy; and she talks about her 21-year marriage to actor MATTHEW BRODERICK, 57, and their hopes for the future.

A Long Time Coming

The film “Ben is Back,” opens Dec. 7. It stars Julia Roberts as the mother of Ben (Lucas Hedges), a young adult who has a long-standing addiction to opioid drugs like heroin. I didn’t plan to write about “Ben” because it has no Jewish actors in important parts; the director isn’t Jewish; and neither is the screenwriter.

However, about the same time I read about the film, I saw (Nov. 18) a “60 Minutes” segment about the drug naloxone. Naloxone is described in the segment and in other sources as a “wonder drug.” Naloxone can completely reverse an opiod overdose if the drug is given to the overdose victim shortly after the overdose (about five minutes). Naloxone is cheap, it has no side effects, and has no bad effects if given to a passed-out person who is mistaken for an opiod overdose victim.

Virtually all emergency medical personnel have long carried naloxone with them. The current “opioid epidemic” (70,000 died from overdoses in 2017) has lead many police officers to carry it, too. For many years, family members of addicts couldn’t buy naloxone without a prescription. They could do very little if they found a loved one who had overdosed, but was still clinging to life. However, in the last few years, a flood of states have changed their law and now 49 states allow naxloxone purchase without prescription. Anyone can buy it “just in case.”

I looked up Naloxone and learned it was created by two Jewish chemists: Dr. MOZES J. LEWENSTEIN (1899-1966) and Dr. JACK FISHMAN (1930-2013). They patented the drug in 1961. Fishman’s NY Times obit begins by saying that “naloxone has saved countless lives.”  Fishman was born in Poland. He and his family fled to Shanghai, China when the Nazis invaded. He came to the States when he was 18. He got his undergraduate degree from Yeshiva University.

In 2016, Newsweek reported on how personal this prescription issue was to Jack Fishman. Fishman’s adult stepson, JONATHAN STAMPLER, died of a heroin overdose in 2003. JOY FISHMAN, Jack’s wife, was outraged. She knew that her son would probably still be alive if someone near him when he overdosed had a dose of naxloxone. Dr. Fishman was appalled that he couldn’t get his hands on a drug he invented without a prescription. The Fishmans, aided by Jack’s lawyer son, NEIL, pushed hard for a change in state laws and that change has finally come.

Two years ago, the Miami Herald reported that Joy Fishman is still working hard to save addicts lives. Read more.



Add Comment