Jews in the News: Seth Rogen, Michael Stuhlbarg and Bar Refaeli

Jobs Movie: Jewish Inputs
“Steve Jobs” is the third bio-pic about the co-creator of Apple since his death in 2011 and critics all agree that it's by far the best one. It was directed by Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”). The screenplay, by AARON SORKIN, 54 (“The Social Network”), drew on a Jobs biography by WALTER ISAACSON, 62. The film centers on the launch of three iconic Apple products, ending with the iMac intro in 1998. Michael Fassbender plays Jobs, with SETH ROGEN, 33, as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (who isn’t Jewish).
Other major real-life characters in the film include two tribe members. Kate Winslet plays JOANNA HOFFMAN, now 60. Hoffman was the brilliant marketing chief of both Apple MacIntosh and Next (the company Jobs founded after being ousted from Apple in 1985. He returned to helm Apple in 1997). Hoffman was born in Europe, the daughter an Armenian mother and a Jewish father (Her father, JERZY HOFFMAN, now 82, is a still-active film director who stayed in Poland after WWII).

Winslet had long meetings with Hoffman before filming began. She says, “Hoffman was an extraordinary, feisty Eastern European person who was pretty much the only person who could actually knock sense into Steve, and she was also kind of an emotional compass…She came to America as a young woman and achieved a great deal. One thing that was unique about her as a figure in Steve’s life was that she didn’t need anything from him. She just needed for him to be the best version of himself.”

MICHAEL STUHLBARG, 47 (ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN in “Boardwalk Empire”) plays ANDY HERTZFELD, now 62. Hertzfeld wrote much of the code for the original Apple Mac operating system, including many elements of its signature graphical user interface. He has often been referred to as “the soul” of the original Apple software development team. Hertzfeld had long discussions with Sorkin about Jobs and Apple. He recently spoke about the completed film with a tech website. He said that he came to accept Sorkin’s position that an “impressionistic biography” was valid. About the film, Hertzfeld says: “It deviates from reality everywhere — almost nothing in it is like it really happened — but ultimately that doesn’t matter that much…it exposes a deeper truth. The purpose of the film is to entertain, inspire and move the audience, not to portray reality. It is cavalier about the facts but aspires to explore and expose the deeper truths behind Steve’s unusual personality and behavior, and it often but not always succeeds at that.” (Wozniak takes a similar view of the film, which opens on Friday, October 9).

Briefly Noted

A couple of months ago, I noted that reports said that Israeli supermodel BAR REFAELI, 30, was set to marry very wealthy Israeli businessman ADI EZRA, 40, after the high holidays were over. As you might have heard, they tied the knot on Sept. 24. Here’s the essential info: held at the Carmel Forest Spa Resort in Haifa; 300 guests; sheer and sexy bridal gown by Chloé (a French fashion house founded by the late GABRIELLE AGHION, an Egyptian-French Jew); famous Israeli singer SHLOMI SHABAT, 61, sang as Refaeli walked down the aisle; the couple were wed by Rabbi YITZCHAK DOVID GROSSMAN, 69, a famous rabbi who is a member of the Chief Rabbinate Council of Israel; the simcha reportedly cost $330K. (I don’t know if hors d'oeuvres were served and, if so, how good they were.)

If you get Netflix’s streaming service, or can watch someone else’s---here’s a couple of juicy Jewish nuggets that might have eluded you. It comes with a mea cupla: last month, many PBS stations aired “Hava Nagila: The Movie”---but I missed that fact and didn’t alert you. I caught part of the documentary during its last PBS showing and was pleasantly surprised to find it is available on Netflix. It is everything a documentary should be---it informs while entertaining you. Yes, the song is overplayed---but it has a fascinating history--it originated in a Hasidic sect in the Ukraine, was finished in Israel, and became a worldwide hit. The song, as explained, is a window into centuries of the Jewish experience. I can’t remember enjoying a Jewish documentary as much as this one---there’s a lot of funny stuff in it, too. (Also available thru Vimeo-on-Demand)
Check out the pretty good (but straight-to-Netflix) movie “6 Years,” a strong drama about a romantic relationship co-starring the up-and-coming talented actor BEN ROSENFIELD, 23 (also available thru Orchard video-on-demand).

Correction Corner

I made a mental error in a recent column item about "Pawn Sacrifice," a film that stars Tobey Maguire as the late chess champion Bobby Fischer. Most readers know that I put persons who I view as Jewish "for the purpose of the column' in capital letters. Accidentally, I capitalized Maguire. While his wife is Jewish, the actor is not Jewish "in any way".

In case you are curious, I count a person as Jewish for the purpose of the column if: (1) They have at least one Jewish parent; and (2) they were raised Jewish or secular and (3) As an adult, they don't adhere to a faith other than Judaism. Also, I "count as Jewish" all converts to Judaism (whether or not they had a Jewish parent).

I don't make many mistakes, but I made a mistake when I wrote this in my previous column item about "Benders", a new IFC series---I wrote:

Starting on Thursday, Oct. 1 (10PM) was the eight-episode IFC comedy series, “Benders”. It follows a group of friends bonded by their obsession with their amateur hockey team. The team leader is Paul Rosenberg (who one would guess is a Jewish character). His team involvement is tough on Karen, his wife. All of "Benders" stars are relative unknowns.  But I’m 99 percent certain that stand-up comedian ANDREW SCHULZ, 28, who plays Paul, and LINDSEY BROAD, who plays Karen, are Jewish. If the Rosenbergs are Jewish characters—we may have that very rare TV thing—two Jews playing a Jewish married couple.

Well, in a recent, fairly obscure interview, Schulz told a radio D.J. who thought he was Jewish--that he is not Jewish. However, I am now comp


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