Monday, December 22, 2014 Kislev 30, 5775

Michael Elkin

Features Editor
And the Oscar goes to ...
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Dirty heresy? Who else but Clint Eastwood could spout anti-Semitic, anti-black and anti-Asian attacks in such an enlightened time as Obama-rama and get away with it? Well, of course, it's not Eastwood, but his alter echo of Walt Kowalski and his slur-speech that drives "Gran Torino," the pedal-to-the-mettle role that just might earn Eastwood his first acting Oscar when nods...
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Edward Zwick in all his glory in factual film of Holocaust heroics
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"Defiance" defines the ultimate act of partisan politics. Embattled by evolving evils, the Polish Jewish partisans of "Defiance" must deftly straddle empirical morality amid survival setbacks -- all the while assessing their own newly formed sorrowful society stacked up against them during the Holocaust. Into the woods they go for a grim existence; whether they leave alive requires an exit...
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The never give in, damn-the-defiant Bielski Brothers of "Defiance" never cried uncle. But Barry Belsky did. Of course, he said. Why wouldn't he? Indeed, they were wonderful any time he cried out to them for help as a youngster. They were, after all, his uncles. Co-owner of Mr. Barstool in Old City, a family business, Barry Belsky is high-beam proud...
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Thirty years later, this 'Joint' is still jumpin' for Murray Horwitz!
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Oh, Murray Horwitz, be-HAY-ve! But then why shouldn't he? "Ain't Misbehavin' " ain't exactly been bad to him all these years. Indeed, since he and Richard Maltby Jr. took a fat chance with Fats Waller's music and put together a musical/revue that rocked and rolled with the sweetness and soulful sass of a "Honeysuckle Rose" 30 years ago, Horwitz has...
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Can't we all get along? A look at current headlines emanating from the Mideast may provide a pragmatic bomb blast of an answer to that seemingly innocent question. But, as anyone knows, this is not the age of innocence. Which makes French director Philippe Faucon's fine-laced embroidery on the topic -- "Dans La Vie" ("Two Ladies") -- a welcome respite...
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Profile

Michael Elkin has worked as the Exponent Arts & Entertainment and Features editors for some 40 years.

He has won some 40 national and regional writing awards over his career as well as three fellowships in playwriting and screenwriting from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

His arts articles — including working as a jazz critic for the Evening and Sunday Bulletin; book reviewer for the Philadelphia Inquirer; and rock reviewer/TV writer for the Camden Courier-Post  — and op-eds have appeared throughout North America; his plays have been staged internationally, including runs in Romania — one play running for  five years —  Israel, Germany, Los Angeles and, locally, the Walnut Street Theatre and People's Light and Theatre Company. He is a  Tony Award voter and is a member of a national new play selection committee handing out an annual award to an  up-and-coming playwright.

He worked as a mentor with the Philadelphia Young Playwrights' outreach program to area high schools and at one point headed up the playwriting program at the Walnut Street Theatre School.  His play "Cries in the Night" was cited in the book "The Best Plays of 1992-93," in the "New Plays From Around the Country" category. His travel articles have appeared nationally and he has worked as a travel editor for Fodor's Travel Guides.

As a screenwriter, he  was asked by filmmaker John Frankenheimer ("Birdman of Alcatraz," "The Manchurian Candidate"), with whom he then worked,  to write a script for Frankenheimer to direct.

He has moderated and taken part in national conferences both here and in New York on topics ranging from hip-hop/rap to theater to comedy and has served as a board member of film and theater arts groups.

Elkin has appeared on area TV and radio shows and served as arts critic for the cable program "Our Town." He has been cited in reference books for his investigative work on TV as an influential social medium. For his expertise in film and theater, Elkin was asked to — and did — serve as on-screen interviewer of actor Richard Dreyfuss in a documentary about the American Music Theater Festival, with which Dreyfuss was involved.

A graduate of Temple University — he also studied screenwriting at New York University and attended the University of Houston Bates School of Law — Elkin was honored to be Temple's commencement speaker in the mid-90s. He also taught journalism at Temple as well as screenwriting at La Salle University.
 

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