Ed Rampell: “Frankly, we’ve opposed the poor. We’ve opposed the poor not only in those countries but in our own country. The Vietnam War was a war against the poor people of Vietnam, it was also a war against our own selves, by sending our poor people to fight that war.”
Ed Rampell: Every once in a while there’s an uplifting work of art that makes one feel glad to be alive. L.A. Opera’s exuberant production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 1786 The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), conducted by none other than Placido Domingo himself, is one of those rare artistic experiences that enable audiences to walk on air and be grateful to be living, if only so they can experience such a rapturous, joyous vision and affirmation of life.
Ed Rampell: The Netanyahu government’s “might makes right” stance not only jeopardizes international Jewry, but above all endangers Israel. Unnecessarily pissing off most of the international community may not be a good survival strategy, but it is a tried and true formula for hate crimes perpetrated against those perceived as belonging to the offenders.
Ed Rampell: I remember during small kid days the arrival of Ringling Bros.’ in New York, and the elephant march up one of Manhattan’s avenues – an irresistible photo op if ever there was one – to Madison Square Garden, where I’d join thousands of other “children of all ages” to watch the thrilling spectacle.
Ed Rampell: Freakonomics is a great documentary adaptation of Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt’s bestselling book that applies statistical and economics theory to various phenomena, finding extraordinary explanations and insights. Master documentarians direct various segments linked to interviews with the co-authors
Ed Rampell: This beautiful, moving film goes on to show the eventual meeting(s) of Mburu and his benefactor, who had no idea a charity was named after her. Nor that this Holocaust survivor’s small act of generosity would enable Mburu to play a role in campaigning ethnic cleansing around the world as a U.N. international civil servant, including at his native Kenya.
Ed Rampell: Readers may remember President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s dubious remarks about gays at a Columbia University forum in 2007, and In Dog Sweat Keshavarz dares point his camera directly at the homosexual scene in Tehran, where same sex relationships are probably more controversial than gay marriage is here.
Ed Rampell: Mahler On the Couch is co-written and co-directed by that rarity, a father and son team, Percy (1987’s Bagdad Cafe) and Felix Adlon. Their German language movie reminds me of 1976’s The Seven-Percent- Solution based on Nicholas Meyer’s novel about Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) being treated by Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin).