Yiddish Celluloid Closet

Thursday, June 30 · 8:00pm – 9:30pm
Le Petit Versailles Garden
346 East Houston (near E. 2nd St & Avenue C)

More Info
Not music, but drummer-bandleader Eve Sicular of Isle of Klezbos presents “The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film: A Yingl Mit a Yingl Hot Epes a Tam?” & it’s FREE this Thursday in NYC’s East Village! Outdoors even.

Show info:
Yiddish Celluloid Closet page, with video teaser too:

Le Petit Versailles culture garden online:

Despite the taboo surrounding homosexuality, the topic was too intriguing to be left entirely out of the Yiddish picture. An exploration of lesbian & gay subtext in Yiddish cinema during its heyday, from the 1920′s to the outbreak of World War II, reveals distinctly Jewish concerns of the time intertwined with a striking array of allusions to this highly-charged subject. From musical comedies such as YIDL MITN FIDL (Yidl With His Fiddle) and AMERIKANER SHADKHN (American Matchmaker) to classic dramas DER DIBUK (The Dybbuk) and DER VILNER SHTOT-KHAZN (Overture To Glory), queerness reached the screen in various guises, emerging as an alternate take on themes of conflicted identity, passing and same-sex attachments. Discussion of these and other gems of the Yiddish screen, as well as such features as RADIO DAYS, COLONEL REDL, CROSSFIRE, and GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT, will be accompanied by clips from selected films and period home movies… as time permits! Outdoor screening in lovely Le Petit Versailles garden.

Lecturer Eve Sicular studied early Soviet film at Harvard, and presented the late Vito Russo’s Seattle debut with his original “Celluloid Closet” clips-lecture in 1989. Sicular later became Curator of Film & Photo collections at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, as well as working at MoMA’s retrospective “Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds,” co-sponsored by the National Center for Jewish Film. Her work on the Yiddish Celluloid Closet has been published widely, and she has brought this lecture from Hamburg & London to SF & LA. Her extensive knowledge of Yiddish movies has helped bring both fascinating subtextual meanings and unfathomably obscure soundtrack music back to light.