Jewish co-directors bring climate change sequel to screen

“Ozark” stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. The series is  streaming on Netflix. Photo: Netflix

By Nate Bloom

At the Movies

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” opens nationwide Aug. 4.  It is, of course, the sequel to “An Inconvenient Truth,” the 2006 documentary directed by DAVIS GUGGENHEIM that won the Oscar for best documentary. The sequel follows former Vice President Al Gore (the ‘star’ of the original) as he continues his fight to rouse the world to take action on climate change. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes moments, some funny and others poignant. The film follows Gore as he reaches the apex, to date, of his efforts: the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016. The film was re-edited just before release to address President Donald Trump’s recent decision to take America out of the Paris Agreement.

The co-directors are BONNI COHEN, 52, and JON SHENK, 48. Cohen’s other credits include producing “The Rape of Europa,” a 2006 documentary about the Nazi looting of European art treasures, including those owned by Jews. Shenk was the cinematographer on a PBS film that Cohen produced: “American Jerusalem: Jews and the Making of San Francisco” (2014).


Streaming Now

On Friday, July 21, Netflix began streaming the first 10-episode season of “Ozark.” It stars Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, a Chicago financial advisor who, we quickly learn, has been laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. The cartel discovers Marty’s partner has been skimming their money and plan to kill both of them. Marty comes up with a plan that persuades them to let him live. He’ll move with his wife (Laura Linney) and his kids to the Ozarks, far away from prying Feds, and launder a ton of money for them. (The Missouri scenes in “Ozark” are actually filmed in Georgia.)

Reviews are mixed-to-quite good. Many critics have praised the show’s interesting supporting characters. Singled out in those roles are JULIA GARNER, 23 (“Perks of a Teenage Wallflower”), JORDANA SPIRO, 39, and HARRIS YULIN, 79. Garner plays the 19-year-old leader of a “white trash” gang who think they can get money out of Marty. Spiro plays the owner of a bar that Marty invests in. Yulin plays, in the words of the Los Angeles Times: “The unhurriedly dying old man who comes with the house the Byrdes buy.”


Remembering Marty

As you likely know, MARTIN LANDAU died on July 15, at the age of 89. Here are three things that come to mind — see or re-see the three movies that revived his career late-in-life: “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (WOODY ALLEN’s “most Jewish” film and his best drama), “Tucker,” an underrated Francis Ford Coppola picture, and “Ed Wood,”  which garnered Landau a supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi. Second, in case you didn’t know, BARBARA BAIN, his ex-wife, frequent co-star (think “Mission Impossible”) and the mother of his children, is Jewish and alive at 85. Finally, Landau was a kind, highly intelligent man who was making and being cast in new films until his very short fatal illness. If you gotta go– not bad to go out that way.


Rob and his Sons

“The Lowe Files,” a nine-episode series, begins airing on AMC on Aug. 2. It stars veteran actor Rob Lowe, 53, and his sons MATTHEW, 23, and JOHN OWEN, 21 (John is called “Johnny”).  Lowe, we are told, has long had an interest in the weird and paranormal. The stories the Lowes will investigate include a report of an underwater alien base off the coast of Malibu. Lowe’s sons were raised Jewish, the faith of Rob’s wife of 26 years, make-up artist SHERYL BERKOFF, 56. They both had a bar mitzvah and, like their father, they are charming and have a wry sense of humor.