Celebrity jews

On screens big and small

Alejandro Jodorowsky

The acclaimed documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” opening Friday, March 28 in San Francisco, chronicles the abortive attempt of Alejandro Jodorowsky, 85, to turn the sci-fi classic “Dune” into a movie in the mid-1970s.

Jodorowsky, a Chilean Jew who has long resided in France, has lived a life that is so incredibly unlikely that you really must read his Wikipedia entry, even if you have little interest in his work. He is best known for two films: “El Topo” (1969) and “Holy Mountain” (1973). A very different film about the Old West, “El Topo” became a cult classic, fueled by John Lennon’s endorsement, and made Jodorowsky a household counterculture name.

With San Francisco favorite MK Nobilette out of the running on “American Idol,” here’s hoping that contestant Sam Woolf, 17, is still in the singing competition (results are revealed Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Fox). Woolf is from Florida. His late paternal grandfather, Sammy Woolf, was a prominent Detroit bandleader. Sam likes to write music; he wrote the song he performed in the second round of “Idol” competition.


‘Whitney’ co-star tries again

Zoe Lister-Jones

Zoe Lister-Jones, 31, and her professional and romantic partner, Darryl Wein, 31, have made two indie flicks — “Breaking Upwards” and “Lola Versus,” both about the romantic and career problems of hip, young urbanites — that scored a few decent reviews.

However, Lister-Jones didn’t have any luck as a co-star of “Whitney,” a cancelled NBC sitcom that didn’t turn out to be the hit many thought it would be. Here’s hoping that “Friends with Better Lives”, a CBS comedy-drama that starts on Monday, March 31, will do better. It’s about six friends, at different stages of their lives; each thinks the others in their group are doing better than they are. Lister-Jones plays Kate, a successful career woman who doesn’t have much luck with dating.


Methuselahian showbizzers

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers, who turned 80 last June, is still quite funny when dishing on celebrities on her E! TV show  “Fashion Police.” And one would think the modest but real success of that program would be enough for someone who already is a comedy legend.

Sadly, the answer is “no.” Rivers’ insatiable need for attention will manifest itself on Saturday, March 29, when her other show — “Joan & Melissa” — airs on the cable channel WE. Joan’s guest — in her bed! —will be rapper Ray J, the guy who co-starred in the sex tape that made Kim Kardashian “a star.”

Here’s a quote from Joan in the New York Post: “We’re in bed [her and Ray J]. Under the covers. He’s naked. A sheet’s around me. Lighting’s dark. I got waxed every place — under arms, over legs. Only my eyelashes remain. Fingernails, toenails done, coif done. So much lotion on me that I nearly slipped out of bed. Breath mints. He did so many things to me that Kim and I now have a special bond.”

Lauren Bacall made her first film in 1944. She was only 19 and had much more modeling than acting experience. Nonetheless, she blew audiences and critics away with her co-starring role as Humphrey Bogart’s love interest in “To Have and Have Not.”

Bacall is still working 70 years later. She is the voice of “The Grey One” in the English-language version of “Ernestine and Celestine,” a charming French animated children’s film. It opens on Friday, March 28.

Columnist Nate Bloom , an Oaklander, can be reached at [email protected].

Nate Bloom

Nate Bloom writes the "Celebrity Jews" column for J.