Mar 4, 2008

9th March 2008 ; Screening of Fiddler On The Roof

Fiddler On The Roof
A Film By Norman Jewison
Year : 1971
Run Time : 181 Minutes
English with English Sub titles
9th March 2008; 5.45pm
Ashwin Hospital Auditorium

Fiddler on the Roof, based on the short story "Tevye and His Daughters" by Sholom Aleichem, was one of the first musicals to defy Broadway's established rules of commercial success. It dealt with serious issues such as persecution, poverty, and the struggle to hold on to one's beliefs in the midst of a hostile and chaotic environment. Criticized at first for its "limited appeal", Fiddler on the Roof struck such a universal chord in audiences that it became, for a time, the longest running production in the history of Broadway.

The 1971 film version of this Broadway musical was directed by Norman Jewison. The film won three Academy Awards, including one for arranger-conductor John Williams. It was nominated for several more, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Chaim Topol as Tevye, and Best Supporting Actor for Leonard Frey.

The film follows the plot of the stage play very closely, although it omits the songs "Now I Have Everything" and "The Rumor". It takes place in the Jewish village of Anatevka in Tsarist Russia in 1905 and centers on the character of Tevye, a poor milkman, and his daughters' marriages. As Tevye says in the introductory narration, the Jews have relied upon their traditions to maintain the stability of t
heir way of life for centuries; but as times change, that stability is threatened on the small scale by Tevye's daughters' wishes to marry men not chosen in the traditional way by the matchmaker, and on the large scale by pogroms and revolution in Russia.

Much of the story is told in musical form. "Fiddler on the Roof," has traveled a long way from its source, from pre-revolutionary Russia, from the pages of Sholem Aleichem, even from the Broadway stage. The show focuses on one man's issues within his own family and faith. From that alone the show won universal appeal. Everyone can relate with Tevye's struggle. There on stage or screen we can see another adult who has choices to make everyday. That is a lot of stress and the musical expresses the sentiments wonderfull.

Norman Jewison

Producer, director, screenwriter, actor, cattle breeder, cabdriver . . .
Sometimes Credited As: Norman Frederick Jewison

A consummate craftsman known for eliciting fine performances from his casts, Norman Jewison has addressed important social and political issues throughout his directing and producing career, often making controversial or complicated subjects accessible to mainstream audiences.

Norman Jewison was born in Toronto in 1926. He attended Kew Beach School, and while growing up in the 1930's displayed an aptitude for performing and theatre. He served in the Navy (1944-1945) during World War II, and after being discharged travelled in the American South, where he encountered segregation, an experience that would influence his later work.

Jewison attended Victoria College in the University of Toronto, graduating with a B.A. in 1949. As a student he was involved in writing, directing and acting in various theatrical productions, including the All-Varsity Revue in 1949. During the summer he worked as a waiter at the Banff Springs Hotel, as well as doing local theatre production. Following graduation he was determined to work in show business, preferably as an actor, and ventured to Hollywood and New York in search of opportunities.

Norman Jewison's career as a film director began in 1962. He has directed 41 films till date which include a number of unforgettable movies that deal with many important issues of our world today. His noteworthy films include In the Heat of the Night (1967) ,The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966) , The Cincinnati Kid (1965),...And Justice for All. (1979) , F.I.S.T (1978), Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) , Fiddler on the Roof (1971) ,Moonstruck (1987) , Agnes of God (1985) , A Soldier's Story (1984) , The Statement (2003).

Despite his fame for directing the film version of Fiddler on the Roof and The Statement, as well as the appearance of his surname, Jewison is not Jewish.

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