the Yiddish Motion Picture Company

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Anthony Ravenscroft
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the Yiddish Motion Picture Company

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:31 pm

Is anyone else familiar with Stu Shiffman's wistful (& totally imaginary) historical snippets about -- among other things -- the Zetz Tummelman YMPC adventure serials? ("Zetz Tummelman: the Maccabee of Space!!!")

Most of these pseudofactual articles were published as fragments of his "Celluloid Fantasia" series that exist only on long-lost fanzines, but they're enchanting for their authority. Stu proposed that there was a thriving "poverty row" scene for Yiddish film in the 1920s & 1930s, as well as theatres all over the world. Here's one of the very few bits to survive to the Internet (which may or may not be written by Andy Hooper):

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:yozkherLUSoJ:efanzines.com/Chunga/pdfs/chunga-09-hires.pdf+%22zetz+tummelman%22&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

If I can find any others, I'd love to share 'em.

But it fascinates me. What if such a history had been true? No Earth-shaking "alt-universe" stuff, just a nice little cul-de-sac. Shiffman once outlined a sort of Jewish "Sgt. Preston" series that was amazing. But even references to his "Herzltown" guides are hard to find, the original subsite having died (http://members.home.net/roscoe10/herzltow.htm, but I do find this archive page:

http://zhurnal.lib.ru/m/magnum/herzltown.shtml

My Yiddish sucks, but for 20 years I've hoped to steal into Stu's little universe & write some old-fashioned Doc Save-esque tales. Anyone interested in batting ideas about?

Anthony Ravenscroft
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Re: the Yiddish Motion Picture Company

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:36 pm

To clarify (& maybe even elucidate):

Herzltown is the capital of Sion, the "Holy Land" moved to Australia rather than the current Israel.

Anthony Ravenscroft
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Re: the Yiddish Motion Picture Company

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:39 pm

Aha! I found my tattered Izzard #9. (If anyone has examples of Stu's CF articles, I can afford to pay a bit for copies. Yes, I've spoken to Stu, who admits that he may have as much as half, in his files, somewhere.)

Anyway, here's a key paragraph:
In 1934 Kaplan and Baline collaborated on a completely original “what if” alternate history story of the sort then current: i.e., “If: or, History Rewritten,” Thurber’s “What if Grant were Drunk at Appomattox,” or Winston Churchill’s “What if Lee had Lost at Gettysburg.”

It postulated Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism, unable to achieve a Jewish National Home in Palestine under Turkish or German auspices and, bypassing British offers of the Sinai or Uganda, establishing a settlement in Australia. (Of course, no mention is recorded of what the various Australian colonies already there would have said.)

Gwyneth M905
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Re: the Yiddish Motion Picture Company

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:16 am

Dear Mr. Ravenscroft,

This is hysterical! :lol: I loved the Jeanette McDonald/Nelson Eddy version of The Call of Cthulhu. Are these only available in paper form?

My yidishkeyt is all ahinter. It's been 36 years since I first read Leo Rosten's The Joys of Yiddish. (Yes, I was the shikse 2nd grader sounding like, well, I don't know what I sounded like, but I really stunned my Iowa family by schlepping to school where I thought the teachers were all shmendriks.

Funny, I only remember the "s" and "sh" words. Schlep is such a great word. But I digress. Did you find any more of these on the web? Are you thinking of writing more here?

Your friend, (no, I don't remember the Yiddish for that) :D
Gwyn

Gwyneth M905
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Re: the Yiddish Motion Picture Company

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:18 am

(In fact, my Mom brought me a little book bag from New York that said "Schlep" on both sides in big red letters.)
I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi Knight, the same as my Father.
STAR WARS (1977)

Anthony Ravenscroft
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Re: the Yiddish Motion Picture Company

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:27 pm

Personally, I have no interest in learning to speak Yiddish. However, it's an incredible punctuation in English. I mean, where else can we find something so expressive (& often onamotapeic) as
kvetch und kvell
kvell naches
tchotchkes
macher
mensch
gevalt!
dreck
gelt
verklempt
tummeler
shamus
nudnik
schlock


I have a piece I started writing under the pseud "Alice veer Klimt" but I figure nobody will get it.

Yeah, most of Stu's fascinating little bits were tossoffs, though I'm trying to guilt some people into pawing through their mouldering piles of fanzine.

What do you think of Fred MacMurray as Dr Frankenstein?

How about The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1968), directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Paul Newman & Diana Rigg?: http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:iJK9fduzdHwJ:efanzines.com/Chunga/pdfs/chunga-13-lores.pdf+tummelman&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

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markabaddon
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Re: the Yiddish Motion Picture Company

Postby markabaddon » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:04 pm

As one of the few jews here (who also speaks some Yiddish) all I can say is "Oy vey is vir..."
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class


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