Jewy and Not-as-Jewy Sources
As you think about the film and consider the post-screening questions below, here are some fun Jewy and not-as-Jewy sources for you to think about! We’ve chosen texts that relate to the themes of friendship and relentless pursuit of one’s goals, both of which show up strongly in The Disaster Artist (because why would we chose quotes that have nothing to do with the movie? That would be weird.)
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better off than one, in that they have greater benefit from their earnings. For should they fall, one can raise the other; but woe betide him who is alone and falls with no companion to raise him! Further, when two lie together they are warm; but how can he who is alone get warm? Also, if one attacks, two can stand up to him. A threefold cord is not readily broken!
- Proverbs 18:24
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
As long as in the heart within,
The Jewish soul yearns,
And toward the eastern edges, onward,
An eye gazes toward Zion,
Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope two thousand years old,
To be a free nation in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem
- “A good friend will always stab you in the front.” ― Oscar Wilde
- Tommy and Greg promise each other mutual support and never to give up on their dreams. Have you ever had a partner in a sweeping endeavour or made a promise like this to someone? How did that affect how you approached your goals? Do you find that the Jewish community provides support for you in working toward being your best self, Jewishly or generally?
- Toward the end of the film, Carolyn/”Claudette” responds to Greg’s question about why she persists in acting in spite of the difficulty, saying, “We’re actors, Greg. For you, me, people like us, even the worst day on a movie set is better than the best day doing anything else.” Is there anything you’ve ever felt this strongly about? Did you have other people you could share that feeling with?
- There are moments in the film where Tommy’s dream is unclear or changes (e.g., Tommy’s dream often seems to be more about finding friendship or respect or creating community around himself than acting or producing a movie, Tommy accepts Greg’s take that people love and are entertained by the film, even if it’s not exactly in the way Tommy intended it). Similarly, what it means to be and to express being Jewish have changed over time, and Jewishness and Judaism can sometimes be a little ambiguous in terms of what they mean. Have you ever had moments of uncertainty or change in how you defined your dreams or who you are?
Dear dedicated readers, if you’ve read this blog post this far, felicitations! Thanks for sticking with us to the sweet, sweet end, and we hope you enjoyed the film and our attempts to find/unearth Jewiness in the most unexpected of places! Please join us again next month, and hey, feel free to send us suggestions of films to screen.