“MENASHE”: Bumbling toward heaven August 31, 2017 by butlerscinemascene Menashe Lustig“MENASHE” My rating: B (Opens Sept. 1 at the Tivoli and Town Center 20)82 minutes | MPAA rating: PGIt takes a while to get a handle on Menashe (Menashe Luskin), the hapless, rotund Hasidic grocery clerk at the center of documentarian Joshua Z. Weinstein’s first foray into fictional filmmaking.
Before our film Menashe premiered at Sundance, actor Menashe Lustig had never been inside a movie theater. He had never seen the films that inspired me as a director: the classics of Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and New Hollywood. Before Menashe has a chance to catch himself up on cinema, I decided to share some of my favorite A24 posters with him. For someone who has no reference to cinema, what do these iconic images say? Here are highlights from our conversation.
My heart broke a little near the end of “Menashe,” a sweet comedy that’s not without a bit of sadness. For sure, this funny and tender film prompts cheerful smiles, but sometimes they turn melancholy. Set in a Hasidic neighborhood in Borough Park, Brooklyn, the story finds the title character (played by Menashe Lustig) working in a small supermarket.
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