Archive for January, 2011


January 30, 2011

Last night, SNL – Saturday Night Live – was more like  Social Network Live.

Will the real smart, talented, rich, young man with the obviously Jewish last name please stand up.

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

Connecting With Tiffany Shlain

January 28, 2011

This post first appeared as “Friday Film: Q & A With Sundance Filmakker Tiffany Shlain” on The Arty Semite blog of the Forward.

Filmmaker, Internet pioneer and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain believes that “when you speak your truth, you speak the universal.” This seems to be the case, given the buzz surrounding her new, partially autobiographical film, which premiered January 21 at the Sundance Film Festival.

Best known among American Jews for ““The Tribe,” a 2006 short film that explores American Jewish identity through the history of the Barbie doll, Shlain, 40, was in Park City, Utah for the first public screenings of her first feature length documentary, “Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death and Technology.” The film, which explores concepts of interconnectedness and interdependence, is part visual collage and part tribute to her late father, surgeon and author Dr. Leonard Shlain. Shlain’s short film “Yelp,” a riff on Allen Ginsberg’s classic 1956 poem “Howl,” was also selected for Sundance this year. Shlain took time out of her schedule to talk to The Arty Semite about her methods and goals as a filmmaker.

Click here to read my interview with Tiffany Shlain and watch the trailer for “Connected.”

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


Burning Love

January 27, 2011

This “Unions” story was first published as “Was it Burning Man that helped ignite a burning desire?” in JWeekly.

Nicole Oloff isn’t sure what exactly brought her and her husband together. Was it that they were both University of Arizona alumni and Wildcats fans? Was it JDate? Or was it Burning Man?

It’s hard for her to know exactly, because they all played a part in the couple’s falling in love and eventually marrying on Sept. 6, 2009.

Nicole, now 29, met Michael, now 33, on JDate in the summer of 2006, when they were both living in San Francisco.

Although their first date was “easy, carefree and natural,” as noted by Nicole, they took things slowly. “Our love blossomed as we got to know each other,” she explained.

That first summer, they went out on Saturday nights, until Michael left to go to Burning Man. When he got back, the two of them started dating exclusively. It’s not clear what spiritual or mystical effect “the man” had on their relationship, but something caused them to decide to take it to the next level.

Click here to read more.

© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.