It's not like my parents intended to screw me up religiously, that's just how it went down. Growing up, things were just confusing -- my father was Jewish and my mother converted, which meant her side of the family was Catholic. My father's previous wife was also Catholic, and so my two half-brothers and half-sister decided to live their life according to Jesus. Me? I went to my cousin's Bar Mitzvah when I was, like, six and was totally mesmerized by the fact that a kid could have this huge party dedicated only to him. Thus, I decided to be Jewish -- not knowing anything about the years of Hebrew School I'd have to take on -- strictly for the Bar Mitzvah party. Funnily enough, when I finally did have my Bar Mitzvah, I didn't even know enough people to have a party, so my parents took me on a trip to California -- a place I had always dreamed about traveling to (because, to a kid from New York City, California is on the other side of the world -- so exotic, sunny and full of big Hollywood stars). Even while I was in training for my Bar Mitzvah, for some reason my parents still wanted me to believe in Santa and open up presents under the Christmas tree. Of course, while I was still in Hebrew School, they'd be gracious enough to hide a menorah in the corner so that I wouldn't forget what the Jews were doing in December. Following the Bar Mitzvah, the menorah was gone, we stopped going to Synagogue, the Christmas trees got bigger and my little sister -- who was three when I officially became a man in the eyes of the Jewish religion -- decided all of this was way too f**ked up for her, and so she became a Buddhist. Still with me? Though my family weren't traditional Jews (in the sense that we actually celebrated the Jewish holidays), our household was forever filled with Jewish humor. One of my earliest memories of my parents was watching them screen Annie Hall over and over again, as my father would shout at me, "Don't worry Erik, one day you'll get this movie." My father also insisted on taking me to see Jackie Mason on Broadway a few times, we traveled to the Catskills, Seinfeld was constantly quoted around the living room and, till this day, there isn't a table that exists in any restaurant where my mother won't feel a draft. (I promise, we're getting to the short films -- just keep reading ... )

categories Features, Cinematical