The Women Film Critics Circle has announced their 2009 awards for the best movies this year by and about women, and outstanding achievements by women, who get to be rarely honored historically, in the film world.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Gertrude Berg [Posthumous]: Yoo-Hoo Mrs.
Goldberg: Aviva Kempner, director
It's about time someone acknowledged this well-loved, but not widely distributed film, Yoo Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg. Not only for reasons outlined in this NY Times article, but because it, like Zero Hour, spends extra time on the tragic story of Phillip Loeb. (This was purely a coincidence, by the way).
Zero Hour, for all its admitted Borscht Belt roots, still digs deep into Zero's pain and anger at the Blacklist. For him, it meant death. As dramatized in "The Front," in one of the greatest screen performances of all time Zero plays a character based on the death of Phillip Loeb.
(Only one reviewer made a note that "The Front" wasn't mentioned in "Zero Hour." But the truth is that Zero's character in The Front is based on Phillip Loeb. By just telling the story of Phillip Loeb, mentioning "The Front" would be redundant.)
(How I wish I had copies of Zero's paintings from this period. I have not seen many of his works. I don't even know where they are. Reader?)
Anyway, congratulations to our friend, Aviva. "Yoo Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg" is a terrific yarn, an emotional thrill ride, about a real life historical character, Gertrude Berg, the most famous unknown woman you ever knew.