Sunday, September 21, 2008

Monk Eastman webisode

I know I've mentioned Franklin Abrams' Monk Eastman websiode project on my site, but since Franklin has now aired a sample scene involving Monk Eastman and Jack Zelig, I thought I'd post additional information here.

Last June I flew to New York to be inteviewed for the project. Franklin, whose acting credentials have made his directorial abilities more lively and innovative, came up with the concept of both revisiting Eastman's past and imagining how he'd react to modern challenges like the internet, computer-based crimes, etc. It was a novel idea, and I was more than happy to provide input for the historial segments.

Franklin was especially interested in recreating a conference that took place between Eastman and his former protege Zelig. Monk, recently released from prison and faring poorly in both health and career prospects, approached Zelig to solicit his aid in a narcotics running operation. Unfortunately for him, Zelig was firmly against the drug trade for personal reasons, and not even an appeal from an old mentor could sway him.

In the video below, I provide opening commentary before the scene commences. Monk is played by Franklin, and the role of Zelig is assumed by none other than the gangster's great grand-nephew, Jan Lefkowitz. It's Jan's acting debut, and you'll agree that he's incredibly believable as Zelig.


Dawn said...

Hi,Rose. I believe I have the honor to have made the first review of The Starker on Amazon, and I just saw Jan Lefkowitz on your brief sketch re Zelig/ Eastman. Wonderful. Please tell me that you're working on a screenplay for Marty (you know which Marty). This could be the
2nd (and better) Gangs of New York.
I have always been interested in the movie Pirates of Pig Alley, which was filmed in the Lower East Side in Oct. 1912, within weeks (or days) of the death of Jack Zelig, using gangsters as extras, some of whom must have known him. It might be an interesting place to begin. The flimsy plot of the movie juxtaposed to the real life of that deadly serpent that was Second Avenue, and the real life of Selig Lefkowitz. What did the extras talk about between takes?
Thanks, Rose.
Al Coe

Rose Keefe said...

Hi Al,

I don't think your review made it on Amazon- please repost it.

What did the extras talk about between takes? The mind boggles....