|'Bar Mitzvah Disco' Illuminates Impact of Video
October 23, 2005
Sarasota, FL - The emergence of videography in the 80's gave families the ability to preserve once-in-a-lifetime memories not just as photographs, but as full-blown movies. It also changed the way people party, at least when celebrating bar and bat mitzvahs, according to Jeffrey Shandler, an associate professor of Jewish studies at Rutgers University.
Dr. Sandler’s comments, published today in The New York Times, were sparked by the upcoming release of "Bar Mitzvah Disco: The Music May Have Stopped, but the Party's Never Over," which will hit bookstore shelves on November 2.
In relating Sandler’s perspective on the era, The New York Times article notes, “Bar mitzvahs built around a ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ or a Disney theme became common. Thanks in part to the introduction of the videographer, [Sandler] added, the parties started to take on the look of movie sets.”
The new book by Roger Bennett, Nick Kroll, and Jules Shell shows over 300 photographs shot at bar and bat mitzvahs celebrated during the 70's through the early 90's, and features recollections by friends of the authors, including comedian Sarah Silverman, Jonathan Safran Foer, author of the bestseller “Everything Is Illuminated,” and "Will & Grace" creator, David Kohan.
“Pick up your table card,” says the publisher, “and come be our guest on this journey back to a time when style, music, and lust went hand in hand with a Day-Glo necklace, a pair of Z Cavaricci jeans, and Vuarnet shades. In this parallel universe, tall girls slow-danced with short boys at arm’s length, suburban break-dance pioneers vied with Lionel Richie fanatics for dance-floor space, Aunt Edna came ready to mount an assault on the dessert buffet in her best lime-green polyester pantsuit, and the phrase ‘the higher the hair, the closer to God’ took on a whole new meaning. With special appearances from: AJ Jacobs, 99 red balloons, Ben Lee, the California Raisins, a well-intentioned Burt Reynolds impersonator,” and more.
"Bar Mitzvah Disco," published in hardcover by Crown Publishing Group and available next week, is list priced at $23.95.
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