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Blackface, White Noise: Jewish Immigrants in the Hollywood Melting Pot 
by Michael Rogin.
California, 320 pp., $24.95, May 1996, 0 520 20407 7
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... Is there anything stranger than a pop star out of time? Before Elvis Presley, before Michael Jackson, there was Al Jolson – ‘the most popular entertainer of the first half of the 20th century,’ as Michael Rogin describes him. Eyes wide and mouth agape, arms outstretched and face painted black, Jolson concludes his performance in The Jazz Singer (1927) down on one knee, serenading the delighted actress who plays his mother in a voice as strong and piercing as a foghorn ...

My son has been poisoned!

David Bromwich: Cold War movies, 26 January 2012

An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War 
by J. Hoberman.
New Press, 383 pp., £21.99, March 2011, 978 1 59558 005 4
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... of ‘even as’ constructions. Yet the book has a generous plan and keeps up a lively pace. Hoberman interprets his chosen films as works of commercial art and as symptoms of a popular culture sealed off like a sickroom. This goes for political movies like I Married a Communist and The Red Danube but also for many others (Westerns, biblical epics, space ...

Stalin at the Movies

Peter Wollen: The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism by J. Hoberman, 25 November 1999

The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism 
by J. Hoberman.
Temple, 315 pp., £27.95, November 1998, 1 56639 643 3
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... J. Hoberman’s book, appropriately enough, is a cinematic montage of reflections on the long-drawn-out demise of the former Soviet Union, seen through the eyes of a New York journalist and film critic: a process that began with the death of Stalin and ended with the sale of chunks of the Berlin Wall in Bloomingdale’s ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Pandora’s Box’, 21 June 2018

... Lulu is delighted – in an essay accompanying the Criterion Collection version of the film, J. Hoberman says ‘few movie moments are more electrifying’ than her ‘radiant smirk of triumph’ – and returns happily to her dance number. This is the one moment in the work where she does seem to be a femme fatale. She has her powers of enchantment, and ...

11 September

LRB Contributors, 4 October 2001

... the shadow war of the 21st century that has long been anticipated but never really expected. J. Hoberman New York Suicidal militants who hate us and want to kill us obviously cannot be deterred by threats. But can recasting US policy – say, withdrawing our troops from Saudi Arabia or putting pressure on Israel to retreat within its 1967 borders – blunt ...

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