|This is about celebrating film, not petty historic grudges.
||[Oct. 15th, 2007|12:26 pm]
Greetings Fellow Comstoks!
I was reading the New York Times Magazine and I saw an a large 2 column ad for the 80th Anniversary, special restoration edition of The Jazz Singer.|
It seems to be missing something. A bit of photoshopping. My copy is a bit smaller, but can you tell what it is?
To be fair, a three DVD set can only contain so much so not everyone can address every issue:
Among the voluminous extras - a commentary track, a documentary on the dawn of ''talking picture'' technology, a huge, nearly four-hour sampling of early sound short films - you'll find only passing, borderline-apologetic references to racial politics, and no one speaking from an African-American perspective.In Warner Brother's defense, I'm sure all minority film scholars were busy that day.
Extra cringeworthy detail:
Giordano plays the apologist. Jolson was merely highlighting his facial features by "blacking up," he explains, so that he could be better seen in the rear of the theaters; unlike other white vaudeville performers of the day, who indulged in caricature, Jolson was doing his songs "straight," minus affectation or accent.Next up: all those Charlie Chan actors were merely squinting under bright studio lights!
But that explanation proves disingenuous as we watch "A Plantation Act," an accompanying Vitaphone short which would be Jolson's audition piece for "The Jazz Singer." Jolson appears before a slave-shack set, blacked up and dressed down in straw hat and overalls. He sings three numbers, interspersed with patter spoken in an unmistakably slurry drawl.