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The Jazz Singer screening (2019-Jan-13 @ 7 p.m.)
Sunday, January 13, 2019 @ 19:00–20:28
The Dryden will screen The Jazz Singer (Alan Crosland, U.S. 1927, 88 min., 35mm) as part of the L'chaim: Celebrating Jewish Life series.
Best known as the first big hit feature-length "talkie" with a synchronized music score, singing, and speech, the film is also a rarity in early Hollywood—it features a Jewish protagonist. Al Jolson stars as Jakie Rabinowitz, a young Jewish man who runs away from his devout family because they reject his desire to perform popular music. He becomes a successful jazz singer under the Americanized name Jack Robin, but he longs for reconciliation with his family. It has been argued that Jolson's controversial performance in blackface—a common practice at the time—symbolizes and complicates the central theme of a Jewish man presenting himself as a white gentile, pointing to the "duplicity and ethnic hybridity within American identity." The Jazz Singer was nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing at the first Academy Awards in 1929.
[source: George Eastman Museum calendar, 2019-Jan-7]