waking into a dream journal 12.15.07

this morning's reason for noxzema
the jolson story
director: alfred e. green // 1946

cinema 4 rating: 6


sanitized for your approval: another celebrity biography scrubbed and speciously detailed for mass consumption; bland, predictable and yet strangely compelling and immensely watchable -- well, watchable if you can get past the blackface -- all about the music -- song after memorable song; who knew jolson was responsible for putting so many tunes into the hearts of millions of americans? -- larry parks was nominated for an oscar for his portrayal of "the great entertainer"; he didn't sing, though (jolson did and parks lip-synched) -- first karaoke oscar nomination? -- hmmm... makes me wonder how his life story would be filmed nowadays (and i don't mean neil diamond-style) -- could get spike lee to direct -- make it a sequel to
bamboozled -- choices, choices... retired life with the gorgeous evelyn keyes as "julie benson (not ruby keeler)" vs. singing to a bunch of noxious fatheads night after night in a smoky nightclub? -- sorry, asa yoelson, i think i would've rested the pipes for a bit longer than just a couple of years -- i am struck by the notion that jolson in blackface is even more grotesque a makeup creation as karloff's monster -- rising on film in the same era, as he mugs at the camera in some of those oldies like wonder bar, there is a horrific effect at work, even as sings songs of great joy and love -- as if he is underlining the pain in the minstrel appearance, even if not doing so purposefully and almost thoughtlessly -- parks, who is generally great in the role, renders this same feeling in the jolson story -- can one be nominated for an oscar for creating an emotion by accident?

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