The Jazz Singer (1927)

Reid, 4. November 2005, 1:22
Dir. Alan Crosland
Starring: Al Jolson

I was planning to not like this film, For one thing, I knew Jolson was going to be in blackface. I also had a little snobby attitude as in “Huh, jazz singer. Yeah, right.”

(small spoilers)

The blackface still bothered me, but Jolson sang with feeling, particularly in the song during dress rehearsals. Sometimes his “jazzy” versions were a bit cheesy, but the guy excuded sincerity. The film did a pretty good job building to tense, dramatic moments. Particuarly effective was the score accompanying many of the scenes.

What I found awkward as the way the film would move from a silent film with dialogue on the screen to singing you could hear. At one point, after Jolson sings to his mom, the filmmakers allow the audience to hear he and his mother speak to each. A few moments later they’re back ot the written out dialogue. But that wasn’t a really big problem.

I also had a good time seeing My Life to Live, a film by Jean-Luc Godard, with Penny, Grace and Kevin. I’ll let one them try to write about the film. Like most of Godard’s other films I’ve seen, I have to watch it a few more times before I can say anyting intelligent about them. I don’t think I can give a rating to this film. I think it could be a film that I end up liking after thinking about it more, though.

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