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Gentlemans Agreement (#110 of 3)

Everything Is (Not) Illuminated Eric A. Goldman’s The American Jewish Story Through Cinema

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Everything Is (Not) Illuminated: Eric A. Goldman’s The American Jewish Story Through Cinema
Everything Is (Not) Illuminated: Eric A. Goldman’s The American Jewish Story Through Cinema

The American Jewish Story Through Cinema, the latest book from author/scholar Eric A. Goldman, is a difficult work to evaluate, primarily because Goldman is quite proficient in one sense (contextualizing the development and production of American Jewish stories/films within Hollywood cinema) and wholly deficient in another (offering a critical lens from which to form nuanced considerations). When presented with these problems, the deficiencies inevitably outweigh the proficiencies, because even the adept historicizing is tainted by a sense that what’s being presented merely gets at the surface of these complex issues. Moreover, Goldman has written an academic book that’s constructed in such a basic, often needlessly explanatory manner, that one cannot help conclude his ultimate aim is less an appeal to academics seeking a thorough, methodologically rigorous framework, than a more biographically inclined reader, whose interest lies purely in the historical context within which the chosen films of study were produced.

Worst Picture

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Worst Picture
Worst Picture

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator aspires to be “Spartacus” by way of “The Godfather,” but its production values, moral intelligence and strong cast can’t overcome a certain trash-and-flash factor. Ridley directed it, but brother Tony’s spirit hovers nearby.

Qualifiers: I have never seen Cavalcade or The Broadway Melody.

The final deadline is March 31. For a list of previous best picture Oscar winners, click here. In the interests of promoting a safe and secure democracy, Mr. Copeland asks that you email your 10 ranked choices directly to him, at eddiesworst@yahoo.com.