Recently named video columnist at The New York Times, film critic J. Hoberman spent almost two decades as the chief film critic at The Village Voice and is a regular contributor to ArtForum, The Guardian and Tablet.
Block Cinema will screen “Body and Soul” (Robert Rossen, 1947, United States, 104 minutes), a cautionary tale about greed and consumerism, seen through the lens of corruption in the boxing world. In a career-defining performance, John Garfield depicts an up-and-coming Jewish boxer who dreams of becoming a champ to raise him out of the crushing poverty of New York’s Lower East Side. His ambitions are tested when he is pressured to take a fall in a fixed fight. This film was selected and will be introduced by Hoberman. After the screening, Hoberman will discuss the impact of leftist Jewish filmmakers in Hollywood as well as topics related to film criticism.
This anti-capitalist film is part of a series of Block Cinema films, which coincide with the Block Museum’s current exhibition, “The Left Front.” According to Hoberman, the film is not only the “reddest movie” Hollywood ever produced but also its most Jewish since the original “Jazz Singer.” Writer Abraham Polonsky and three cast members, including Garfield, were soon blacklisted after the film’s premiere.
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