Movies Arts and Entertainment


Star Spangled to Death
Capsule by Jonathan Rosenbaum
From the Chicago Reader

Initially shot in 16-millimeter between 1957 and '59, periodically expanded and updated over the following decades, and completed last year on video in a six-and-a-half-hour final version, Ken Jacobs's magnum opus of political protest is made of the same basic ingredients as the rest of his oeuvre: beautifully shot scenes of cavorting friends and comrades (including Jerry Sims, a pre-Flaming Creatures Jack Smith, and some recent anti-Bush protesters) and found footage (including most of Nixon's "Checkers" speech, campaign propaganda for Nelson Rockefeller, a fatuously racist documentary about Africa, and Al Jolson in blackface). Semi-indigestible by design, this nonetheless steadily builds in political and historical resonance.

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