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Film

Shaved Jews and Philosemitic Fantasy: On 'Jud Süss' and 'Das alte Desetz'

The fascist mind, always limited by parochial sentimentality, fears art because it fears any hint of ambiguity.

Recent
Books

Democracy Sputters and Nazis Rise to Power in 'Babylon Berlin'

Volker Kutscher and Arne Kysch's graphic novel is a riveting and fun police drama set against the backdrop of a society gone mad.

Film

Victory Is Never Assured in ‘Darkest Hour’

Joe Wright's sharp and only occasionally sentimental snapshot of Churchill in extremis as the Nazi juggernaut looms serves as a handy political strategy companion piece to the more abstracted combat narrative of Dunkirk.

Interviews

Carsten Norgaard: The Mystery Man in 'The Man in the High Castle'

It's tough playing a Nazi with a conscience, but veteran actor Carsten Norgaard not only lives up to the challenge presented in Amazon's The Man in the High Castle, but stretches beyond what's expected of him.

Books

Another Kind of Horror: 'When Paris Went Dark'

When Paris Went Dark is a penetrating history of the anxiety, confusion, claustrophobia, and uncertainty experienced by a city in the grip of an unpredictable menace.

Film

Orson Welles and '40s Film Noir

As Welles had created shadowy noir images in the war years, by the end of the war, he captured the cultural climate of the emerging postwar era in his underrated 1946 noir, The Stranger.

Sheri Chinen Biesen
Film

Fascism Is Not Fun: Katniss, Capitalism and Media Blindness

The German silent film classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) eerily displays the same ideological ground as The Hunger Games (2012). In fact, they may be similar cultural markers of the consciousness of these respective civilizations, although they appeared during distant epochs.

Scott Thomas Smith
Reviews

If You Tickle Us, Do We Not Laugh?

The Criterion release of Ernst Lubitsch's farcical antidote for Nazism, To Be or Not To Be proves worthy of a masterpiece, with a pristine transfer and extras that illustrate how only he could have done it.

Books

'The Sleepwalkers' Has Me Hoping Hollywood is Paying Attention

The Sleepwalkers is a taunt, gripping, and relentless read. It's full of literary MacGuffins and red herrings, not to mention the odd plot twist, and it will keep you turning the pages.

Reviews

'Dimanche and Other Stories': An Entomologist of Evil

In these stories about the French before and during WWII, Némirovsky abjures commentary and merely observes the way that human beings go about their petty and ever-disappointing daily business. Thus, her writing is especially cruel.

Film

Spaghetti War Flicks: World War II Brought to Life, Sort of

I love Spaghetti Westerns, even the not-so-great ones. I even like the bad dubbing.

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