Tag Archives: Oscars

History keeps happening

By Christopher B. Daly

I guess it’s a good thing to see a historian at a glamorous Hollywood event. (I mean, it’s probably better than a glamorous Hollywood event without a historian, right?)

Seen below, left to right: Doris K-G, Daniel D-L, and his wife, Rebecca Miller (who was not identified in the caption of his photo in the NYTimes, but she should have been: Although not a historian, she is the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller; she went to Yale; and she has her own career as an actress, screenwriter, novelist, and director.)

l to r: Historian, Lincoln impersonator, multi-talented person.

l to r: Historian, Lincoln impersonator, multi-talented person.


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The Oscars: revisionist history on film?

By Christopher B. Daly 

Hooray that more than half of the leading contenders for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards have historical themes.

A question that always hangs over such films is: how accurate are they? Accuracy, of course, is often in the eye of the beholder, but a more useful question might be: do any of these films revise history in a way that improves our historical understanding, warps our historical understanding, or makes no difference?

Keep that in mind tonight when watching the Oscars show a propos the following:

–Les Miz (just how often do the poor break into song?)¬†imgres





imgres-1–Argo (does it matter that the character played by Ben Affleck was really Hispanic? If you don’t think so, then Ah, go fuck yourself!)




imgres-2–Zero Dark Thirty (who says that torture “worked”?)





imgres-3–Lincoln (did one weary, kindly man “free the slaves” all by himself?)





imgres-4–Django Unchained (was the past an orgy of stylized violence?)



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