Immortalizing Joe Hill

  On this date in 1915, IWW organizer Joe Hill (not Jewish) was arrested for murder in Salt Lake City, Utah. His trial was considered a frame-up and his conviction was widely protested (by Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller, among others). A writer of labor songs and parodies, Hill was immortalized in 1930 in the […]

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Tales in a Jugular Vein

Crime, horror and science fiction writer Robert Bloch, who wrote the novel Psycho, which Alfred Hitchcock adapted into his groundbreaking film, was born in Chicago on this date in 1917. In the course of his prolific career, Bloch won the Hugo Award, the Bram Stoker Award, the Edgar Allen Poe Award, the Fritz Lieber Fantasy […]

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May 2: Halsman’s Jumpology

Photographer Philippe Halsman, whose portraits of Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and numerous other people of fame became internationally known, was born in Riga, Latvia on this date in 1906. At age 22, he was falsely accused of the murder of his father, who had […]

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Ashes to Ashes

by Nicholas Jahr Discussed in this article: Phoenix, a film by Christian Petzold. IFC Films/Sundance Selects, 2014, 98 minutes. FACES DRAPED in bandages and shadows, mistaken identities and midnight doppelgangers, silhouettes and reflections, most of the soundtrack a diegetic refrain: this is all promising tinder, but Phoenix never quite bursts into illuminating flame.

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June 29: Hitchcock’s Composer

The composer of scores for Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo, Bernard Herrmann (Max Herman) was born in New York on this date in 1911. Herrmann joined the Columbia Broadcasting System as a staff conductor in his twenties and became music director of the Columbia Workshop, an […]

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January 19: Dreaming of Joe Hill

On this day in 1915, IWW organizer Joe Hill (not Jewish) was arrested for murder in Salt Lake City. His trial was considered a frame-up and his conviction was widely protested (by Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller, among others). A writer of labor songs and parodies, Joe Hill was himself immortalized in 1930 in a […]

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