Let's Laugh at Nazis

Jojo and his imaginary friend

We saw Jojo Rabbit this weekend and I think you all should see it too. It’s an anti-BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, still a fable but blackly hilarious and not relying on a viewpoint only masquerading as childlike.

 

Along with transitive verbs used intransitively, my biggest bête noire in literature is the use of children or childhood or children's books to get away with making cheap points that would be laughed out of existence had the frame of reference been adult. Had The Giving Tree been published as a book for adults not even the Unitarians would take it seriously. And don't get me started on that goddamned lisping "Out-With" for Pajama boy. The young Nazi protagonist (pictured above with his imaginary friend) of Jojo Rabbit is a real kid, not a metaphor.

 

I’d love to talk about the ending but won’t yet. Maybe in the comments.

 

In lighter fare, who is watching His Dark Materials? I've seen the first two episodes, and while the schemes of the Magisterium etc. are rendered in awkwardly expository conversation, the child characters are terrific and Ruth Wilson's Mrs. Coulter is creepy AF. I'm enjoying the way the script is elastic in its treatment of the source material, with incidents from The Subtle Knife and La Belle Sauvage placed among events from The Golden Compass in ways that make sense and are intriguing. I'll keep watching.

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.
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Mae Smith

I really enjoyed this movie, as did my husband and 11 y.o. child. It was funny, but it was also truthful. Someone I follow on social media suggests that we all just do the next right thing. That is the essence of this movie. It is the story of people doing the best they can with the information/ situation they have.

Posted : Nov 22, 2019 06:28


jules Danielson

I think what you are calling "awkwardly expository conversation" is what had me feeling ho-hum about the first two episodes, but Sunday night's episode was EXCITING. I snapped awake. Anne-Marie Duff as Ma Costa is so especially good (though all the acting is) that I long for a whole show / book just about her.

Posted : Nov 20, 2019 06:58


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