The premise is from Emerson (“to take a master’s part in the music”), black voices on a jagged screen herald the remarkable flow of black images . . . Vidor’s holy rollers, as vibrant and full-bodied as Archibald Motley’s, one ethnographic tableau after another galvanized into furiously stylized motion. Faith and song of equal carnality comprise this folkloric deep South, where the swirling ecstasies of sex and Irving Berlin tunes mingle seamlessly with fervid spirituals.
Fernando F. Croce
November 21, 2016