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Jonathan Rosenbaum

Related: film criticism - USA

Titles: Midnight Movies (1983) - Jeffrey Hoberman and Jonathan Rosenbaum

Has written for: Film Quarterly, - Sight and Sound - The Village Voice


Jonathan Rosenbaum is the main film critic for the Chicago Reader.

Rosenbaum grew up in the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Alabama, in which state his grandfather owned a small chain of movie theaters. He later lived in Paris, working briefly as an assistant to director Jacques Tati. Rosenbaum is the author of many books on film, including "Film: The Front Line 1983" (1983), "Placing Movies: The Practice of Film Criticism" (1995), "Moving Places: A Life at the Movies" (reprint 1995), "Movies as Politics" (1997) and "Essential Cinema" (2004). His most popular book is "Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Limit What Movies We Can See" (2002). He is an important figure in American film journalism because he openly promotes the dissemination and discussion of foreign film. Indeed, his strong views on American cinema hold that Hollywood limits and prohibits the full, aesthetic range of what Americans routinely see at the Cineplex.

He has also written the best-known analysis of Jim Jarmusch's film Dead Man; the volume includes recorded interviews with Jarmusch.

In response to the AFI list of 100 greatest movies in 1998, he published his own list, focusing on less well established, more diverse films. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Rosenbaum [Jul 2006]


  1. Movie Mutations : The Changing Face of World Cinephilia (2003) - Jonathan Rosenbaum (Editor), Adrian Martin (Editor) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    At the beginning of the twenty-first century, formula-driven Hollywood blockbusters and bottom-line accounting seem to dominate the film world. In times like these can "the love of cinema" still flourish? This book shows that contemporary cinema--from Tawian and Iran to Brazil and the Baltic states--is, in fact, stunningly varied and rich. As Jonathan Rosenbaum and Adrian Martin show in this wide-ranging look at World Cinema, directors like Abbas Kiarostami, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Tsai Ming-liang are now making extraordinary films equal to the great classics, previously unrecognized works from the past are being discovered, and new boundaries for the genre are being explored. Those who follow and share such work, as contributors from around the world demonstrate in these pages, are forming new communities that enable significant exchange between cultures at a time when other forces seem bent on keeping them isolated. Movie Mutations pronounces the art form alive, well, and continuing to developing in new and exciting directions. --Book Description

  2. Placing Movies: The Practice of Film Criticism (1995) - Jonathan Rosenbaum [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Jonathan Rosenbaum, longtime contributor to such publications as Film Quarterly, Sight and Sound, and The Village Voice, is arguably the most eloquent, insightful film critic writing in America today. Placing Movies, the first collection of his work, gathers together thirty of his most distinctive and illuminating pieces. Written over a span of twenty-one years, these essays cover an extraordinarily broad range of filmsfrom Hollywood blockbusters to foreign art movies to experimental cinema. They include not just reviews but perceptive commentary on directors, actors, and trends; and thoughtful analysis of the practice of film criticism. It is this last elementRosenbaum's reflections on the art of film criticismthat sets this collection apart from other volumes of film writing. Both in the essays themselves and in the section introductions, Rosenbaum provides a rare insider's view of his profession: the backstage politics, the formulation of critical judgments, the function of film commentary. Taken together, these pieces serve as a guided tour of the profession of film criticism. They also serve as representative samples of Rosenbaum's unique brand of film writing. Among the highlights are memoirs of director Jacques Tati and maverick critic Manny Farber, celebrations of classics such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Manchurian Candidate, and considered reevaluations of Orson Welles and Woody Allen. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. --Book Description

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