Monthly Archives: June 2012

End or Beginning: The New Cinephilia

Published in Screen Dynamics: Mapping the Borders of Cinema, coedited by Gertrud Koch, Volker Pantenburg, and Simon Rothoehler and published by the Austrian Film Museum in 2012. A year later, this is already out of date in some particulars, but I haven’t attempted to update it.  — J.R.

ShoalsTheatre

Shoals Theater, Florence, Alabama, 1948

ShoalsTheatercirca2008

Shoals Theater, Florence, Alabama, 2008

         
                         

            It’s a strange paradox, but about half of my friends and colleagues think that we’re currently approaching the end of cinema as an art form and the end of film criticism as a serious activity, while the other half believe that we’re enjoying some form of exciting resurgence and renaissance in both areas. How can one account for this discrepancy? One clue is that most of the nay-sayers tend to be people around my own age (66) or older whereas most of the optimistic ones are a good deal younger (most of them under 30).

            I tend to feel much closer to the younger cinephiles on this issue than I do to the older ones. But I must admit that much of the confusion arises from the fact that the two groups typically don’t mean the same things when they use terms like “cinema,” “film,” “movie,” “film criticism,” and even “available”.… Read more »

Index of long reviews from the Chicago Reader, by film (or book) title or subject

Note: items followed by “(i)” have been reformatted and are also illustrated. (There are a few long reviews that appear on this site twice, once with illustrations and once without, although I’ve started to delete the non-illustrated duplications whenever I spot them.) For some strange reason, one of my long reviews, of both Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace and Trekkies, which appeared in the May 21, 1999 issue of the Chicago Reader under the title “Summer Camp,” didn’t make it onto either the Reader’s web site or my own until I recently copied it here. (I’ve also added another text missing from both sites, from the same year, on the four-hour Greed, which I already had in digital form because it was reprinted in my collection Essential Cinema.) Still missing from both sites is my brief ten best piece (actually, 20 best) for 2006, which appeared at some point in December 2006 or January 2007. If readers spot any errors here, I would welcome hearing about them, at jonathanrosenbaum at earthlink dot net.

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Abigail’s Party, 1/10/92 (i)

The Abyss, 8/11/89 (i)

The Accidental Tourist, 1/13/89 (i)

The Accompanist, 1/28/94 (i)

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, 3/4/94 (i)

The Actor, 4/11/97 (i)

An Actor’s Revenge, 6/3/88 (i)

The Adopted Son, 4/2/99 (i)

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, 3/17/89 (i)

The Adventures of Sharkboy & Lavagirl in 3-D, 6/10/05 (i)

Aerograd, 6/7/02 (i)

The Affair of the Necklace, 12/21/01 (i)

After the Sunset, 11/18/04 (i)

Against the Day (novel), 12/1/06 (i)

The Age of Innocence, 9/17/93 (i)

A.I.… Read more »

Reflections on “Rivette in Context”

From Cinema Comparat/ive Cinema, Volume 1, No. 1, 2012 (a Spanish academic online journal, available at http://www.ocec.eu/cinemacomparative/pdf/ccc01.pdf) — J.R.

“Rivette in Context” had two separate incarnations, occurring a year and a half apart. The first consisted of 28 programs presented at London’s National Film Theatre in August 1977, to accompany the publication of Rivette: Texts and Interviews – a 101-page book I had edited for the British Film Institute while still working on the staffs of two of its magazines, Monthly Film Bulletin and Sight and Sound, in 1976.

This book included a polemical Introduction by me and translations — most of them by my London flat mate, Tom Milne — of two lengthy interviews with Rivette (one in 1968 that was centered on L’amour fou, the other in 1973 that was centered on the two separate versions of Out 1), three key critical texts by him (“Letter on Rossellini,” 1955; “The Hand” [on Lang’s Beyond a Reasonable Doubt], 1957, and “Montage” [with Jean Narboni and Sylvie Pierre], 1969), and a brief, undated proposal of his from the mid-1970s (“For the Shooting of Les Filles du Feu” — the latter was the working title for a projected series of four features, never completed, that was subsequently retitled Scènes de la Vie Parallèle).… Read more »

Recommended Reading: Capricci 2012 & Leo Robson on Wes Anderson

1. Film buffs who read French should be alerted to Capricci 2012, subtitled Actualités Critiques –- the second issue of an annual book-size magazine, a little over 200 pages in length, tied in various ways to some of the recent publishing activities of Capricci, many of which I’ve blogged about in this site in the past (e.g., LES AVENTURES DE HARRY DICKSON: SCÉNARIO DE FRÉDÉRIC DE TOWARNICKI POUR UN FILM [NON RÉALISÉ] PAR ALAIN RESNAIS in 2007, J. Hoberman in French in 2009, two books by or about Luc Moullet along with a DVD of his short films in 2009, and, 2011, LA SAGA: CINÉASTES, DE NOTRE TEMPS: UNE HISTOIRE DU CINÉMA EN 100 FILMS).

Edited by Thierry Lounas, the director of Capricci, Capricci 2012, which can be ordered for 18,81 Euros from French Amazon, includes, among several other items, 20-page dossiers on both James L. Brooks and Wang Bing (mostly drawn from exclusive interviews); a very polemical chapter from Luc Moullet’s autobiography-in progress De l’art and et d’un cochon (most of which is slated to be published only posthumously) devoted to his notorious 1981 TV documentary about teaching himself how to swim, Ma Première Brasse (in which he reveals, among much else, that he actually had no desire to learn how swim, a project he embarked on only so that he could make a film about it); a French translation of the Prologue of Hoberman’s latest book, An Army of Phantoms; a 14-page interview with Otto Preminger conducted in 1971 by Annette Michelson for a still-unseen Cinéastes, de notre temps TV documentary, currently scheduled to premiere at a Preminger retrospective to be held at the Locarno film festival (an interview so contentious and unyielding that Preminger virtually concluded it by calling Michelson an evil woman), and other features dealing with everyone from Charlie Sheen to Albert Serra.Read more »