Daily Archives: October 9, 2018

Hope Springs Eternal [The Best Films of 1999]

From the Chicago Reader (January 7, 2000). — J.R.

I find critics’ near unanimity about hits and favorites a bit of a bore, even when I agree with some of their choices. Disputes are far more interesting, because they make artistic and political differences clearer and more meaningful. Perhaps because I’m drawn to cinema that can theoretically change the world — and me — I can’t see much purpose in commemorating movies whose prime aim seems to be to make me forget the world outside the theater. The remake of The Thomas Crown Affair and an evening of channel surfing, no matter how enjoyable either might be, are of roughly equal irrelevance.

Nineteen ninety-nine was a pivotal year in movies, clarifying where a lot of people stood and who they were. This kind of definition was encouraged by the existential stocktaking that came with the end of the millennium — the compiling of more best-film lists than usual (of the 90s, of the century) and more generalized meditating on the state of the art and the medium. (After finishing my own best-of-the-90s list for the last issue of the year, I discovered that all but one of the movies had an interesting trait in common: they hadn’t been reviewed in the New Yorker.… Read more »

“Doctor Kubrick”: or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Movie

From the Bard Observer, March 30, 1964. The greatest teacher I’ve ever had, by far, was Heinrich Blücher, the husband of Hannah Arendt, who taught for many years at Bard College, and this was one of the two pieces of mine in the Bard Observer that he made a point of telling me that he liked. (The other one was an extended personal report on the Montgomery March that had appeared the previous spring.) From my present vantage point, I think this may have been my first really serious film review. I’ve done a light edit on it while transcribing it. -– J.R.

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“Doctor Kubrick”: or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Movie

By JON ROSENBAUM

The story is from Peter George’s Red Alert….A crazy American general sends a squadron of nuclear bombers to get in a first strike at Russia; after frantic efforts and unspeakable confusion, the American President manages to recall or have destroyed by the Russians all but one; this gets through and drops its bomb, which triggers off a nuclear death belt the Russians have secretly contrived; the picture ends with the world due to follow shortly.

– from a review of Dr.Read more »