About This Site

Note to the readers of jonathanrosenbaum.com:

This site has undergone a substantial change in design and a new URL, yielding in fact a new site, jonathanrosenbaum.net — hopefully an enhancement of and improvement on the old one, jonathanrosenbaum.com, with a more user-friendly search engine, many more links in the various indexes, and what I believe is a simpler and less cluttered design. I’m hosting this new site myself and owe its redesign to the exceptional generosity, talent, and resourcefulness of an Australian reader and web designer, Rowan McNaught, who was kind enough to offer me his services and his expertise.

As jonathanrosenbaum.com, this site was originally launched by the company Creative Loafing at the beginning of May 2008, largely through the initiatives of Patrick Mersinger and shortly after this now defunct company bought the Chicago Reader. I retired from the Reader on my 65th birthday, after serving for twenty years as their principal film reviewer. After the purchase of this weekly newspaper by the Chicago Sun-Times, the site continued for awhile to be housed on its web site without any active participation or much stated interest on the part of its new sponsor, which explains why a new URL and a fuller program of self-management seemed desirable. 

Apart from Notes (comments on books, films, paintings, music, etc.), which are posted periodically, along with reprints of texts of mine that may not otherwise be readily available, this web site includes Featured Texts which are, most often, long reviews which appeared in the Chicago Reader between 1987 and early 2008 -– and a list of recent publications and upcoming events, updated with some regularity. (An alphabetical index to all my long reviews in the Reader can be accessed here; a chronological list of my posts and all my other pieces can be accessed further down on this page, in that order, and an index of my pieces on “books and literary matters” can be accessed here, my writing on jazz here. For an alphabetical master index of everything, or just about, up through October 1, 2012, complete with links to every item, go here.)

A warning regarding this site’s excellent search engine: texts that are scheduled for future posting — and I usually schedule some texts as much as two or three weeks in advance — can’t be accessed until they reappear.

According to my rough calculations, based partially on scrapbook entries, I’ve published over 9,000 items since the late 60s. And according to my former technical adviser and helper Benjamin Coy back in May 2008, when jonathanrosenbaum.com was launched, over 5,500 of these appeared in the Chicago Reader. As of August 3, 2019, there were 8,650 separate items or “posts” on the new web site (including 30 items that had been prepared or reformatted but had not yet been published or republished).

In some cases, if one looks up a particular film title, one may even find shorter and longer versions of the same capsule — a reflection of the Reader’s practice in recent years of trimming some of its longer capsules to conserve space. (J.R. Jones informs me that this trimming is no longer done; after I left in paper in early 2008 and Mara Shalhoup came in as editor, longer versions of the capsules appear on the Reader‘s website and shorter versions appear in print.)

In a few cases, due to some computer glitch, capsule reviews have been transported from the Reader web site in incomplete form. In those cases, I would advise going to the Reader’s own web site for the full version of the capsule, and would appreciate it if readers who encounter this problem could email me about it (at jonathanrosenbaum at earthlink dot net) so that I can restore the full version of the review on this site.

A caveat regarding the dates at the beginning and/or end of separate entries. Many of these are correct, but at least a tenth of them and possibly many more than that are not to be trusted. The reason for this is that computers compute and follow some orders but don’t think. Over 700 of my capsule reviews were never dated on the Reader’s database, and then had to be dated arbitrarily in order to be imported; and there are probably several others that were already dated incorrectly on the database for one reason or another. Non-Reader entries from monthly, bimonthly or quarterly publications also had to be assigned specific days as well as months and years, and there are most likely other glitches as well. I would welcome information from readers about ones that might be correctable, if they wish to email me (jonathanrosenbaum at earthlink.net), and I’ll correct these if I can.


On the first day of jonathanrosenbaum.net, October 8, 2013, 924 people paid 1,045 visits to this site, with 3,399 pageviews; 519 of these people came from the U.S., 93 from the U.K., 83 from Germany, 76 from Canada, 30 from Australia, 26 from Spain, 25 from Brazil, 15 from India, 14 from Argentina, 13 each from France and Peru, 11 each from Japan and Portugal, and 9 each from Indonesia and South Korea. On the same day, 1,610 people visited jonathanrosenbaum.com. On August 2, 2019,  there were 2,203 visits to the new site from 2,029 visitors (1,360 of them new) with 4,207 pageviews. (This was far more than usual, thanks to Quentin Tarantino.)

Breaking down those numbers in terms of locations, out of the 24,323 visits paid to this site over the past 28 days, 12,249 came from the U.S., 1,710 from the U.K., 1,260 from Canada, 722 from Australia, 563 from Germany, 560 from India, 540 from Spain, 440 from Brazil, 374 from France, 365 from Sweden, 357 from Argentina, 297 from Japan, 290 from Portugal, 286 from Italy, 248 from Mexico, 241 from the Netherlands, 227 from South Korea, 220 from Mexico, 213 from Denmark, 200 from Romania, 195 from Norway, 179 from Finland, 167 from Hong Kong, 166 from Israel, 153 from Croatia, 148 from Greece,  137 from Denmark, 134 from Romania, 113 from Peru, 101 from Mexico, 93 from Chile, 91 from Turkey, 87 from the Philippines, 82 from Poland,  81 from Hong Kong, 80 from Finland, 69 from Ireland, 67 from South Africa, 63 from Indonesia, 61 from Belgium, 59 from Greece, 57 from Russia, 52 each from Israel and Singapore, 47 from South Africa, 43 each from Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Vietnam, 41 from Colombia, 40 from Malaysia, 39 from Czechia, 38 from Austria, 37 from Pakistan, 34 from Hungary, 33 from Taiwan, 28 from Thailand, 27 each from Egypt and Puerto Rico, 26 from Serbia, 24 each from Iceland and Saudi Arabia, 23 each from Bangladesh and Uruguay, 22 from Iran, 18 each from Bulgaria and Georgia, 17 each  from Cambodia, Lithuania, and Slovakia, 16 from Ecuador, 13 from Slovenia, and 12 each from Algeria and Iraq.


For chronological indexes of items on this site, go here.


Site design by Rowan McNaught