About This Site

JR Viennale 2013Note 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.)

One note of caution 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 June 21, 2017, there were 8,557 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 June 21, 2017 there were 4,043 visits to the new site from 3,597 visitors with 6,837 pageviews. (This was far more than usual — a leap occasioned by interest in my just-posted list of my favorite 25 films so far in the 2100s.)

Breaking down those numbers in terms of locations, out of the 10,373 visits paid to this site over the past week, 4,448 came from the U.S., 713 from the U.K., 474 from Canada, 326 each from Australia and India, 286 from Brazil, 243 from Spain, 214 from Argentina, 179 from Germany, 175 from Portugal, 168 from France, 167 from South Korea, 139 from Chile, 127 from Japan, 127 from Italy, 121 from the Netherlands, 112 from Mexico, 105 from Sweden, 101 from Romania, 95 from Russia, 94 from Indonesia, 91 from Peru, 80 from the Philippines, 77 from Turkey, and 65 from Norway. The rest came from 100 other countries, including 46 from Denmark, 40 from Poland, 34 from Taiwan, 32 each from Croatia and Bangladesh, 28 each from Bosnia & Herzegovina and Uruguay, 23 each from Austria and Kazakhstan, and 17 each from China and Puerto Rico. (125 countries in all are listed as visiting my site in Google Analytics, the source of all these figures.)


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


Site design by Rowan McNaught