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 August 11, 2017, there were 8,563 separate items or “posts” on the new web site (including 25 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 10, 2017 there were 1,255 visits to the new site from 1,032 visitors with 2,554 pageviews.

Breaking down those numbers in terms of locations, out of the 31,264 visits paid to this site over the past month, 14,594 came from the U.S., 2,318 from the U.K., 1,379 from Canada, 878 from Australia, 733 from Spain, 724 from India, 685 from Brazil, 620 from France, 617 from Germany, 512 from Japan, 454 from Argentina, 429 from South Korea, 412 from Portugal, 404 from the Netherlands, 374 from Italy, 371 from Sweden, 304 from Russia, 271 from Noprway, 255 from Romania, 214 from Israel, 213 from the Philippines, 183 from Turkey, 181 from Peru, 178 from Mexico, 177 from Slovakia, 175 from Ireland, 173 from Malaysia, 165 from Finland, 157 from Chile, 149 from Greece, 144 from Denmark, 134 from Indonesia, 133 from Belgium, 115 from Thailand, 114 from Pakistan, 102 from Switzerland, 81 from Croatia, 63 from China, 58 from Taiwan, 45 from Ukraine, 41 from Uruguay, 20 from Iraq, 19 from Cuba, 74 from Austria, 69 from Egypt, and 16 each from Iran, Lebanon, and Slovenia. The rest came from 99 other countries, according to Google Analytics, the source of all these figures.


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


Site design by Rowan McNaught