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Film After Film: (Or, What Became of 21st Century Cinema?) [NOOK Book]


One of the world’s most erudite and entertaining film critics on the state of cinema in the post-digital—and post-9/11—age. This witty and allusive book, in the style of classic film theorists/critics like André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer, includes considerations of global cinema’s most important figures and films, from Lars von Trier and Zia Jiangke to WALL-E, Avatar and Inception.
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Film After Film: (Or, What Became of 21st Century Cinema?)

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One of the world’s most erudite and entertaining film critics on the state of cinema in the post-digital—and post-9/11—age. This witty and allusive book, in the style of classic film theorists/critics like André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer, includes considerations of global cinema’s most important figures and films, from Lars von Trier and Zia Jiangke to WALL-E, Avatar and Inception.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hoberman, senior film critic at the Village Voice, posits in the preface to this erudite study that the switch from photographic to digital technology, along with the events of 9/11 (particularly as a visual spectacle), have irrevocably altered modern cinema. In Part I, he explores the impact of CGI, using films like The Matrix and Avatar as case studies to explore "The New Realness," and goes on to diagnose the "anxiety" inherent in 21st-century films. Part II explicitly examines the effect of the President Bush years on the state of the art, exploring the politics of film studio schedules, and the guilt of post-9/11 filmmakers, an artistic malaise corroborated by Adorno's notion that "He who imagines disasters in some way desires them." Finally, in Part III, Hoberman (Bridge of Light) provides "Notes Toward a Syllabus," 21 brief essays on "quintessentially twenty-first century motion pictures," including David Lynch's Inland Empire, Joe Swanberg's LOL, Julia Loktev's Day Night Day Night, and Lars von Trier's Dogville. An invaluable resource for students of contemporary cinema, Hoberman's treatise will nevertheless prove an enjoyable read for dedicated movie fans and cultural critics. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Elegiac and anxious, critical and poetic, Film After Film surveys the current seismic shifts in movies and considers their effect on the cinematic imagination ... [Hoberman's] prose shines without qualification, and the selections remind us that his tenure at the Voice was, simply put, one of the greatest ever by an American film critic, influencing as it did an entire generation of writers."—Bookforum

"A brilliant, patchwork statement about the future of the cinema—spoiler alert: there is a future—in the face of reports of its imminent demise...Hoberman’s book is a broadly accessible errand in the articulation of how we might imagine digital cinema to reflect twenty-first century culture."—Los Angeles Review of Books

"Spirited, thought-provoking and popping with fresh perspectives."—Wall Street Journal

"[Film After Film] does what Hoberman does best: use movies and movie culture as a prism for understanding political events—and vice versa."—Film Comment

 “J. Hoberman is probably the most acute political analyst of cinema among 
the medium’s regular commentators. You won’t find a closer reading of how films made in the first decade or so of the twenty-first century intermeshed with the issues of their day than this volume.” Nick James, Sight and Sound

“Hoberman wittily traces the interlocking of political reality and moviemaking fantasies, to often disturbing effect.” Financial Times 

“A dense, fascinating assemblage … by turns jocular and brilliantly reflective.” Cineaste

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Library Journal
A former film critic for the Village Voice, Hoberman (The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties) reprises many of his previously written articles in this collection. One of his theses is that the growing use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) in cinema has created a new cinema for a new century. Since its first sporadic use in the 1980s, CGI has led to the proliferation of special effects-laden films that might have been prohibitively expensive for the traditionally photographed movie. While Hoberman has not rewritten any of the essays, he has updated them with both copious footnotes and some new material, which is in boldface text. The discussion focuses on films produced during the George W. Bush presidency, and Hoberman organizes the book by each year of Bush's tenure. Most of the films Hoberman discusses at some length are foreign or art-house films, and are not well-known to most American audiences. They include Dogville, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Inland Empire, Flight of the Red Balloon, and Hunger. VERDICT Whether or not readers agree with all of Hoberman's strongly voiced opinions, the book is crisply written and offers many interesting insights—it will afford knowledgeable general readers and film buffs much to savor.—Roy Liebman, Los Angeles P.L.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781781680681
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 8/21/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 544,580
  • File size: 979 KB

Meet the Author

J. Hoberman was the senior film critic at the Village Voice from 1988 to 2012. He has taught at Harvard, NYU and Cooper Union, and is the author of ten books, including Bridge of Light, The Red Atlantis, The Dream Life and An Army of Phantoms.
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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Part I A Post-Photographic Cinema 3

1 The Myth of "The Myth of Total Cinema" 3

2 The Matrix: "A Prison for Your Mind" 7

3 The New Realness 17

4 Quid Est Veritas: The Reality of Unspeakable Suffering 27

5 Social Network 35

6 Postscript: Total Cinema Redux 41

Part II A Chronicle of the Bush Years

7 2001: After September 11 49

8 2002: The War on Terror Begins 59

9 2003: Invading Iraq 69

10 2004: Bush's Victory 87

11 2005: Looking for the Muslim World 113

12 2006: September 11, the Anniversary 127

13 2007: What Was Iraq and Where? 153

14 2008: The Election 167

Part III Notes Toward a Syllabus

15 In Praise of Love (Jean-Luc Godard, 2001) 193

16 Avalon (Mamoru Oshii, 2001) 197

17 Avant-Garde Goes Digital: *Corpus Callosum, Cotton Candy, and Razzle Dazzle 201

18 Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, 2002) 207

19 Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002) 211

20 Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang, 2002) 215

21 Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003) 219

22 The World (Jia Zhangke, 2004) 223

23 Battle in Heaven (Carlos Reygadas, 2005) 227

24 The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005) 231

25 Day Night Day Night (Julia Loktev, 2006) 235

26 Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, 2006) 239

27 Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006) 243

28 Between Darkness and Light (After William Blake) (Douglas Gordon, 1997/2006) 247

29 LOL (Joe Swanberg, 2006) 251

30 Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2007) 255

31 Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008) 259

32 Opening ceremonies, Beijing Olympics (August 8, 2008) 263

33 Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010) 267

34 The Strange Case of Angelica (Manoel de Oliveira, 2010) 273

35 Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011) 277

Index 281

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