Placing Movies

Overview

Jonathan Rosenbaum, longtime contributor to such publications as Film Quarterly, Sight and Sound, and The Village Voice, is arguably the most eloquent, insightful film critic writing in America today. Placing Movies, the first collection of his work, gathers together thirty of his most distinctive and illuminating pieces. Written over a span of twenty-one years, these essays cover an extraordinarily broad range of films—from Hollywood blockbusters to foreign art movies to experimental cinema. They include not ...

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Overview

Jonathan Rosenbaum, longtime contributor to such publications as Film Quarterly, Sight and Sound, and The Village Voice, is arguably the most eloquent, insightful film critic writing in America today. Placing Movies, the first collection of his work, gathers together thirty of his most distinctive and illuminating pieces. Written over a span of twenty-one years, these essays cover an extraordinarily broad range of films—from Hollywood blockbusters to foreign art movies to experimental cinema. They include not just reviews but perceptive commentary on directors, actors, and trends; and thoughtful analysis of the practice of film criticism.

It is this last element—Rosenbaum's reflections on the art of film criticism—that sets this collection apart from other volumes of film writing. Both in the essays themselves and in the section introductions, Rosenbaum provides a rare insider's view of his profession: the backstage politics, the formulation of critical judgments, the function of film commentary. Taken together, these pieces serve as a guided tour of the profession of film criticism.

They also serve as representative samples of Rosenbaum's unique brand of film writing. Among the highlights are memoirs of director Jacques Tati and maverick critic Manny Farber, celebrations of classics such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Manchurian Candidate, and considered reevaluations of Orson Welles and Woody Allen.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520086333
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Rosenbaum, film critic at the Chicago Reader, is author of Greed (1993) and Film: The Front Line 1983. He is also coauthor, with J. Hoberman, of Midnight Movies (1983).

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Table of Contents

Dedication and Acknowledgments
Starting Out in Film Criticism 1
1 The Critical Apparatus 9
Theory and Practice: The Criticism of Jean-Luc Godard 18
Film Comment Journals, 1974-1977: Excerpts 25
Edinburgh Encounters: A Consumers/Producers Guide-in-Progress to Four Recent Avant-Garde Films 30
Barthes & Film: 12 Suggestions 45
A Bluffer's Guide to Bela Tarr 54
They Drive by Night: The Criticism of Manny Farber 59
2 Touchstones 75
Ozu's Good Morning 84
Aspects of Anatahan 87
Gold Diggers of 1953: Howard Hawks's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 94
Gertrud as Nonnarrative: The Desire for the Image 105
The Manchurian Candidate 117
Othello Goes Hollywood 124
3 Filmmakers 133
Work and Play in the House of Fiction: On Jacques Rivette 142
The Tyranny of Sensitivity 153
Love Films: A Cassavetes Retrospective 156
The Death of Hulot 163
Orson Welles's Essay Films and Documentary Fictions: A Two-Part Speculation 171
The Importance of Being Perverse: Godard's King Lear 184
Alain Resnais and Melo 190
4 Provocations 201
Jerry Lewis's Hardly Working 210
Doomed Love: The Masterpiece You Missed 213
Raiders of the Lost Ark 218
Mapping the Territory of Raul Ruiz 222
Notes Toward the Devaluation of Woody Allen 238
Crass Consciousness: Barton Fink 248
5 Inside and Outside the Movie Theater 255
Bird Watching 264
Jean Vigo's Secret: L'Atalante 272
Guilty by Omission 281
His Master's Vice: Fuller's White Dog 295
Government Lies: The Panama Deception and Deep Cover 301
A Cinema of Uncertainty: Films by Michelangelo Antonioni 307
Bibliography 315
Index 323
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