Placing Movies: The Practice of Film Criticism

Placing Movies: The Practice of Film Criticism

by Jonathan Rosenbaum

Paperback(First Edition)

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520086333
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 05/10/1995
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 348
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About 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).

Table of Contents

Dedication and Acknowledgments

Starting Out in Film Criticism

One. The Critical Apparatus
Introduction
Theory and Practice: The Criticism of
Jean-Luc Godard
Film Comment Journals, 1974-1977: Excerpts
Edinburgh Encounters: A Consumers/Producers
Guide-in-Progress to Four Recent Avant-Garde Films
Barthes & Film: 12 Suggestions
A Bluffer's Guide to Bela Tarr
They Drive by Night: The Criticism of Manny Farber

Two. Touchstones
Introduction
Ozu's GOOD MORNING
Aspects of ANATAHAN
Gold Diggers of 1953: Howard Hawks's
GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES
GERTRUD as Nonnarrative: The Desire for the Image
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
OTHELLO Goes Hollywood

Three. Filinmakers
Introduction
Work and Play in the House of Fiction:
On Jacques Rivette
The Tyranny of Sensitivity
Love Films: A Cassavetes Retrospective
The Death of Hulot
Orson Welles's Essay Films and Documentary Fictions:
A Two-Part Speculation
The Importance of Being Perverse: Godard's KING LEAR
Alain Resnais and MELO

Four. Provocations
Introduction
Jerry Lewis's HARDLY WORKING
DOOMED LOVE: The Masterpiece You Missed
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
Mapping the Territory of Rlh11 Ruiz
Notes Toward the Devaluation of Woody Allen
Crass Consciousness: BARTON FINK

Five. Inside and Outside the Movie Theater
Introduction
Bird Watching
Jean Vigo's Secret: L' ATALANTE
Guilty by Omission
His Master's Vice: Fuller's WHITE DOG
Government Lies: THE PANAMA DECEPTION and
DEEP COYER
A Cinema of Uncertainty: Films by
Michelangelo Antonioni
Bibliography
Index

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