Jonathan Rosenbaum (born February 27, 1943) is an American film critic. Rosenbaum was the head film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 until 2008, when he retired at the age of 65. He has published and edited numerous books and has contributed to some of the world's most notable film publications, including Cahiers du cinéma and Film Comment.
He promotes the dissemination and discussion of foreign film. His strong views on filmgoing in the U.S. hold that Hollywood and the media tend to limit the full range of the films Americans can see, at the cineplex and elsewhere.
Jonathan Rosenbaum appears in the 2009 documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism discussing the film criticism of Manny Farber, and giving his approval to young people writing film reviews today on the Internet.
Regarding Rosenbaum, French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard said: "I think there is a very good film critic in the United States today, a successor of James Agee, and that is Jonathan Rosenbaum. He's one of the best; we don't have writers like him in France today. He's like André Bazin."
|Born||February 27, 1943|
Florence, Alabama, U.S.
|Alma mater||Bard College|
Rosenbaum grew up in Florence, Alabama, where his grandfather owned a small chain of movie theaters. His childhood home was the Rosenbaum House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. As a teenager, he attended The Putney School in Putney, Vermont, where his classmates included actor Wallace Shawn. He graduated from Putney in 1961.
Rosenbaum developed a lifelong interest in jazz as a teen, and continues to make frequent references to it in his film criticism. He attended Bard College, where he played piano in an amateur jazz ensemble that included future actors Chevy Chase as a drummer and Blythe Danner as a vocalist. He studied literature at Bard with the intention of becoming a writer; amongst his professors there was German philosopher Heinrich Blücher, whose teaching made a serious impact on Rosenbaum. .[/ref] After graduate school, he moved to New York and was hired to edit a collection of film criticism, which marked his first foray into the field.
Rosenbaum moved to Paris in 1969, working briefly as an assistant to director Jacques Tati and appearing as an extra in Robert Bresson's Four Nights of a Dreamer. While living there, he began writing film and literary criticism for The Village Voice, Film Comment and Sight & Sound. In 1974, he moved from Paris to London, where he remained until March 1977, when he was offered a two-semester teaching position at the University of California, San Diego by Manny Farber. Farber had been a major influence on Rosenbaum's criticism, but the two had never met until the latter arrived in San Diego.
While teaching at UCSD, he shared a house with filmmaker Louis Hock and critic Raymond Durgnat. Towards the end of his teaching stint there, he received a National Endowment for the Arts grant, which led to the writing of his first published book, Moving Places. Rosenbaum then returned to New York, initially sharing an apartment with future Philadelphia Inquirer critic Carrie Rickey, a former student of Farber's.
Rosenbaum followed Dave Kehr as the main film critic for Chicago Reader until 2008. He is the author of many books on film, including Film: The Front Line 1983 (1983), Placing Movies: The Practice of Film Criticism (1995), Moving Places: A Life at the Movies (1980; reprint 1995), Movies as Politics (1997) and Essential Cinema (2004). His most popular work is Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Limit What Movies We Can See (2002). He has also written the best-known analysis of Jim Jarmusch's film Dead Man; the volume includes recorded interviews with Jarmusch; the book places the film in the acid western subgenre. He edited This is Orson Welles (1992) by Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, a collection of interviews and other materials relating to Welles, and was consultant on both the re-editing of Welles's Touch of Evil released in 1998, based on a lengthy memo written by Welles to Universal Pictures in the 1950s, and the 2018 posthumous completion of Welles's The Other Side of the Wind.
He is a frequent article contributor to the DVD Beaver website, where he offers his alternative lists of genre films. He also writes the Global Discovery Column in the film journal Cinema Scope, where he reviews international DVD releases of films not widely available, and a column called En movimiento for the Spanish magazine Caimán Cuadernos de Cine.
Rosenbaum has launched a website, which archives all of his work for the Reader as well as pieces written for magazines and other publications.
Rosenbaum was a visiting professor of film at Virginia Commonwealth University's art history department in Richmond, Virginia in 2010-2011, and in 2013-2015 he taught four times as a visiting lecturer at Bela Tarr's Film.Factory in Sarajevo.
In response to the AFI list of 100 greatest American movies published in 1998, Rosenbaum published his own list, focusing on less well-established, more diverse films. It also includes works by important American directors (such as John Cassavetes and Jim Jarmusch) who were absent from the AFI list. A second list by the AFI would incorporate five titles from Rosenbaum's list.
In Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons (2004), he appended a more general list of his 1,000 favorite films of all nationalities, slightly over half of which were American. He starred his 100 favorite films on the list, marking both traditionally canonical films like Greed and Citizen Kane and harder-to-find films like Michael Snow's La Région Centrale and Jacques Rivette's Out 1.
The Citizen Kane trailer was a four-minute, self-contained, "making of" promotional featurette by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre, released in 1940 to promote the film Citizen Kane. Unlike other standard theatrical trailers of the era, it did not feature a single second of footage of the actual film itself, but was a wholly original pseudo-documentary piece. It is considered by numerous film scholars such as Simon Callow, Joseph McBride and Jonathan Rosenbaum to be a standalone short film, rather than a conventional "trailer", and to represent an important stage in the development of Welles's directorial style.Cuadecuc, vampir
Vampir-Cuadecuc is a 1970 experimental feature film by Spanish filmmaker Pere Portabella.The entire film is photographed on high contrast black & white film stock, which gives it the appearance of a degraded film print, evoking early Expressionist horror films such as F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu or Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr. It was shot on the set of Jesus Franco's Count Dracula, starring Christopher Lee and Herbert Lom. The sound track is by frequent Portabella collaborator Carles Santos, and the only spoken dialogue in the film appears only in the last scene, which features Lee reading from Bram Stoker's original novel.
Lee would appear in another Portabella film the same year--Umbracle.
The word "cuadecuc" is the Catalan word for "worm's tail." The term also refers to the unexposed footage at the end of a roll of film.
Jonathan Rosenbaum, a critic for the Chicago Reader, listed this film as the fourth best in 2006.The film tells an abbreviated version of the Dracula story using behind-the-scenes footage from Count Dracula. Thus, we see crew members and lights in dramatic scenes; often, these scenes are preceded by sequences where we see the set and actors being prepared. For example, before Dracula is shown rising from his coffin, Christopher Lee is seen getting made up and climbing into the coffin as a crew member covers him in fake spiderwebs. This gives the film a humorous tone: scenes meant to shock in Jesus Franco's original film are intercut with the actors making faces between takes and fooling around with the crew.Down to Earth (1995 film)
Down to Earth (Casa de Lava) is a 1995 Portuguese drama film directed by Pedro Costa. The film is set in Cape Verde Islands, a former Portuguese colony.
This drama film is characterized by its reduced narrative, and photographies of the volcano in the Cape Verde islands. The title literally means "a house of lava". The film has been described by some reviewers as Costa's remake of Jacques Tourneur's 1943 film, I Walked with a Zombie, and Costa himself has suggested that his original intention for Down to Earth was for it to be a remake of Tourneur's film. Costa's work has often been compared by some to modern updates of classical Hollywood films, with Jonathan Rosenbaum pointing out that Colossal Youth may be viewed as Costa's remake of John Ford's 1960 film Sergeant Rutledge.Casa de Lava was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at 1994 Cannes Film Festival.Female buddy film
A female buddy film is a type of buddy film in which the main characters are females, and the film's events center on their situations. The cast may is often mainly female, depending on the plot. "The female buddy film is a recent trend in mainstream cinema. Thelma & Louise with its darker themes, remains one of the most notable female buddy films to date and had a similar popular impact as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in the early 1990s. Similar films also paved the way for onscreen female friendships such as that between Evelyn Couch and Ninny Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes. Other popular duos include those in Waiting to Exhale and Walking and Talking."Jonathan Rosenbaum has praised Jacques Rivette's 1974 film Céline and Julie Go Boating as an example of the genre and wrote that he knows "many women who consider Céline et Julie vont en bateau their favorite movie about female friendship." Dennis Lim sees the influence of Rivette's film in other female buddy films, such as Susan Seidelman's Desperately Seeking Susan and David Lynch's Mullholland Drive. It was also influential on and referenced in Erick Zonca's 1998 film The Dreamlife of Angels.The genre is crossed with the buddy cop film in the 2013 comedy The Heat, in which a brash police officer (Melissa McCarthy) is teamed with a straightlaced FBI agent (Sandra Bullock).Golub (film)
Golub is a 1988 documentary film, produced by Kartemquin Films, that examines the life and work of controversial painter, Leon Golub. Inspired by war, political oppression and the fight for Free Speech, Golub and his paintings are famous for their depictions of extreme violence. Also featured prominently in the film is his wife, anti-war feminist and artist, Nancy Spero. The documentary tracks Golub from starting with a blank canvas to a touring North American exhibition and eventually to an exhibition in Northern Ireland.In 2001, the filmmakers revisited Leon Golub in his final years, and in 2004 released the documentary, Golub: Late Works Are The Catastrophes. With his previous work being more relevant than ever in the aftermath of September 11, Golub's later paintings have become less graphic and violent. At one point, Golub admits, "my work these days is sort of political, sort of metaphysical, and sort of smart-ass. I'm playful and hostile." With his wife Nancy Spero still by his side, the documentary captures the final steps of an artist's journey.Produced by Kartemquin Films and directed by Jerry Blumenthal and Gordon Quinn, Golub (1988) was the winner of the Silver Hugo Award at the 1988 Chicago International Film Festival. The film went on to be an Official Selection at multiple international film festivals including the Cinematica of Portugal and the Sydney International Film Festival. In a February 1989 review of Golub, the Chicago Reader's Jonathan Rosenbaum hailed the documentary as a "masterpiece" and "virtually perfect". The film made its television premiere on PBS's POV in 1990. Golub: Late Works Are The Catastrophes would also received worldwide recognition as an Official Selection at the 2004 International Documentary Festival Amsterdam as well as the Montreal International Film Festival of the Arts.
In 2006, Kartemquin Films released Golub/Spero a DVD compilation of Golub: Late Works Are The Catastrophes that also features two documentary shorts created by filmmaker, Irene Sosa, that highlight the work of Nancy Spero.In the Year of the Pig
In the Year of the Pig is an American documentary film directed by Emile de Antonio about American involvement in the Vietnam War. It was released in 1968 while the U.S. was in the middle of its military engagement, and was politically controversial. In 1969, the film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. In 1990, Jonathan Rosenbaum characterized the film as "the first and best of the major documentaries about Vietnam".The film, which is in black and white, contains much historical footage and many interviews. Those interviewed include Harry Ashmore, Daniel Berrigan, Philippe Devillers, David Halberstam, Roger Hilsman, Jean Lacouture, Kenneth P. Landon, Thruston B. Morton, Paul Mus, Charlton Osburn, Harrison Salisbury, Ilya Todd, John Toller, David K. Tuck, David Wurfel and John White.Produced during the Vietnam War, the film was greeted with hostility by many audiences, with bomb threats and vandalism directed at theaters that showed it.De Antonio cites the film as his personal favorite. It features the ironic use of patriotic music, portrays Ho Chi Minh as a patriot to the Vietnamese people, and asserts that Vietnam was always a single country rather than two.James Naremore
James Naremore, born James Otis Naremore, is a film, English and Comparative Literature scholar based at Indiana University. Now retired, he retains the titles of Chancellors' Professor of Communication and Culture, English, and Comparative Literature at Indiana University Bloomington.Naremore has made numerous contributions to film studies in the areas of authorship, acting, adaptation, and genre. His published books include The World Without a Self: Virginia Woolf and the Novel, Filmguide to Psycho, The Magic World of Orson Welles, Acting in the Cinema, The Films of Vincente Minnelli, More Than Night: Film Noir in its Contexts (which won the international moving-image book award from the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation), On Kubrick, and Sweet Smell of Success. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Gallery of Art, and his work has been translated into seven languages. He has recorded a commentary track with fellow film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum for the Criterion Collection release of Orson Welles's Mr. Arkadin (1955), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and for the Universal 50th anniversary DVD of Touch of Evil (1958). He has also done the commentary for the Criterion Edition of Sweet Smell of Success. He is the editor of the Contemporary Film Directors series of books at University of Illinois Press and a writer at large for Film Quarterly.Jonathan Rosenbaum (scholar)
Jonathan Rosenbaum (born 1947) is an American scholar, college administrator and rabbi; president of Gratz College. from 1998 to 2009; president emeritus of Gratz College and a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, since 2009. He is a specialist in Biblical history, the paleography and epigraphy of ancient Semitic languages, and American Jewish history.
Rosenbaum was born in Michigan and is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he received his B.A. with high distinction and highest honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa (1968). Rosenbaum then earned rabbinical ordination and an M.A. (1972) at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute in Cincinnati and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization from Harvard University in 1978.
He taught in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska from 1976 to 1986 and then became the University of Hartford's first Maurice Greenberg Professor of Judaic Studies and director of its Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies from 1986 to 1998. At Hartford he was also professor of history, served as acting chair of the department of history, and established a major and minors in Judaic Studies and a joint master's degree with the University of Connecticut. He conceived and helped guide the Henry Luce Forum in Abrahamic Religions, a program jointly sponsored by the University of Hartford and Hartford Seminary and devoted to advancing scholarship concerning and mutual understanding among American Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Rosenbaum also initiated and oversaw an awards program that recognizes the best public and private school teachers of Holocaust studies in New England.From 1995 to 1998 Rosenbaum served as a deputy director of the Ein Gedi Archaeological Expedition in Israel, an excavation co-sponsored by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Hartford. At Ein Gedi he oversaw the excavation's academic program including courses in archaeology and Near Eastern history.
He also organized and chaired "Paleographical Studies in the Ancient Near East," a section of the national meeting sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature. In addition, he taught in the graduate and law schools of the University of Connecticut and at Hartford Seminary.
A rarity in the contemporary Jewish world, Rosenbaum has served as a rabbi in Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox congregations. During his student years at HUC-JIR, he held a student rabbi position at Congregation Israel (Reform), Galesburg, IL (1970-1972). While at Harvard he was assistant rabbi, Temple Israel (Conservative), Swampscott, MA, (1972–76), and then a part-time rabbi of Congregation Israel (Conservative), Danville, IL (1976–84). From 1994 to 1998 he was rabbi (mara' de-atra) of Congregation Agudas Achim, a mainstream Orthodox, century-old congregation in West Hartford, CT.
Among the awards he received were Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, by HUC-JIR and Doctor of Hebrew Letters, honoris causa, from the Jewish Theological Seminary.
At Gratz College he instituted new academic programs including a doctoral degree and online courses and degrees, expanded the faculty and staff, successfully oversaw development, and refashioned Gratz's mission in a changing academic climate.Mark Rappaport
Mark Rappaport is an American independent/underground film director who has been working sporadically since the early 1970s. A lifelong New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from Brooklyn College in 1964.
Rappaport has been noted by Roger Ebert, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Ray Carney, J. Hoberman, Dave Kehr, and Stuart Klawans. Ray Carney considers him the greatest contemporary American film director. In May 2012, Rappaport filed a lawsuit against Carney for refusing to return digital masters of Rappaport's movies which the filmmaker had previously entrusted to Carney to transport to Paris. The suit was later dropped due to rising legal costs, and Rappaport started an online petition demanding that Carney return the masters.Rappaport made the 1978 drama The Scenic Route. His last three features, all made in the 1990s were Rock Hudson's Home Movies, From the Journals of Jean Seberg, and The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender.Since his move from New York to Paris in 2003, he has made many short video essays and published a collection of his (fictional and non-fictional) essays in French (Le Spectateur qui en savait trop, translated by Jean-Luc Mengus, Paris: P.O.L, 2008) and three online collections in English available in Kindle editions on Amazon: The Moviegoer Who Knew Too Much (2013), (F)au(x)tobiographies (2013), and The Secret Life of Moving Shadows (available in two parts, 2014). He has also exhibited photomontages in New York, Paris, and elsewhere over the past several years.Mr. Arkadin
Mr. Arkadin (first released in Spain, 1955), known in Britain as Confidential Report, is a French-Spanish-Swiss coproduction film, written and directed by Orson Welles and shot in several Spanish locations, including Costa Brava, Segovia, Valladolid and Madrid. Filming took place throughout Europe in 1954, and scenes shot outside Spain include locations in London, Munich, Paris, the French Riviera, and the Château de Chillon in Switzerland.Othello (Orson Welles stage production)
Othello was a 1951 production of William Shakespeare's play of the same name, which was produced, directed by and starring Orson Welles in his first appearance on the London stage.Out of the Blue (1980 film)
Out of the Blue (released in Canada as No Looking Back) is a 1980 Canadian drama film directed by and starring Dennis Hopper. The film was written and produced by Gary Jules Jouvenat. It competed for the Palme d'Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival. This was the first film Hopper directed since 1971's The Last Movie; he stepped in at the last minute to replace the original director (screenwriter Leonard Yakir).
Film Critic Jonathan Rosenbaum considers it one of the 15 best films of the 1980s.It centers on Cebe, a rebellious and troubled young girl, played by Linda Manz — interested only in Elvis Presley and punk rock music — as well as her ex-convict father Don Barnes (Dennis Hopper), and her high-strung mother Kathy (Sharon Farrell). The title is taken from the Neil Young song "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)".
The film was made in Vancouver, and various icons of Vancouver in that era are featured in the film, including the Pointed Sticks, one of the leading bands of Vancouver's punk era.The song "Kill All Hippies" from Scottish rock band Primal Scream's 2000 album XTRMNTR features a sample of Manz' dialogue from the movie.Rouge (film journal)
Rouge is a triannually-published online film journal edited by Adrian Martin, Helen Bandis and Grant McDonald. Based in Australia, it publishes essays by critics from all over the world, many of them as translations. It is often cited as one of the premier online-only film journals and has been described as "[maintaining] one of the highest standards of writing of any online film journal" and as "championing some of the most exciting and innovative critical writing being done anywhere in the world."Over the years, it has published articles and other contributions by Gilbert Adair, Thom Andersen, Nicole Brenez, Pedro Costa, Serge Daney, Raymond Durgnat, Victor Erice, Chris Fujiwara, Jean-Pierre Gorin, José Luis Guerin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Kent Jones, Dave Kehr, Jonas Mekas, Luc Moullet, Mark Rappaport, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Peter Tscherkassky and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
The journal also publishes books under the Rouge Press imprint. Its most recent release is a collection of essays on Raul Ruiz.Senses of Cinema
Senses of Cinema is a quarterly online film magazine founded in 1999 by filmmaker Bill Mousoulis. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Senses of Cinema publishes work by film critics from all over the world, including critical essays, career overviews of the works of key directors, and coverage of many international festivals.
Its contributors have included Raphaël Bassan, Barbara Creed, Wheeler Winston Dixon, David Ehrenstein, Thomas Elsaesser, Valie Export, Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Dušan Makavejev, Edgar Morin, Joseph Natoli, Murray Pomerance, Berenice Reynaud, Jonathan Rosenbaum, David Sanjek, Sally Shafto, David Sterritt, Robert von Dassanowsky, and Viviane Vagh.
The magazine's current editors are Daniel Fairfax, Michelle Carey, Mark Freeman, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Dan Edwards.The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes
The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes is a 1971 American experimental film by Stan Brakhage. Its title is based on the literal translation of the term autopsy. The film documented the highly graphic autopsy procedures used by forensic pathologists, such as the removal of organs and the embalming process.The film is part of Brakhage's "Pittsburgh trilogy", a trio of documentary films Brakhage made about the city's institutions in 1971. The other two films are entitled Eyes and Deus Ex. These documentaries are about the police force and a hospital, respectively. American critic Jonathan Rosenbaum referred to The Act of Seeing with One's Own Eyes as "one of the most direct confrontations with death ever recorded on film."The Big Sky (film)
The Big Sky is a 1952 American Western film produced and directed by Howard Hawks, based on the novel of the same name. The cast includes Kirk Douglas, Dewey Martin, Elizabeth Threatt and Arthur Hunnicutt, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Though not considered among Hawks's major achievements by most critics, the film was chosen by Jonathan Rosenbaum for his alternative list of the Top 100 American Films.The Miracle of St. Anne
The Miracle of St. Anne was a short film, now lost, made by Orson Welles. It served as a prelude to the play The Unthinking Lobster, which was written and directed by Welles as part of a collection of two one-act plays (with Time Runs…) performed under the banner title of The Blessed and the Damned. The film consisted of the rushes for a Biblical epic that was a film-within-the-play.The Sun Shines Bright
The Sun Shines Bright is a 1953 American drama film directed by John Ford, based on material taken from a series of Irvin S. Cobb stories. Ford had adapted some of the same material in 1934 in his film Judge Priest. That film originally had a scene depicting the lynching of Stepin Fetchit’s character (and Priest’s condemnation of the act), but it was cut by 20th Century Fox. The omission was one of the reasons Ford loosely reshaped the Cobb stories two decades later as The Sun Shines Bright for Republic Pictures, this time including Judge Priest's defusing of the mob determined to lynch U.S. Grant Woodford (played by the young black actor, Elzie Emanuel), with Stepin Fetchit playing the part of Judge Priest's assistant. Ford often cited The Sun Shines Bright as his favorite among all his films, and in later years, it was championed by critics such as Jonathan Rosenbaum and Dave Kehr, who called it "a masterpiece".This is Orson Welles
This is Orson Welles is a 1992 book by Orson Welles (1915–1985) and Peter Bogdanovich that comprises conversations between the two filmmakers recorded over several years, beginning in 1969. The wide-ranging volume encompasses Welles's life and his own stage, radio and film work as well as his insights on the work of others. The interview book was transcribed by Bogdanovich after Welles's death, at the request of Welles's longtime companion and professional collaborator, Oja Kodar. Welles considered the book his autobiography.
In addition to more than 300 pages of interviews, the book includes an annotated chronology of Welles's career; a summary of the alterations made in Welles's 1942 masterpiece, The Magnificent Ambersons; and notes on each chapter by film scholar Jonathan Rosenbaum, who edited the volume.
A second edition of This is Orson Welles was published in paperback in 1998, with a new introduction by Bogdanovich and excerpts of a 58-page memo Welles wrote Universal Pictures about the editing of his 1958 film Touch of Evil. The memo was used to create a director's cut of the film released in 1998.
The 1992 audiobook version of This is Orson Welles was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Album.