Before his death in 2016, Abbas Kiarostami wrote or directed more than thirty films in a career that mirrored Iranian cinema's rise as an international force. His 1997 feature Taste of Cherry made him the first Iranian filmmaker to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Critics' polls continue to place Close-Up (1990) and Through the Olive Trees (1994) among the masterpieces of world cinema. Yet Kiarostami's naturalistic impulses and winding complexity made him one of the most divisive--if influential--filmmakers of his time. In this expanded second edition, award-winning Iranian filmmaker Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa and film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum renew their illuminating cross-cultural dialogue on Kiarostami's work. The pair chart the filmmaker's late-in-life turn toward art galleries, museums, still photography, and installations. They also bring their distinct but complementary perspectives to a new conversation on the experimental film Shirin. Finally, Rosenbaum offers an essay on watching Kiarostami at home while Saeed-Vafa conducts a deeply personal interview with the director on his career and his final feature, Like Someone in Love.
Eschewing the idea of film reviewer-as-solitary-expert, Jonathan Rosenbaum continues to advance his belief that a critic's ideal role is to mediate and facilitate our public discussion of cinema. Portraits and Polemics presents debate as an important form of cinematic encounter whether one argues with filmmakers themselves, on behalf of their work, or with one's self.
Rosenbaum takes on filmmakers like Chantal Akerman, Richard Linklater, Manoel De Oliveira, Mark Rappaport, Elaine May, and Béla Tarr. He also engages, implicitly and explicitly, with other writers, arguing with Pauline Kael—and Wikipedia—over Jacques Demy, with the Hollywood Reporter and Variety reviewers of Jarmusch’s The Limits of Control, with David Thomson about James L. Brooks, and with many American and English film critics about misrepresented figures from Jerry Lewis to Yasujiro Ozu to Orson Welles. Throughout, Rosenbaum mines insights, pursues pet notions, and invites readers to join the fray.
Godard. Fuller. Rivette. Endfield. Tarr. In his celebrated career as a film critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum has undertaken wide-ranging dialogues with many of the most daring and important auteurs of our time.
Cinematic Encounters collects more than forty years of interviews that embrace Rosenbaum's vision of film criticism as a collaboration involving multiple voices. Rosenbaum accompanies Orson Welles on a journey back to Heart of Darkness, the unmade film meant to be Welles's Hollywood debut. Jacques Tati addresses the primacy of décor and soundtrack in his comedic masterpiece PlayTime, while Jim Jarmusch explains the influence of real and Hollywoodized Native Americans in Dead Man. By arranging the chapters chronologically, Rosenbaum invites readers to pursue thematic threads as if the discussions were dialogues between separate interviews. The result is a rare gathering of filmmakers trading thoughts on art and process, on great works and false starts, and on actors and intimate moments.
The esteemed film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has brought global cinema to American audiences for the last four decades. His incisive writings on individual filmmakers define film culture as a diverse and ever-evolving practice, unpredictable yet subject to analyses just as diversified as his own discriminating tastes. For Rosenbaum, there is no high or low cinema, only more interesting or less interesting films, and the pieces collected here, from an appreciation of Marilyn Monroe’s intelligence to a classic discussion on and with Jean-Luc Godard, amply testify to his broad intellect and multi-faceted talent. Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia gathers together over fifty examples of Rosenbaum’s criticism from the past four decades, each of which demonstrates his passion for the way we view movies, as well as how we write about them. Charting our changing concerns with the interconnected issues that surround video, DVDs, the Internet, and new media, the writings collected here also highlight Rosenbaum’s polemics concerning the digital age. From the rediscovery and recirculation of classic films, to the social and aesthetic impact of technological changes, Rosenbaum doesn’t disappoint in assembling a magisterial cast of little-known filmmakers as well as the familiar faces and iconic names that have helped to define our era.
As we move into this new decade of moviegoing—one in which Hollywood will continue to feel the shockwaves of the digital age—Jonathan Rosenbaum remains a valuable guide. Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia is a consummate collection of his work, not simply for fans of this seminal critic, but for all those open to the wide variety of films he embraces and helps us to elucidate.
Baer, Nicholas Rutgers University Press, 2019 Library of Congress B105.I47U59 2019 | Dewey Decimal 153.32
We all have images that we find unwatchable, whether for ethical, political, or sensory and affective reasons. From news coverage of terror attacks to viral videos of police brutality, and from graphic horror films to transgressive artworks, many of the images in our media culture might strike us as unsuitable for viewing. Yet what does it mean to proclaim something “unwatchable”: disturbing, revolting, poor, tedious, or literally inaccessible?
With over 50 original essays by leading scholars, artists, critics, and curators, this is the first book to trace the “unwatchable” across our contemporary media environment, in which viewers encounter difficult content on various screens and platforms. Appealing to a broad academic and general readership, the volume offers multidisciplinary approaches to the vast array of troubling images that circulate in global visual culture.