On the Necessity of Film Canons
By (author) Jonathan Rosenbaum
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Essential Cinema by Jonathan Rosenbaum
Book DescriptionIn his astute and deeply informed film reviews and essays, Jonathan Rosenbaum regularly provides new and brilliant insights into the cinema as art, entertainment, and commerce. Guided by a personal canon of great films, Rosenbaum sees, in the ongoing hostility toward the idea of a canon shared by many within the field of film studies, a missed opportunity both to shape the discussion about cinema and to help inform and guide casual and serious filmgoers alike. In Essential Cinema, Rosenbaum forcefully argues that canons of great films are more necessary than ever, given that film culture today is dominated by advertising executives, sixty-second film reviewers, and other players in the Hollywood publicity machine who champion mediocre films at the expense of genuinely imaginative and challenging works. He proposes specific definitions of excellence in film art through the creation a personal canon of both well-known and obscure movies from around the world and suggests ways in which other canons might be similarly constructed. Essential Cinema offers in-depth assessments of an astonishing range of films: established classics such as Rear Window, M, and Greed; ambitious but flawed works like The Thin Red Line and Breaking the Waves; eccentric masterpieces from around the world, including Irma Vep and Archangel; and recent films that have bitterly divided critics and viewers, among them Eyes Wide Shut and A.I. He also explores the careers of such diverse filmmakers as Robert Altman, Raul Ruiz, Frank Tashlin, Elaine May, Sam Fuller, Terrence Davies, Edward Yang, Hou Hsiao-hsien, and Orson Welles. In conclusion, Rosenbaum offers his own film canon of 1,000 key works from the beginning of cinema to the present day. A cogent and provocative argument about the art of film, Essential Cinema is also a fiercely independent reference book of must-see movies for film lovers everywhere.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801889714
(235mm x 155mm x 30mm)
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 15-Aug-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Jonathan Rosenbaum
Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia, Paperback (September 2010)
For film critic Rosenbaum, there is no high or low cinema, only more interesting or less interesting films. This book 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.
Action!, Paperback (July 2009)
'Action!' draws on the very best published and unpublished interviews of the 'Bright Lights Film Journal', and contains many gems, including the last ever interview given by Francois Truffaut, four months before he died.
Discovering Orson Welles, Paperback (May 2007)
Collects a film critic's writings on Orson Welles - some thirty-five years of them - and makes a case for the seriousness of his work, illuminating both Welles the artist and Welles the man.
Movie Mutations, Paperback (October 2003)» View all books by Jonathan Rosenbaum
In contrast to any talk of "the death of the cinema", this title pronounces the art form alive and well, and still developing in new and unforeseen directions. Using transnational discussions and debates, it shows why the idea of cinephilia is just as relevant today as it ever was.
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Author Biography - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Jonathan Rosenbaum is film critic for the Chicago Reader and the author or editor of fourteen books, including Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Limit What Films We Can See, Movies as Politics, and Placing Movies: The Practice of Film Criticism.
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