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Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia

Film Culture in Transition

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.

Read an excerpt.

408 pages | 107 color plates, 2 halftones, 223 figures, 6 maps | 6 x 9 | © 2010

Film Studies


“Jonathan Rosenbaum is a great film critic and I’ve learned so much over the years from his wise writing.”

Roger Ebert

“This is a major new collection of essays from a preeminent American film critic who has evolved a unique voice over decades of writing that is extraordinarily well-informed, full of insights and unforeseen connections, and deeply, profoundly international. Jonathan Rosenbaum’s intellectual and political engagement, his insistence in going beyond the US-centrism of most American critics, and his extraordinarily wide-ranging cinephilia represent near-heroic work by an invaluable critic, and are all fully on display here. This excellent collection, much like its author, crosses many boundaries with conviction.”

Janet Bergstrom, University of California, Los Angeles

“One of the finest film critics currently active.”

Times (UK)

 “Among the best is Rosenbaum.”


"One of the bellwether critics in film reviewing. . . . Rosenbaum offers arguments to make you to think again."

Globe and Mail

"An important contribution to the discussion not just of film, but of all of film culture."

Front Table

"Rosenbaum’s argument is simpler and more convincing: when you’re looking at a film that has survived decades, has many substantive admirers and nothing in it speaks to you, you should probably do some reading on it, or at least watch the extras. You may learn how quickly your gut reaction can change."

GreenCine Daily

"Ceaselessly prolific, frighteningly well-informed on seemingly every detail of film history, and well ahead of the technological curve. . . . The handsomely curated Goodbye Cinema is a dense collection of Rosenbaum’s most fervent causes."

The Onion's A/V Club

“Jonathan Rosenbaum has long been known for forging a path for cinephilia in a changing landscape, and for cautioning against hand-wringing and nay-saying about new technologies among older generations of movie lovers. Goodbye Cinema Hello Cinephilia, Rosenbaum’s invaluable new collection of writing about film, takes those positions as one of its organizing principles—in keeping with which it includes blog posts as well as more conventionally published pieces, all bringing to bear his vast store of knowledge and dexterity in deploying it, as well as his customary social and political engagement.”

Criterion Collection | The Critierion Collection’s Book Notes

“There’s plenty of evidence on display of what has made Rosenbaum an essential critic for generations of readers.”

Film Comment

Table of Contents


I   Position Papers

Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia  

In Defense of  Spoilers  

Potential Perils of the Director’s Cut  

Southern Movies, Actual and Fanciful: A Personal Survey  

À la recherche de Luc Moullet: 25 Propositions  

Bushwhacked Cinema  

What Dope Does to Movies  

Fever Dreams in Bologna  

From Playtime to The World: The Expansion and Depletion of Space within Global Economies  

II   Actors, Actors-Writers-Directors, Filmmakers

Kim Novak as Midwestern Independent  

Marilyn Monroe’s Brains  

A Free Man: White Hunter, Black Heart  

Bit Actors   

Rediscovering Charlie Chaplin  

Second Thoughts on Stroheim  

Sweet and Sour: Lubitsch and Wilder in Old Hollywood  

Ritwik Ghatak: Reinventing the Cinema  

Introducing Pere Portabella  

Portabella and Continuity  

Two Neglected Filmmakers: Eduardo de Gregorio and Sara Driver  

Vietnam in Fragments: William Klein in 1967–68: A Radical Reevaluation  

Movie Heaven: Defending Your Life   

The World as a Circus: Tati’s Parade   

The Sun Also Sets: The Films of Nagisa Oshima  

III   Films

Inside the Vault [on Spione]   

Family Plot  

“The Doddering Relics of a Lost Cause”: John Ford’s The Sun Shines Bright  

Prisoners of War: Bitter Victory  

Art of Darkenss: Wichita   

Cinema of the Future: Still Lives: The Films of Pedro Costa    

A Few Eruptions in the House of Lava  

Unsatisfied Men: Beau travail  

Viridiana on DVD  

Doing the California Split  

Mise en Scène as Miracle in Dreyer’s Ordet  

David Holzman’s Diary/My Girlfriend’s Wedding: Historical Artifacts of the Past and Present   

Two Early Long-Take Climaxes  

Wrinkles in Time: Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy   

Martha: Fassbinder’s Uneasy Testament   

India Matri Buhmi  

Radical Humanism and the Coexistence of Film and Poetry in The House Is Black  

WR, Sex, and the Art of Radical Juxtaposition   

Revisiting The Godfather  

IV   Criticism

Film Writing on the Web: Some Personal Reflections   

Goodbye, Susan, Goodbye: Sontag and Movies   

Daney in English: A Letter to Trafic  

Trailer for Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma   

Moullet retrouvé (2006/2009)  

The Farber Mystery   

The American Cinema Revisited  

Raymond Durgnat  

Surviving the Sixties  

L.A. Existential   


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