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"A virtuoso collection by one of the finest film critics currently active... His passions are unusually diverse... There's nothing here that won't enrich the reader in some way. If you have seen the film already, you will see it better. If you haven't seen it, you will want to."

"Rosenbaum's passionate, thoughtful, and richly informed advocacy of the films he cares about earns this book a place on any cinephile's shelf... Rosenbaum, an enormously erudite and deeply reflective viewer unbeholden to academic norms and taboos, is ideally positioned to propose a canon of great works... An essential guide."

"Accessible without being dumbed down... Filled with perceptive insights and fascinating juxtapositions... A closing list of 1,000 favorite films is sure to spark debate among cineastes while offering a long checklist of films to watch."

"Every essay demonstrates Rosenbaum's fervent dedication to the cinema and, more important, that he has the knowledge and insight to support his impassioned opinions."

"Jonathan Rosenbaum is one of the most invested voices in writing about movies. When there's a subject he's spent decades thinking on, he's nonpareil."

"Essential Cinema... is a chance to enjoy a bunch of reviews from the best long form critic on the planet."

"Rosenbaum is one of those rare film critics who isn't too cool to tell us when a film gives him excitement, pleasure, and hope... Sometimes Rosenbaum becomes so strident about 'the lies' that Hollywood films and their publicists feed us that you want to whack him on the head with a copy of Entertainment Weekly. But, we need to hear about film lies from someone. And besides, there's no such thing as Jonathan Rosenbaum lite."

"[Rosenblaum's] canon is not exclusively Western, goes beyond purely aesthetic considerations, is a process of selection rather than reportage, and sees cultural criticism as valid."

"This is a road map for anyone who cares about discovering new cinematic terrain."

"Rosenbaum proves he is an essential critic, one we mustn't fail to read."

"Important book."

"His observations on film composition are astute and thought-provoking... Essential Cinema is essential reading for the movie buff."

"Jonathan Rosenbaum is unquestionably one of the leading film critics working today. He is an invaluable guide to current movies—not because one always agrees with him, but because he enlarges our perceptions and often points us in the right direction, because he is intelligent and engages our intelligence—and has a sound grasp of the history of film, its aesthetic values and its social and political content. In many ways he is singularly well equipped for the project he undertakes in Essential Cinema: to establish a pantheon of great films in world cinema. This idea may be controversial nowadays but, in my view, that only makes it all the more worth undertaking. Bringing fresh acumen and insight to both established classics and more recent films, this book will inspire debate among those who care about the art of film."

"Given the current intellectual environment, nothing could be more provocative or welcome than a film critic who openly defends the making of canons, and who compiles an informed, discriminating list of the best pictures ever made. Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema performs both tasks brilliantly, at the same time giving us a bracing series of essays on the artistic, political, and entertainment value of individual films and film makers. Everyone who loves motion pictures ought to read this book. Rosenbaum's personal canon will stimulate debate, enhance education, and provide a valuable guide to a thousand nights of pleasurable viewing."

"As one of our few truly thoughtful, regularly-appearing film critics, Jonathan Rosenbaum strives less to simply describe or evaluate a film than engage the reader in an argument about values. He understands that film canons need not be a conservative listing of masterpieces, but an ongoing struggle for the richness of cinema and art in a world of commercialized leisure and passive politics."

Essential Cinema
On the Necessity of Film Canons
Publication Date: 1 Jun 2008
Status: Available
Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.
Trim Size: 6.125" x 9.25"
Page Count: 472 pages
ISBN: 9780801889714