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Movie Wars
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About the Author

Jonathan Rosenbaum is a film critic for the Chicago Reader and is the author of Moving Places, Placing Movies, Movies as Politics, and Dead Man. He is a frequent contributor to Film Comment and Cineaste. He lives in Chicago.

Reviews

Chicago Reader film critic Rosenbaum (Movies As Politics; Placing Movies: The Practice of Film Criticism) here pitches a battle for the hearts, minds, possibly souls, and definitely pocketbooks of the filmgoing public. The bad guys are mainstream film critics, the print media, Hollywood producers, publishers, publicists, film festivals, the American Film Institute, and those increasingly coarse, aesthetically uninformed dupes, the people who watch films. On the good side, readers will find Rosenbaum and righteousness in the company of true art (selected international and truly independent filmmakers). The author tilts impassioned prose at the monstrous powers of Miramax, Janet Maslin of the New York Times, and market forces. A feisty-to-frenetic tone, spotty logic, and the self-serving recycling of earlier views and reviews do not totally obscure the possibility that much of Rosenbaum's rant may be to some degree right. But you can hardly hear the wisdom for the whine. Recommended for larger public libraries and special collections of film studies.DAnn Fey, Rockland Community Coll., Suffern, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"Consider what might happen if Roger Ebert couldn't find a single movie to recommend on one of his weekly shows," Rosenbaum asks provocatively in this freewheeling critique of the American movie industry. Arguing that American moviegoers are consistently denied the right to make up their own minds about what movies to see, and even how to think about them, he reveals the powerful influence market researchers, production studios, advertisers, film critics and publishing concerns ("the media-industrial complex") have on how films are made, marketed, released and reviewed. Citing such diverse examples as George Lucas's draconian exhibition contracts for The Phantom Menace (which bound theaters to a lengthy run regardless of audience size), distributors' offers of free film junkets to bribe critics and the use of canned reviews and industry-sanctioned lists of "the 100 Best American Films" written by "professional blurb writers," Rosenbaum drives home his point that there is far more commerce than art in American film. Occasionally, his arguments are overheated (the fact that film festivals are often popularity contests is no surprise), but for the most part they are well-supported and potent, and successfully address broader questions of consumer culture and capitalism. Rosenbaum's journalistic style makes this animated treatise accessible to film buffs who want to know more about how movies get made, while his sound arguments make it a good bet for academic readers as well. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"""The work of a tough and principled critic whose insights into movies in the age of tie-ins and Disney are as rude and witty as they are sharp, Jonathan Rosenbaum's "Movie Wars" is a bracing job of cultural muckraking." --Tom Carson, the "Washington Post" """Jonathan Rosenbaum is the best film critic in the United States--indeed, he's one of the best writers on film of any kind in the history of the medium." --James Naremore, author of "Acting in the Cinema" """"Movie Wars" is invigorating in the way it argues not only that movies of lasting value are being made all the time, but also that movies can actaully enlarge an audience's comprehensionof the world." "--Vue Weekly" "" The work of a tough and principled critic whose insights into movies in the age of tie-ins and Disney are as rude and witty as they are sharp, Jonathan Rosenbaum s "Movie Wars" is a bracing job of cultural muckraking. Tom Carson, the "Washington Post"" "" Jonathan Rosenbaum is the best film critic in the United States indeed, he s one of the best writers on film of any kind in the history of the medium. James Naremore, author of "Acting in the Cinema"" Rosenbaum's journalistic style makes this animated treatise accessible to film buffs who want to know more about how movies get made, while his sound arguments make it a good bet for academic readers as well. " Publishers Weekly"" "" "Movie Wars" is invigorating in the way it argues not only that movies of lasting value are being made all the time, but also that movies can actaully enlarge an audience's comprehensionof the world. " Vue Weekly"" "Essential reading for anyone who cares about movies." --Martha P. Nochimson, Film Quarterly "Movie Wars is invigorating in the way it argues not only that movies of lasting value are being made all the time, but also that movies can actaully enlarge an audience's comprehensionof the world." --Vue Weekly "Rosenbaum's journalistic style makes this animated treatise accessible to film buffs who want to know more about how movies get made, while his sound arguments make it a good bet for academic readers as well." --Publishers Weekly "Jonathan Rosenbaum is the best film critic in the United States--indeed, he's one of the best writers on film of any kind in the history of the medium." --James Naremore, author of Acting in the Cinema "The work of a tough and principled critic whose insights into movies in the age of tie-ins and Disney are as rude and witty as they are sharp, Jonathan Rosenbaum's Movie Wars is a bracing job of cultural muckraking." --Tom Carson, the Washington Post "Movie Wars is a cherry bomb in the lap of critical complacency and orthodoxy--and a bold challenge to the movie industry. . . . This brief text is packed with more ideas than any other film book you're likely to read this year." --Premiere Essential reading for anyone who cares about movies. Martha P. Nochimson, "Film Quarterly" " "Movie Wars" is a cherry bomb in the lap of critical complacency and orthodoxy and a bold challenge to the movie industry. . . . This brief text is packed with more ideas than any other film book you re likely to read this year. "Premiere" " ""Movie Wars" is a cherry bomb in the lap of critical complacency and orthodoxy--and a bold challenge to the movie industry. . . . This brief text is packed with more ideas than any other film book you're likely to read this year." --"Premiere"

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