Eminent American film critic comes to York

Eminent American film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum will join Toronto-based film reviewers Liam Lacey, Adam Nayman and Jennie Punter in Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia, a public panel discussion on contemporary film culture, Oct. 6 at York.

Hailed by London’s The Times as “one of the finest film critics currently active” and by The Boston Globe as an “enormously erudite and deeply reflective viewer unbeholden to academic norms and taboos,” Rosenbaum is famed for his wide-ranging and incisive engagement with the art of world cinema.

Right: Jonathan Rosenbaum

Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia will take place Wednesday, Oct. 6, from 7 to 10pm, at the Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross Building, Keele campus. Admission is free.

The subject of the York discussion is also the title of Rosenbaum’s latest book, Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia: Film Culture in Transition. The panel will address the changing nature of film culture and some of the key questions raised in the book, which include:

  • Is there a point at which changes in production technology, means of exhibition, forms of distribution, distinctions between “real” and “filmed” life, and availability of financing, erase the boundaries that define the art form of “cinema”?
  • Is there a relation between these changes and the rapid de-professionalization of the world of film criticism (print critics losing their jobs, while Internet commentators proliferate)?
  • How does one’s personal cinephiliac history intersect, or not, with a public cinephiliac history? What changes has it undergone in light of the other changes referred to above?
  • What is the role of academic film study in relationship to cinephilia?

As for the panellists, Punter reviews films for The Globe and Mail and Variety, Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail and Nayman reviews films for Eye Weekly and also contributes to Cinema Scope, Cineaste, Montage and other publications.

Rosenbaum wrote for many notable publications, including Film Comment, Cahiers du cinéma, Sight and Sound, Film Quarterly and The Village Voice, before becoming principal film critic for the Chicago Reader, where he worked from 1987 until his retirement in 2008. He is the author of many influential books on film, including Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Limit What Movies We Can See (A Cappella Books, 2000), Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004) and Discovering Orson Welles (University of California Press, 2007). He continues to write for both print and online publications and maintains a blog at www.jonathanrosenbaum.com.

York film Professor Temenuga Trifonova will moderate the discussion.

Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia launches the 2010-2011 Norman Jewison Series in York’s Department of Film. The event is free and open to the public.

The Norman Jewison Series is named in honour of the internationally acclaimed Canadian film director and producer whose generous support has made this program possible. Established in York’s Film Department in 2007, the series brings distinguished Canadian and international filmmakers, screenwriters, film historians and theorists to York to meet with students and to present and discuss their work in a public forum open to the wider community.

For more information, call 416-736-5149, e-mail film@yorku.ca or visit the Department of Film in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts.