Synopses & Reviews
In this sly and thought-provoking volume, J. Hoberman turns an erudite eye to the study of twenty-first-century cinema and finds that, only a dozen years into the new millennium, the world of movies has already experienced a revolutionary transformation.
The advent of new digital technology has displaced the medium of photographic film--and, perhaps, the reality on which it once depended. With locations, sets and cameras now optional, the history of motion pictures has become the history of animation.
This sea change in filmmaking spanned the 2000 American presidential election and the trauma of 9/11, events that reshaped world politics and left an indelible imprint on the emerging aesthetic of the new century's cinema. A rupture opened up in the evolution of film, presaging, as Susan Sontag forlornly predicted a few years earlier, the death of cinephilia, or at least cinephilia as we know it.
Witty and allusive, in the style of classic film theorist/critics such as André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer, Film After Film expands on a much-discussed era-defining Artforum article by Hoberman before moving on to a chronicle of the Bush years in cinema (featuring reviews from Hoberman's final decade at the Village Voice). The book concludes with considerations of the twenty-one central movies of the twenty-first century, which include works by Lars von Trier and Jia Zhangke as well as the hi-tech spectacles WALL-E and Avatar.
In this sly and thought-provoking essay, Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman suggests that it's possible to speak of a distinctive twenty-first century cinema, only a decade into the new millennium. The advent of a new digital technology has led to the displacement of the medium of film--and of the real, as digital image-making ends the necessity of having an actual world, let alone the need for a camera. The future history of motion pictures, Hoberman asserts, will be the history of animation. Meanwhile, the 2000 American presidential election and the trauma of 9/11 have reshaped the movies politically. The two events have combined to create a rupture in film history, perhaps presaging, as Susan Sontag forlornly predicted at the close of the century, the death of cinema, or at least cinephilia. This witty and allusive book, in the style of classic film theorist/critics like André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer, expands on a much-discussed article by Hoberman from Artforum and includes considerations of global cinema's most important figures and films, from Lars von Trier and Zia Jiangke to WALL-E, Avatar, and Inception.
How the digital turn and 9/11 have changed motion picture history.
One of the worlds most erudite and entertaining film critics on the state of cinema in the post-digital—and post-9/11—age. This witty and allusive book, in the style of classic film theorists/critics like André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer, includes considerations of global cinemas most important figures and films, from Lars von Trier and Zia Jiangke to WALL-E, Avatar and Inception.
About the Author
J. Hoberman has been the senior film critic at The Village Voice since 1988. He has taught at Harvard, NYU, and Cooper Union, and is the author of ten books, including Bridge of Light, The Red Atlantis, and The Dream Life.