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Cinematic Encounters

Interviews and Dialogues

The lively art of conversation with auteurs from Welles to Jarmusch

Godard. Fuller. Rivette. Endfield. Tarr. In his celebrated career as a film critic, Jonathan Rosenbaum has undertaken wide-ranging dialogues with many of the most daring and important auteurs of our time.

Cinematic Encounters collects more than forty years of interviews that embrace Rosenbaum's vision of film criticism as a collaboration involving multiple voices. Rosenbaum accompanies Orson Welles on a journey back to Heart of Darkness, the unmade film meant to be Welles's Hollywood debut. Jacques Tati addresses the primacy of décor and soundtrack in his comedic masterpiece PlayTime, while Jim Jarmusch explains the influence of real and Hollywoodized Native Americans in Dead Man. By arranging the chapters chronologically, Rosenbaum invites readers to pursue thematic threads as if the discussions were dialogues between separate interviews. The result is a rare gathering of filmmakers trading thoughts on art and process, on great works and false starts, and on actors and intimate moments.

"Rosenbaum is arguably America's greatest living film critic. This stimulating collection forms a kind of essay about the types of dialogues and meditations that one can have about a film or a body of films. It is often absolutely riveting."--Alan Williams, author of Republic of Images: A History of French Filmmaking

"Given the power and voraciousness of his mind, Jonathan Rosenbaum could dominate and devour everything in his path if he wanted to, like the bullying movies he abhors. But with his openness of spirit, he prefers films that let you question and participate. Those are also his activities in Cinematic Encounters, as he converses with great and good filmmakers he admires and swaps ideas and enthusiasms with his cinephile friends. Open the book and you, too, are welcome to join in."--Stuart Klawans, film critic, The Nation


Jonathan Rosenbaum was the film critic for the Chicago Reader from 1987 to 2008. He is the coauthor of Abbas Kiarostami: Expanded Second Edition and the author of Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia and Discovering Orson Welles. He archives his work at jonathanrosenbaum.net.

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