Thanks, Mr. Rosenbaum

January 4, 2008

In his Best of 2007 column for The Chicago Reader, film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum has announced that he will retire when he turns 65 in February.

At first I was horrified, considering Harold Henderson was just excused from the paper. But it turns out to be just a well-earned retirement. He will no doubt welcome the freedom from reviewing mountains of dreck, and hopefully we’ll see more books from him, as well an an occasional article in the Reader.

I have long admired Mr. Rosenbaum as one of the two best writers on film in English currently working (David Bordwell‘s the other one). I have especially enjoyed his book Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons, and found its list of 1000 Essential Films a great resource. Most of the other lists repeat the same films ad nauseum. This one actually tips its pen to the breadth & depth of the medium, and it’s quite personal to boot. (I’m ashamed to say so far I’ve only hit about 400, classic Hollywood tripping me up and all.)

So thanks, Mr. Rosenbaum, for the fine essays and your exquisite taste. Thanks especially for Khroustaliov, Ma Voiture! That thing’s insane.

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