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"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 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Wonderful book from one of the greatest film critics of all time, Jonathan Rosenbaum. Cinema is not dead. aa aaPublished 16 months ago by Pedro Max Schwarz
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Conspire to Limit What Films We Can See (A Capella Books, 2000)
I am enough of a film geek to have a favorite... Read more
This book by Rosenbaum deserves plaudits for its success on many levels but perhaps he succeeds most simply in connecting the film industry (and thus the artistic medium of movies)... Read morePublished on December 9, 2010 by Blusuede
Rosenbaum's book is simply a great introductory read into the failures of how the American audience, and the distributors of cinema in the States are leading to a 'possible'... Read morePublished on July 28, 2004 by selffate
I don't understand critics. I understand people getting on to websites like these and briefly stating their opinions on art, but I have trouble understanding how having an opinion... Read morePublished on October 29, 2003
I'm going to be short because others have done him justice already. At last someone has put together a thorough, cogent, and richly illustrated argument explaining why Hollywood... Read morePublished on October 20, 2002
Most movies out on the market are made for people who don't watch a lot of movies. Jonathan Rosenbaum's book is his frustration over two things; the lack of foreign films in the... Read morePublished on April 21, 2002 by Dhaval Vyas
If you've ever wondered why terrible movies are being shown on thousands of screens while Abbas Kiarostami's latest gem is barely seen, or thought that the latest Mirimax pablum is... Read morePublished on August 19, 2001 by Greg
Movie Wars is a powerful and lucid corrective to the intellectual laziness that distinguishes 90% of film commentary in North America. Read morePublished on June 11, 2001 by Lee Hill