Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Artist Lecture - Jonathan Rosenbaum. John Cameron 10/14/09

Jonathan Rosenbaum
I needed one more artist lecture for my class this semester, and I was left with one last available visiting artist before the due date on Thursday. The visiting artist came for the VCUarts Cinema program and I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture. Jonathan Rosenbaum is a very well known film critic and he is known as one of the best in the country. The Grace street theatre had a good crowd, and I think everyone realized that it was a big event. When I was in the lecture, I was trying to find similarities with photography and cinema, and I didn't really need to find anything. It all came so easily. Jonathan showed a short film titled "The Last Jew In the World". All I focused on was the scene, the angle of the camera, and the close up shot on the man's face shown. This is where I saw a photograph. I also saw the similarity between setting up a scene that both photography and cinema create. Jonathan is now in his 60's, and has been a film critic pretty much since he was a child. He mentioned how his Grandfather built cinemas back in the early 1900's, so he was always watching films.
Moving Places, A Life at the Movies, With a New Introduction - By Jonathan Rosenbaum
Jonathan Rosenbaum worked for the Chicago Reader for many years and he retired last year. He is now a freelance film critic and he has his own website. www.jonathanrosenbaum.com . Jonathan published and edited many books and I have two images of his covers.
In the lecture, Jonathan went on to talk about how he was asked to nominate five of the best films from last year. His main point was that he nominated three films that were unknown and were not in any major exhibitions. He wanted to point out that the best work isn't always in exhibitions and that you have to really search to find new interesting work. I took this in as a solid statement and I totally agree with him. I related it to myself by saying if I want to find new techniques, then maybe I shouldn't look in all of my favorite magazines, but maybe try a new style of research.
Essential Cinema - On the Necessity of Film Canons - By Jonathan Rosenbaum
He also went on to talk about a question that he never asks himself. It was "what do you look for in a film?". He said that he hates this question. He felt as though if he was to have guidelines of what he wanted in a film, then it would make his film watching experience negative. He didn't want to go into a film telling himself what is right and what is wrong. Rather go into a film and judge whether it was good or bad just like anyone else. I related this to photography with critiques. Where if I was to critique someone's work, then I wouldn't want to have those same guidelines he talked about. Rather judge if I like the photograph or if I don't like it. I took a few film classes and I really enjoyed them and learned a lot. It was cool to see how the cinema students get lectures just like our photography department also.

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