Author Spotlight

J. Hoberman

J. Hoberman reviewed movies for thirty-three years at the Village Voice. His many books include Film After Film, or What Became of 21st Century Cinema?

21 Results

General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait: A Tyrant for Our Times

By J. Hoberman

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Rififi: A Global Caper
Rififi: A Global Caper

Jules Dassin’s atmospheric, genre-defining heist thriller combines American virtuosity with French cool.

By J. Hoberman

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The Organizer: Description of a Struggle
The Organizer: Description of a Struggle

An unverifiable, if heartfelt, assertion: For the quarter century between 1945 and 1970 (or from Rome Open City to Fellini Satyricon), the world’s greatest popular cinema was produced in Italy—a realm of glamorous superstars, sensational comedian…

By J. Hoberman

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Godzilla: Poetry After the A-Bomb
Godzilla: Poetry After the A-Bomb

From the scary thuds and mysterious roars that accompany the no-frills titles to the bizarrely poignant final image of the monster, alone at the bottom of the ocean, Ishiro Honda’s 1954 Godzilla is all business and pure dream. Amid a flurry of urge…

By J. Hoberman

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Kiss Me Deadly: The Thriller of Tomorrow
Kiss Me Deadly: The Thriller of Tomorrow

Genres collide in the great Hollywood movies of the mid­fifties cold-war thaw. With the truce in Korea and the red scare on the wane, ambitious directors seemed freer to mix and match and even ponder the new situation. The western goes south in The …

By J. Hoberman

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:
A Pint of Raw Ether and Three Reels of Film

Hunter S. Thompson’s journalistic prose poem Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas used a lost weekend in Las Vegas as a metaphor for America’s season in hell. Dispatched by a national magazine to cover a cross-country motorcycle race, Thompson filed a …

By J. Hoberman


One Big Real Place: BBS From Head to Hearts
One Big Real Place: BBS From Head to Hearts

“What we need are good old American—and that’s not to be confused with European—Art Films.” So declared the then twenty-nine-year-old beatnik Method actor Dennis Hopper in an unpublished 1965 manifesto. “The whole damn country’s one …

By J. Hoberman

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Made in U.S.A: The Long Goodbye

Made in 1966 (so quickly that it could almost be considered an improvisation), Jean-Luc Godard’s twelfth feature, Made in U.S.A, is arguably the most quintessentially “Godardian” of the filmmaker’s great Breathless to Weekend period (1960–6…

By J. Hoberman


Downtown With Jeanne Dielman

Conventional wisdom once held that any European film worth seeing passed through the New York Film Festival. Still, when I first began reviewing movies for the Village Voice in the late seventies, there were some legendary exceptions: Tarkovsky’s T…

By J. Hoberman


White Dog: Sam Fuller Unmuzzled

No stranger to controversy, Sam Fuller was investigated by the FBI in late 1950, when The Steel Helmet—a priori sensational as the first Korean War film—was attacked as unpatriotic by the Hearst press (and as criminal by the Daily Worker). His fi…

By J. Hoberman


Paradise Regained

It came from nowhere, it’s always been here—or so Stranger Than Paradise might seem. Jim Jarmusch had completed his first feature, Permanent Vacation, in 1980 and spent the next four years working on his second. Screened a few times as a fragmen…

By J. Hoberman


Opening Pandora’s Box

As a filmmaker, G. W. Pabst was attracted to issues and partial to naturalism. Starting with his 1923 fable The Treasure, this most cosmopolitan and protean of Weimar filmmakers produced a series of socially conscious and sexually frank silent movies…

By J. Hoberman


Welles Amazed: The Lives of Mr. Arkadin

Another movie, another cause célèbre: Orson Welles’s Mr. Arkadin has been dismissed as a disaster and hailed as a masterpiece. In 1958, Cahiers du cinéma declared it one of the twelve greatest films ever made—unaware that its intricate series …

By J. Hoberman


Tout va bien Revisited

The first, fantastically inventive stage of Jean-Luc Godard’s career ended with the flaming apocalypse of Weekend (1967) and the events of May ’68, in which he participated both as a demonstrator and (anonymous) filmmaker. Over the next five year…

By J. Hoberman


A Woman Is a Woman

Nouvelle vague euphoria was at its height when Jean-Luc Godard made his enormously clever third feature, A Woman Is a Woman (1961). This big-budget, widescreen extravaganza appeared as the payoff for the unexpected success of Breathless (1959) and th…

By J. Hoberman


The Pornographers

The kind of aesthete who could fashion a religion out of the old National Enquirer, Shohei Imamura has a passion for everything that’s kinky, lowlife, or irrational in Japanese culture. He populates his films with murderers, hillbillies, shamans, a…

By J. Hoberman


The Firemen’s Ball

The last, best, and funniest movie Milos Forman would make in his native Czechoslovakia, The Firemen’s Ball is a deceptively simple miniature. This 73-minute movie, its premise scarcely more than an anecdote, finds an entire universe in the benefit…

By J. Hoberman


Alexander Nevsky

By J. Hoberman

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Ivan the Terrible, Parts I and II

A majestic synthesis of disparate forms, Sergei Eisenstein’s final film seems to be as much a ballet or an opera or a moving painting (or a mutant kabuki show) as it is a movie. As elaborately scored by the distinguished composer Sergei Prokofiev, …

By J. Hoberman


Andrei Rublev

By J. Hoberman

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Crash

Erotic and antierotic, Crash the movie begins boldly enough with a vacantly lissome blonde (Deborah Kara Unger) dreamily opening her blouse to press a bare nipple against the enameled surface of an airplane fuselage before allowing a total stranger t…

By J. Hoberman