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Rosenbaum's Admirers

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Why I subscribe: Because Jonathan Rosenbaum is your film critic, and although Jean-Luc Godard may have been overstating it somewhat when he compared him favorably to James Agee, Rosenbaum is, nonetheless, one of the most learned and valuable film critics--one of the very few--now at work in this country. My proof: His tied choices for 2001's best film, A.I. and Waking Life [January 4]. The former is, indeed, provocative and challenging, which is to say it makes you think--which may explain its utter failure at the box office (to see it a second time, I had to chase it down at a $1.50 house). People by and large don't go to movies to think. Heaven forbid! The same might be said about the Linklater film: My feeling was, this film is so thought provoking that any caring theater manager showing it should schedule an encounter group after each screening! I'm glad to also read that Rosenbaum was actually moved to tears by A.I., although I must say I think the scenarists missed something in their definition of the term "a single day": If you recall your Inherit the Wind text, a "day" by that time could be something more than merely 24 hours! Or would this rob the finale of its magic? Anyway, given all this, I guess I'll have to take another look at Mulholland Drive.

Dan Bates

Lancaster, Texas

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