Rosenbaum to retire for some creative loafing of his own
Everyone's a critic, but serious film lovers like Jonathan Rosenbaum are few and far between. We may disagree with him passionately about individual films (we have) but we'd never question his devotion to the medium. Rosenbaum's in-depth—sometimes epic—reviews have been a staple at the Reader for years.
But all that changes on February 27, when Rosenbaum turns 65. He has decided to retire from the Reader (he'll be saying so in print in his 2007 year-end best list). This is not, contrary to your first assumption, one more sign of new Reader owners Creative Loafing trimming the budget. In fact, Rosenbaum tells us that his new bosses at Creative Loafing will be setting him up with a website of his own so that even in "retirement" his writings on film will continue to be part of their franchise. He's not the sort to lounge on a beach, so expect a lot more thoughts on film from JR.
Shrewd move on their part: People have passionate opinions about Rosenbaum, and for every person who finds him an impenetrable elitist with obscurantist tastes, there's another who says Rosenbaum turned them on to serious thinking about film. Last weekend I spent a good hour at a holiday party talking to a film buff who couldn't stop talking about how Rosenbaum opened his eyes to film. (Yeah, it's an occupational hazard: I get cornered at a lot of parties to talk about film). That happens all the time. Love him or hate him, Rosenbaum has been (and, knowing his immense output of words, will continue to be) a figure for film fanatics.