Film After Film: (Or, What Became of 21st Century Cinema?)

"Perceptive, lively, and packed with verbal fireworks.” – The Independent
One of the world's most erudite and entertaining film critics on the state of cinema in the post-digital—and post-9/11—age. This witty and allusive book, in the style of classic film theorists/critics like André Bazin and Siegfried Kracauer, includes considerations of global cinema's most important figures and films, from Lars von Trier and Jia Zhangke to WALL-E, Avatar and Inception.


  • “[Hoberman's] criticism is perceptive, lively, and packed with verbal fireworks.”
  • “Hoberman’s prose shines without qualification, and the selections remind us that his tenure at the Voice was, simply put, one of the greatest ever by an American film critic.”
  • “Spirited, thought-provoking and popping with fresh perspectives.”
  • “Film After Film does what Hoberman does best: use movies and movie culture as a prism for understanding political events—and vice versa.”
  • “[A] fresh, bold, witty and authoritative book”


  • J. Hoberman's 21 Films of the 21st Century

    Is it possible to speak of a twenty-first century cinema barely a decade into the millennium? Acclaimed film critic J. Hoberman’s new book, Film After Film, is a timely and provocative collection of writings that chronicle how the advent of digital technology has led to the displacement of the medium of film—and the very relationship between movies and reality. This sea change in filmmaking also spanned the 2000 American presidential election and the trauma of 9/11, events that reshaped world politics and left an indelible imprint on the emerging aesthetic of the new century’s cinema. 

    In his book, Hoberman presents considerations of the defining movies of the twenty-first century. GoWatchIt—a new platform and social network that allows users to track where they can watch movies online and share their picks with other users—has assembled a channel where viewers can browse and watch Hoberman's 21 selections.

    View Hoberman's list below, or skip right to the channel to watch online:

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  • Trapped in the total cinema: J. Hoberman on the end of film

    "It's not so much that we're taking the issue of verisimilitude or truth to another level, it's that the historical base of motion pictures has shifted. They're closer to animation than documentary, with this change." - J. Hoberman, author of Film After Film: (Or, What Became of 21st Century Cinema?)

    In the last decade, film's capacity to provide an immersive experience has increased dramatically, from 3-D glasses to progressively uncanny CGI representations of humanoid creatures. While the 3-D box office boom and its subsequent falloff remain the subject of some debate, two of the three highest grossing films of all time were rendered using the relatively new technology. What might this mean, asks J. Hoberman, for the medium or film, and for the increasingly imbricated relationship between art and reality?

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  • AV Club lauds Film After Film

    A new glowing review of J. Hoberman's recently published Film After Film at the AV Club grades the book an "A," praising Hoberman's analysis of the transformations undergone by cinema barely a decade into the new millennium:

    Hoberman is tremendously insightful as he integrates his concerns with cinema’s political, historical, and aesthetic past and his visions of its future. For cinephiles of any stripe, it’s a rare book. He soundly articulates the ideological transformations, digital facelifts, and aesthetic insurrections that have tugged at cinema since the turn of the millennium—ones that have made the medium seem simultaneously stagnant and livelier than ever. 

    Visit the AV Club to read the review in full.