J. Hoberman

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J. Hoberman
J. Hoberman in 2012
J. Hoberman in 2012
BornJames Lewis Hoberman
(1949-03-14) March 14, 1949 (age 71)
New York City, New York, United States[1]
Pen nameJ. Hoberman
OccupationFilm critic, journalist, author
SubjectFilm, journalism

James Lewis Hoberman (born March 14, 1949),[2][3] known as J. Hoberman, is an American film critic, journalist,[4] author and academic. He began working at The Village Voice in the 1970s, became a full-time staff writer in 1983, and was the newspaper's senior film critic from 1988 to 2012.[5]


Hoberman completed his B.A. at Binghamton University and his M.F.A. at Columbia University. At Binghamton, prominent experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs both instructed and influenced him.[6]


After completing his MFA Hoberman worked for The Village Voice as under Andrew Sarris. Hoberman specialized in writing about experimental film for the weekly paper: his first published review (in 1977) was of David Lynch's seminal debut film Eraserhead. In the mid-1970s, Hoberman contributed text articles to the underground comix anthology Arcade, edited by Art Spiegelman and Bill Griffith.[7] From 2009 until January 4, 2012, Hoberman was the senior film editor at the Village Voice, where he was also an active leader in the staff union.[citation needed]

Since 1990, Hoberman has taught cinema history at Cooper Union. He has also lectured on film at Harvard, and at New York University. In addition to his academic and professional career, Hoberman is the author of several important books on cinema, including a collaboration with fellow film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, entitled Midnight Movies, published in 1983.

At the 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival, Hoberman was honored with the prestigious Mel Novikoff Award, an annual award "bestowed on an individual or institution whose work has enhanced the filmgoing public’s knowledge and appreciation of world cinema."[8] Hoberman appears in the 2009 documentary film For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism, recalling his first movie memory, going with his mother to see Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show On Earth (1952), and how he was mesmerized by a scene in that film that depicts a train crash.

In January 2012, the Village Voice laid off Hoberman in a move to cut costs. Hoberman said, "I have no regrets and whatever sadness I feel is outweighed by a sense of gratitude. Thirty-three years is a long time to be able to do something that you love to do, to champion things you want to champion, and to even get paid for it."[5]

Following his tenure at the Village Voice, Hoberman has contributed articles to other publications, including The Guardian[9] and The New York Review of Books. He also contributes regularly to Film Comment, The New York Times, and The Virginia Quarterly Review.[10]

Hoberman participated in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll, where he listed his ten favorite films as follows: Au Hasard Balthazar, Flaming Creatures, The Girl from Chicago, Man with a Movie Camera, Pather Panchali, The Rules of the Game, Rose Hobart, Shoah, Two or Three Things I Know About Her..., and Vertigo.[11]

Partial bibliography[edit]

As author[edit]

  • Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan. The New Press, New York, 2019.
  • Film After Film: (Or, What Became of 21st Century Cinema?). Verso, Brooklyn, New York, 2012.
  • An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War. The New Press, New York, 2011.
  • The Magic Hour: Film at Fin de Siècle. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 2003.
  • The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties. The New Press, New York, 2003.
  • On Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures:(and Other Secret-flix of Cinemaroc). Granary Books/Hips Road, 2001.
  • The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1999.
  • 42nd Street. BFI Publishing, London, 1993.
  • Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds. New York: The Museum of Modern Art/Schocken Books, 1992.
  • Vulgar Modernism: Writing on Film and Other Media. Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1991.
  • Dennis Hopper: From Method to Madness. Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1988.
  • Home Made Movies: Twenty Years of American 8Mm & Super-8 Films. Anthology Film Archives, New York, 1981.

As co-author[edit]


  1. ^ Nyfcc.com Archived 2008-12-11 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF).
  3. ^ "Jim Hoberman's Oral History". Yiddish Book Center. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  4. ^ "J. Hoberman departs the Village Voice". Washington Post. January 5, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Shaw, Lucas (January 5, 2012). "Fired Village Voice Movie Critic J. Hoberman Pens His Farewell Note". reuters.com. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
  6. ^ Pipe Dream
  7. ^ Arcade entry], Grand Comics Database. Accessed Oct. 22, 2016..
  8. ^ "53rd San Francisco International Film Festival, the Best 15 Days of the Year for Film Lovers and Party Goers". San Francisco Film Society. 2010-03-30. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
  9. ^ Hoberman, J (February 22, 2012). "J Hoberman". The Guardian. London.
  10. ^ Nybooks.com
  11. ^ [1]

External links[edit]