Film After Film is divided into three sections: an overview of trends in cinema (cultural, technological and attitudinal) since the turn of the century/millenium, a year-by-year recap of the presidency of George W Bush filtered through cinema, and a series of essays on what Hoberman sees as key films of the last decade or so. Some of these are arthouse oddities, some technical marvels (Alexander Sokurov's one-take digital film Russian Ark), some key recent films from auteurs, some case studies on aspects of the digital and interconnected world (Joel Swanberg's LOL, Mamoru Oshii's Avalon). One of them isn't a film at all, but the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games opening ceremony
Perhaps necessarily, the book's both a personal statement and something of a patchwork. You won't agree with everything Hoberman says. Both of these are part of the point. However, Hoberman's analyses of the shift to digital and its impacts on what constitutes cinema and of the cultural repercussions of the events of 9/11 are powerful and have convincing elements.
A necessary book for anyone interested in serious moviemaking, and the startpoint for both debate and for catching up on movies you either haven't got to yet (Richard Kelly's Southland Tales for me) or that you might have slept through (I dozed off in the middle of a repertory theatre screening of Oshii's Avalon back in the early 2000s). Recommended.
Hoberman, J (2012) Film After Film, or What Became of 21st Century Cinema? (London: Verso Books), 294 pages, 978-1781681435