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Efficient, nasty action scenes can't overcome mostly bland characterizations and a half-baked story.

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"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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"Life Itself" filmmakers host Roger's friends and colleagues in live Twitter chats

#EbertChat

Donate to the Indiegogo campaign to complete the documentary "Life Itself" here.

The filmmakers behind "Life Itself," the new documentary about Roger Ebert's life and legacy, have organized a series of guest hosts of their Twitter account: @EbertMovie. The guest hosts will be sharing their own remembrances and anecdotes about Roger Ebert, discussing their favorite reviews, and taking your questions about the film world, your hopes for the documentary, and anything else you like.

First up is film critic Matt Singer. Later guest hosts will include our Editor-in-Chief, Matt Zoller Seitz, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Scott Jordan Harris, Pablo Villaça, Michael Mirasol, and "Life Itself" director Steve James, in his Twitter debut! More names will be added soon, and you can see the full schedule of their guest hosting of @EbertMovie below.

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Ask them questions by posting to Twitter with the hashtag #Ebertchat, or just follow that hashtag to read the conversation. And be a part of the making of this film by making a contribution here.

Here is an overview of the first #Ebertchat with Matt Singer:

When: Saturday, December 14 from 5 PM ET (3 PM PT). If you can’t make it, you can send in your questions ahead of time using the hashtag ##Ebertchat or in a comment below.

How: To submit a question, send a tweet with the hashtag #Ebertchat from a Twitter account, or leave a comment below if you don’t have an account, or email lifeitself@kartemquin.com. To follow the conversation, search the hashtag #Ebertchat or @ebertmovie on Twitter. We'll also post an archive of the conversations here later.

Submit a question to any of the guest hosts now: http://twitter.com/home?status=%23ebertchat

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Upcoming #Ebertchat guest hosts.

12/14: 5pm ET - Matt Singer - @mattsinger

Times TBA

Matt Zoller Seitz - @mattzollerseitz

Michael Mirasol - @flipcritic

Scott Jordan Harris - @scottfilmcritic

Pablo Villaça - @PabloVillaca

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky - @Vishnevetsky

LIFE ITSELF director Steve James (in his Twitter debut).

And more to be announced! See you at the #Ebertchat.


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