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Transcendence

"Transcendence" is a serious science fiction movie filled with big ideas and powerful images, but it never quite coheres, and the end is a copout.

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Ballad of Narayama

"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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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

A letter from Chaz

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• Chaz Ebert at Cannes

Dear Roger: "We were once indivisible from every atom in the cosmos," and that is how I feel when I am sitting in the Palais watching movies at Cannes with a screen spread out as wide as the galaxy, the audience circling around like protons and neutrons breathing as one in empathy.

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Beautiful people staring at each other

May Contain Spoilers

Sometimes, I just want to stare at beautiful people, even if they spend most of the movie just staring at each other. I think it's in the eyes, especially when the eyes are smiling. Sometimes, I just want to sigh, watching them longing for each other. Ashutosh Gowariker's 2008 film, "Jodhaa Akbar" let me do so, for three hours.

This Indian film is an unabashed epic that targets that greatest of all Indian epics, K. Asif's 1960 film, "Mughal-e-Azam" ("The Greatest of Mughals"). It is a prequel of sorts: "Jodhaa Akbar" tells us the story of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and his wife Jodhaa; "Mughal-e-Azam" is about their son, Jehangir. Like any other man of withering virility and receded hairline, I like beautiful things and beautiful people, and "Jodhaa Akbar" is loaded with carved reddish palaces, golden decorations, and silk scarves of every color. And beautiful people.

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Oh, Bollywood! It's bigger than ever

Oh, Bollywood! The Indian film industry is definitely showing off its presence in Cannes. And why shouldn't it? After all, it is the largest entertainment industry in the world! Today I visited the Indian pavilion. A nice space but it is quite small and bare, not doing justice to the powerhouse that the Indian entertainment industry is. The pavilion does light up, however, with parties and receptions.

Left: The royal couple of Bollywood, Abhishek and Aishwariya Rai Bachchan.

Before attending the many scheduled events sponsored by the Bollywood fraternity, I began my day watching "A Proper Violence." The story of a husband and brother-in-law plotting to kill their wife and sister's rapist . I must say watching the film was like being on an emotional roller coaster, as you navigated through the suspenseful plot. I spoke with the director Chris Faulisi from Albany County, NY, who was just an intern at Cannes last year. It looks like Cannes opens up a lot of doors for youngsters who are interested in pursuing a career in cinema. I absolutely love it!

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The clamor and the glamour

Crowded with festivalgoers, Cannes is full of noise and excitement. It is everything I expected it to be. I watch as diverse groups of people fill the streets and lobbies. I look into the kaleidoscope of cultures as the sounds of at least 100 different languages fill the air.

The ordinarily drab looking Palais des Festivals comes to life amid scantily dressed starlets and flashing paparazzi bulbs. However, in the midst of the glamour, some exhibit a down-to-business attitude that I had not expected.

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Toronto #5: A memorable film season

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TORONTO – At the halfway point of the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, one thing is clear: This is the best autumn movie season in memory. One film after another has been astonishingly good. Critics gathered in the hallways after the Varsity press screenings, talking in hushed tones as if witnesses to a miracle.

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Overlooked Film Fest Photo Album

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Updated: Monday, April 25: The seventh Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival got off to a thunderous start -- both inside the theater and outside -- in Urbana-Champaign Wednesday, April 20. Ebert himself received the University of Illinois Chancellor's medal from newly chosen U of I chancellor Richard Herman, and a restored 70mm print of Jacques Tati's 1967 "Playtime" was showcased at the Virginia Theatre, while the midwestern skies provided their own shadowplay and sound effects outside. The festival concluded Sunday, April 24, with a matinee screening of the Bollywood musical "Taal" starring Aishwarya Rai.

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Nothing spoils a 'Million Dollar' movie

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Q. I read your review of "Million Dollar Baby." As a huge Clint Eastwood fan, I thought to myself I might take my children, even though they are a little young. So I consulted another critic, Movie Mom, and was quite upset when the plot was revealed. I've been robbed! Tom Brandenburger, Madison State, S.D.

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Keeping it semi-real for Oscars

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Q. The Motion Picture Academy has named the 12 finalists for the best documentary category. Two of the titles jumped off the list for me: "The Story of the Weeping Camel" and "Touching the Void." Since both of these films were fictionalized versions of their stories and employed actors to play many of the roles, how do they qualify as documentaries? Greg Nelson, Chicago

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