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A Letter to Momo

Even scenes that work, such as a climax on a rain-soaked bridge, feel like they could have been trimmed by a few hand-drawn frames. Maybe…

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Cannibal

Visually striking and confident but frustratingly hollow in terms of character and narrative.

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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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Bill Forsyth: "Great"-ness

View image David Bordwell and Bill Forsyth on an Ebertfest panel. (photy by Thompson McClellan)

My Ebertfest has already been made for me because I spoke to Bill Forsyth yesterday and, at one point, he said "Great." This is major -- particularly for a guy who, with his friends, went around saying "Great" in Gordon John Sinclair's Scottish accent from "Gregory's Girl" for years. It's a well-known fact. Bella, bella.

In honor of tomorrow's Ebertfest screening I went back and dug up my original 1987 review of Forsyth's "Housekeeping" -- which was the #1 film on my Ten Best list that year (along with such films as John Huston's "The Dead," Tim Hunter's "River's Edge," Alain Cavalier's "Therese" and John Boorman's "Hope and Glory"): Ruthie (Sara Walker) and Lucille (Andrea Burchill) are skating on thin ice. The orphaned sisters, now going through a gawky teen-age phase, spin silently in circles on the frozen surface of Fingerbone Lake. In the distance, a cluster of laughing children and barking dogs play rambunctiously, but Ruthie and Lucille keep to themselves. They don't like the noise.

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Bill Forsyth: "Great"-ness

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My Ebertfest has already been made for me because I spoke to Bill Forsyth yesterday and, at one point, he said "Great." This is major — particularly for a guy who, with his friends, went around saying "Great" in Gordon John Sinclair's Scottish accent from "Gregory's Girl" for years. It's a well-known fact. Bella, bella

Continue reading →