American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
* 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.
Molly Haskell speaks with Matt Zoller Seitz about "From Reverence to Rape," "Love and Other Infectious Diseases," "Steven Spielberg: A Life in Films" and more.
An in-depth preview of the films, including rarities and restorations, playing in the Noir City: Chicago 8 program at the Music Box Theatre.
Why Viggo Mortensen is off the grid; How Netflix became Hollywood's frenemy; Ted Kotcheff on "First Blood"; Insomnia and philosophy; Bruce Dern at 80.
How the female co-stars of Arnold Schwarzenegger's hit films of the '80s helped change the genre.
A preview of Noir City 7, starting this weekend in Chicago.
The movie questionnaire and 2015 reviews of RogerEbert.com film critic Odie Henderson.
The movie questionnaire and 2015 reviews of RogerEbert.com film critic Sheila O'Malley.
An FFC on recent comments by Michael Eisner.
Sheila writes: John Lennon kept a sketchbook throughout his life, filled with little drawings and doodles, and in 1986 Yoko Ono commissioned Oscar-winning animator John Canemaker to make them into a short film. The short film, "The John Lennon Sketchbook" hit Youtube officially on May 15 of this year. The images are accompanied by audio recordings of John and Yoko talking about their relationship, bantering and joking. It's lovely. You can watch the film below.
Sheila writes: Roger Ebert included Orson Welles' 1965 "Chimes at Midnight" in his Great Movies series, writing, in 2006, "It dropped so completely out of sight that there is no video version in America, Britain or France. Preparing to attend the epic production of both parts of Shakespeare's "Henry IV" at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, I wanted to see it again and found it available on DVD from Spain and Brazil. Both versions carry the original English-language soundtrack; the Brazilian disc is clear enough and a thing of beauty. What luck that Welles shot in black-and-white, so there was no color to fade."
Sheila writes: Sundance 2015 just finished and Rogerebert.com contributors were there. They sent in dispatches, and reviews, and interviews with festival participants and it was embarrassment of riches! You can check out the full list of Sundance content here. So many films to look forward to!
Nell Minow responds to our Movie Love Questionnaire.
Writer Dan Callahan responds to our Movie Love Questionnaire.
Nell Minow considers the special place of Barbara Stanwyck among Hollywood's Leading Ladies.
This week we'll be featuring the work of the women who write for RogerEbert.com.
Writer Michał Oleszczyk responds to our Movie Love Questionnaire.
Sheila writes: We're all familiar with the horror movie cliche: someone (usually a woman) is alone, creeped out, and investigating a sound she finds ominous. Naturally, it turns out to be just a cat, but that cat can give a pretty good scare. Thankfully, we now have "Supercut: It's Just a Cat" to get our feline scare-fix all in one place.
One detail of a film—say, the anklet worn by Barbara Stanwyck in "Double Indemnity"—can tell us more than you might think.
Writer Sheila O'Malley responds to our Movie Love Questionnaire.
Writer Odie Henderson responds to our Movie Love Questionnaire.
What happens when actors play themselves? Something funny, and often magical, as this Leigh Singer supercut proves. Text by Matt Zoller Seitz.
Marie writes: It's a long story and it starts with a now famous video of a meteor exploding over Chelyabinsk, Russia. Followed by alien conspiracies fueled by the internet and which led me to investigate further. Where did it come from? Does anyone know..? Yes! According to The NewScientist, the rock came from the Apollo family of near-Earth asteroids, which follow an elongated orbit that occasionally crosses Earth's path.That in turn led me to yet another site and where I learned a team of scientists had discovered two moons around Pluto, and asked the public to vote on potential names. They also accepted write-in votes as long as they were taken from Greek and Roman mythology and related to Hades and the underworld - keeping to the theme used to name Pluto's three other moons. And how I eventually learned "Vulcan" has won Pluto's moon-naming poll! and thanks to actor William Shatner who suggested it. Behold Vulcan: a little dot inside a green circle and formally known as P5.
"A Letter to Three Wives" (1949) is a terrific triplicate of a melodrama. It won Joe L. Mankiewicz Academy Awards for writing and directing one year before he gave the audiences one bumpy ride in "All About Eve" by suggesting that - at least when it comes to love, sex and ambition - fastening one's seat belts is for sissies only. The earlier film is tamer than "Eve"'s non-stop repartee-fest, and its focus is not as pointed. Still, it remains one of my favorite movies ever made: not only for all its brilliant rejoinders (of which Thelma Ritter gets to utter the most hilarious), but for its portrayal of what it means to be anxious about one's relationship and then to receive reassurance from the person we love. It's a story of three women envisioning the end of their marriages in the morning and feeling them strengthened by the end of the day. It goes down like an anxiety-glazed donut with a filling of hope.
April 5 would have been Bette Davis's 104th birthday. I was reminded of this interview I did with her in 1988, which appeared on my CinePad website 10 years later:
When my former Seattle Times editor called me, a few months after I'd moved to Los Angeles, to say he wanted me to interview Bette Davis, I wasn't as thrilled as I probably should have been. I realized it was a rare opportunity -- she was giving only three interviews to promote the paperback version of her book about recovering from her stroke -- but Bette Davis had never been my glass of lemonade.
I just never really got the whole Bette-Davis-As-Icon thing. To me, she was a movie star, a part of Hollywood history (I admired the way she took on the studio bosses when they -- and she -- were at the peak of their powers), but with the exception of All About Eve (where she really used her movie-star mega-wattage as part of the role), I hadn't regarded her as a great actress. I mean, she was no Barbara Stanwyck, who was equally adept as a screwball comedienne, a tragic heroine, or a femme fatale.
But of course, I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to interview a screen legend; there just weren't that many of them left. I remember thinking it was kind of funny and appropriate that she was living on the outskirts of West Hollywood (in the Century House on Havenhurst), mecca to the gay men who really worshipped her. But why did they? Was she just a camp figurehead because her brittle, melodramatic style of acting hadn't aged well? Or was it that she was Larger Than Life, a tough broad who had survived? Probably some of both...
Well, I'll say this: She sure knew how to be Bette Davis. She was cantankerous and flamboyant, but I also thought there was an undercurrent of playfulness to her behavior. Not that I thought she was "performing," or putting on a Bette Davis Act; I think she was probably like this most of the time. But I also think she rose to the occasion, somewhat, because she liked the attention, and liked the feeling that she was communicating -- albeit through me -- to her public.
It was a stellar afternoon...