Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
A remarkable tale of immigrant success, wrapped around a crime story.
* 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.
Roger Ebert on kindness; Gerald Levin defends John Lewis; Bush sisters write to the Obama girls; Harriet Tubman strides onto TV; Nina Turner on the audacity of hope.
I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting. My lifetime's memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.
An excerpt from the March 2016 issue of Bright Wall/Dark Room about Miller's Crossing.
A critic at a performance is like a eunuch at a harem. He sees it done nightly, but is unable to perform it himself. --Brendan Behan
A lot of people don't know what "critic" means. They think it means, "a person who criticizes." They don't like people who do that. It seems an impotent profession. Critics are nasty, jealous, jaded and bitter. They think it's all about them. They're know-it-alls. They want to appear superior to everyone else. They're impossible to please. They don't understand the tastes of ordinary people. They love to tear down other people's hard work. Those who can do it, do it. Those who can't do it, criticize. What gives them the right to have an opinion? We'd be better off without them.
Criticism is a destructive activity. If I like something and the critics didn't, they can't see what's right there before their eyes because they're in love with some theory. They don't have feelings; they have systems. They think they know better than creators. They praise what they would have done, instead of what an artist has done. They use foreign words to show off. They're terrified of being exposed as the empty poseurs they are. They are leeches on the skin of art.
Q. Why is "Independence Day" such a hit? Is it just a result of media hype (covers of Time and Newsweek, etc.)? Although I contributed to the opening weekend receipts, I wasn't all that impressed. The effects weren't that impressive and the story was predictable, although I did like Jeff Goldbloom and Will Smith. As far as alien action movies, this one doesn't touch my fave, "Aliens." (Laurie Sullivan, San Francisco)
LOS ANGELES -- Down here in the bad part of town, a man named Big Ed runs a bar named Big Ed's, which pretty much sums up the way he sees things. A lot of the regulars live upstairs in low-rent rooms, and come downstairs to drink when the bar is open. When the bar is closed, they go upstairs and wait for it to open again.
Vincent Canby of the New York Times selected "Four Friends" as one of the year's 10 best films. In the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, it was described as "an amazingly bad movie." It has been elsewhere praised as a masterpiece and damned as cornball dreck, and somewhere in the middle of all this commotion there resides, I believe, a small film treasure that is about as good as this sort of film can be.
"You see the way his teeth are kind of hooked over his lower lip?" Hywel Bennett asked. "No, make it like this." He hooked his teeth over his lower lip. "Now sort of curl your upper lip," he said, "and...get it? And I'll lay you a quid that's exactly what Brendan Behan was saying to the photographer at the moment the picture was taken!"
The first thing that happened to Stanley Kramer after he walked through the door of the Old Town Saloon was that a young lady said: "You Stanley Kramer? I hated your movie."