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…
* 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.
• Bill Stamets and Roger Ebert
The 46th Chicago International Film Festival will play this year at one central location, on the many screens of the AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois. A festivalgoers and filmmakers' lounge will be open during festival hours at the Lucky Strike on the second level. Tickets can be ordered online at CIFF's website, which also organizes the films by title, director and country. Tickets also at AMC; sold out films have Rush Lines. More capsules will be added here.
The days dwindle down to a precious few. At 6 p.m.on Friday, Cannes is oddly silent. The tumult on the streets a week ago today is forgotten. There are empty seats at some screenings. The locals of Cannes know this is the time to stand in the ticket lines. The daily editions of Varsity and Hollywood Reporter ceased Thursday. Friends are in Paris, or London, or home. Some few diehards stay for the award ceremony Sunday night.
Fifty years ago, the Palme d'Or winner at Cannes was Fellini's "La Dolce Vita." More every year I realize that it was the film of my lifetime. But indulge me while I list some more titles.
The other entries in the official competition included "Ballad of a Soldier," by Grigori Chukhrai; "Lady with a Dog," by Iosif Kheifits; "Home from the Hill," by Vincente Minnelli; "The Virgin Spring," by Ingmar Bergman;" "Kagi," by Kon Ichikawa; "L'Avventura," by Michelangelo Antonioni; "Le Trou," by Jacques Becker; "Never on Sunday," by Jules Dassin; "Sons and Lovers," by Jack Cardiff; "The Savage Innocents," by Nicholas Ray, and "The Young One," by Luis Bunuel.
And many more. But I am not here at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival to mourn the present and praise the past.
I made a mistake this week. I followed a link from a discussion among reputable movie critics to a showbiz gossip blog that I usually find too sleazy to visit. There I once again found all manner of bilious items that creeped me out and reminded me why I shouldn't go there. One of them insulted a late, internationally renowned film critic for choosing, on his deathbed, a Howard Hawks western as his favorite movie over another title the gossip prefers. (No doubt the latter feels entitled to express an opinion about what your last meal should be, too.) Another post included the observation that Vince Vaughn "needs to lose 30 pounds. He appeared to be at the tipping point during the 'Couples Retreat' press junket."
View image A world traveler for whom geography means nothing.
My review of "Jumpers," the new movie from director Doug Liman ("Swingers," "Go," "The Bourne Supremacy," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith"), is at RogerEbert.com. Here's an excerpt: In a world gone horribly wrong, where actions have no consequences, where all of humanity has become unaccountably oblivious to blatant violations of the time-space continuum, where rules exist not to be broken but to be disregarded, where continuity is irrelevant... anything is possible!
There you have the premise for Doug Liman's "Jumper: The Prequel," a movie so silly you may find yourself giggling helplessly even as you wish you could magically transport yourself almost anywhere else in the world but where you are, in front of the screen showing it.
And here's an interesting take on the movie from an entirely different angle by James Hannaham at Salon, who wonders what kind of signals "Jumper" sends to the rest of the world about Americans: In a twisted fashion, when films like "Jumper" go abroad, the outside world often responds in a counterintuitive way -- and sometimes this can be devastating. I am not the first critic to suggest that the disaster films of the '90s helped to inspire the terrorist plots of the early 21st century....
PARK CITY, Utah How long has it been since I saw a film that was really scary, instead of just going through the motions of scary? Most horror films are merely exercises in ritualized surprise, but a low-budget film titled "The Blair Witch Project" shook up Sundance Film Festival audiences with its gathering sense of menace.