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Abuse of Weakness

An examination of power, greed, emotional manipulation and simple need that is gripping and powerful to behold even if you don't know the story behind…

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The Expendables 3

If you’re over 40, this is your “The Avengers.” As slavishly devoted to the old action films of Sly and company as any Marvel Universe…

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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.

Travelling with an unknown companion

* Available on Netflix Instant

The deliberate omission of a film's plot point draws intrigue, anticipation, and dread toward its eventual reveal, but in "The Loneliest Planet," director Julia Loktev's terse, quixotic drama, that secretive center should rightly be the least emphasized aspect. Its narrative indeed hinges on a gesture best left discovered (although easily imagined), but it excels instead in exploring what shifts that crucial action represents. Etching into relief the mislaid assumptions on which relationships are founded and forgotten, there is a quiet, terrifying accuracy to Loktev's work - one without fanfare or supernatural copout - that reveals itself under the guise of expressionistic travelogue into the Georgian mountains.

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#48 February 2, 2011

Take a breath and be brave. Very, very brave.... smile....Behold the "Willis Tower" in Chicago (formerly the Sears Tower) - the tallest building in North America and its famous attraction, The Skydeck.  In January 2009, the Willis Tower owners began a major renovation of the Skydeck, to include the installation of glass balconies, extending approximately four feet over Wacker Drive from the 103rd floor. The all-glass boxes allow visitors to look directly through the floor to the street 1,353 feet (412 m) below. The boxes, which can bear five short tons of weight (about 4.5 metric tons), opened to the public on July 2, 2009.

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#46 January 19, 2011

The Grand Poobah writes: Here's a behind the scenes lookinside our control room! This is where the magic happens.

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1 Julianne Moore + 1 Mark Ruffalo + 1 movie:Putting them all together

View image Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo in Fernando Meirelles' "Blindness."

To supplement the discussion below about acting on film ("Bardem, Ledger and the truth about movie acting"), here's a translated excerpt from the blog of Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles ("City of God," "The Constant Gardener") about the editing of his new film "Blindness," starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Danny Glover and Sandra Oh.

This is as concise and valuable a primer on editing and acting as I've seen anywhere.

First Meirelles explains the rough assembly, the loose draft of the film that's usually put together by the editor while the film is still shooting: "This kind of assembly is just putting all the scenes together as they were written in the script. Even if a certain scene did not work out as we planned when we shot it, it will still appear in this rough assembly. (This does not include the scenes that were embarrassing beyond all doubt; some things are better off forgotten.)"

Note that Meirelles is not saying that his actors have flat-out failed, but that certain scenes just don't work and should be tossed right away, if possible. Eventually, after whittling down an assembly of three or four hours (or more) into, say, a 160-minute cut, the challenge may become one of reducing that to around two hours: And at this stage, when you succeed in diagnosing and locating where are the exact problems in the script or its cinematic interpretation, you can... change the design of certain characters, to make the acting more precise and logical than it was in the actual filming of the movie. (That’s why the best advise I can give an actor who wants to develop his career: suck up to the editor. Bring him chocolate, or flowers – if it is a woman editor. Even expensive wine, if your acting was exceptionally weak this time).

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So many films, so little time

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I have before me a schedule of the 2007 Toronto Film Festival, which opens Thursday and runs 10 days. I have been looking at it for some time. I am paralyzed. There are so many films by important directors (not to mention important films by unknown directors), that it cannot be reduced to its highlights. The highlights alone, if run in alphabetical order, would take up all my space.

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Cannes #6: Palme d'Odds

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CANNES, France – Like any good bookie, Derek Malcolm carries his odds in his head. He revises them after every screening of a film in the official competition. Wednesday morning, the odds got a little longer for Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette,” which is tipped as a front-runner for the Palme d’Or.

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Sundance holds great promise

PARK CITY, Utah--I have just spent an hour with the 2003 program for the Sundance Film Festival, and I am churning with eagerness to get at these films. On the basis of track records, this could be the strongest Sundance in some time--and remember, last year's festival kicked off an extraordinary year for indie films.

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