It’s as much fun as you’re going to have in a movie theater this year.
* 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.
An interview with Azazel Jacobs, writer/director of "The Lovers."
A preview of the 5th Chicago Critics Film Festival, which runs from May 12-18 at the Music Box Theater.
25 films we can't wait to check out during the summer movie season.
Alison Brie, Dave Franco, Kate Micucci and Molly Shannon talk about their new movie, the 14th century convent sex comedy "The Little Hours."
A review of two opening night films from Sundance 2017.
Premieres, Midnights, Special Events and more have been announced for next month's Sundance Film Festival.
The latest and greatest on Blu-ray, including Popstar, Neighbors 2, Captain America: Civil War, Blood Simple, Cat People and many more.
A preview of the upcoming 2016 Chicago French Film Festival, which runs July 22 - 28 at the Music Box Theater.
Depressing and fun. Not a combination you encounter every day.
A preview of dozens of films coming out this summer.
Karyn Kusama is not going away; Why music biopics fall flat; Pupinia Stewart is stealing my sanity; Interactive storytelling reshaping cinema; Price of "Girlfriend Experience" too high.
An extensive look at titles playing the 19th Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival, which is running at the Chicago's Gene Siskel Center from March 4 - 31.
An interview with actor/co-writer Gregg Turkington about "Entertainment."
A CIFF report on "Entertainment."
A review of the three biggest Cannes winners now playing at TIFF: Son of Saul, Dheepan and The Lobster.
An overview of the films that will be theatrically released in the 2015 fall season.
The pink ghetto of social media; Phil Joanou on Ennio Morricone; "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Do the Right Thing"; Memories of "Quick Change"; The Judy Greer effect.
The tragedy of the American military; Why Idris Elba can't play James Bond; Robert Elswit's two sides of L.A.; "Into the Woods": stage versus screen; "Selma" reignites L.B.J. controversy.
An oral history of "Boogie Nights"; Douglas Trumbull's latest project; Reassessing "Zero Dark Thirty"; Five great foreign titles from 2014; Paul Thomas Anderson on "Inherent Vice."
Our most anticipated films of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
I apologize for the lack of postings the last few weeks. A recent flare-up of heart problems left me with little energy to write. But as the emaciated old man in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" says: "I'm feeling much better!"
At one point well into Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" I thought that the movie was going to reveal itself as a story about the meaninglessness of human existence. But that notion was based on a single piece of aphoristic, potential-thesis-statement dialog that, like much else, wasn't developed in the rest of the movie. Which is not to say that "The Master" isn't about the meaninglessness of human life. The line, spoken by Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the cult guru known to his acolytes as Master, is addressed to the younger man he considers his "protégé," a dissolute mentally ill drifter named Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), and the gist of it is that the itinerant Freddie has as much to show for his life as somebody who has worked a regular 9-to-5 job for many years. The point being, I suppose, that for all Freddie's adventures, peculiarities and failures, he isn't all that much different from anybody else. Except, maybe, he's more effed-up.
Marie writes: Intrepid club member Sandy Kahn came upon the following recipe and wisely showed it to me, so that I might share it in turn with all of you. Behold the morning chocolate cookie - a healthy breakfast treat loaded with good stuff; like fiber and imported French chocolate.
Marie writes: Next door, across a long narrow drive and beyond the row of cedar hedges which run parallel to it, there resides an elementary school dating back to 1965, along with an assortment of newer playground equipment rendered in bright, solid primary colors...I'm sure you know the sort I mean...
Something nice happened to us while we were preparing the schedule for Ebertfest 2012, which plays April 25-29 at the Virginia Theater (above) in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. We'd invited Patton Oswalt to attend with his "Big Fan. He agreed and went one additional step: "I'd like to personally choose a film to show to the students, and discuss it."
"Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" is available for streaming/download on iTunes, Amazon Instant, Vudu and YouTube. In theaters March 2.
"Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" is a lot like "Tim and Eric's Awesome Show, Great Job!." They're both experimental video art posing as sketch comedy. In them you can see DNA from Ernie Kovacs, John Waters, the Kuchar brothers, Robert Downey, Sr., Tom Rubnitz, early Beck music videos, Damon Packard, Aqua Teen Hunger Force (and every other Adult Swim psychotic episode) and Harmony Korine, to name just a random few. But it's likely that actor-writer-directors Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim took inspiration from none of these freaks.
The duo's work seems to flow directly from three sources: Bad corporate promotional and instructional videos, absurd local TV programming and assaultive blockbuster films. Their collages of chopped-and-screwed sounds with spastic motion graphics and sloppy green screen don't seem much different (in effect, if not production values) from what's on cable any given Sunday. It's just that they put unattractive, demented-seeming people in front of the green screen instead of the usual telegenic emoters. They spout nonsense where platitudes and corporate messages usually go. When celebrities appear on the show, they flub and stutter like robot hologram versions of themselves. It's as if the show's editor was a spam bot.
Whether any of it is funny is almost beside the point. The creeping surrealism often takes away your ability to blink, especially, I suspect, when, like me, you have no history with the show.