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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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* 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.

#285 September 20, 2016

Matt writes: Legendary French New Wave icon Agnès Varda was honored at the third annual Ebert Tribute ceremony during this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Brian Tallerico covered the event at RogerEbert.com, while Chaz Ebert assisted in putting together a Roger Favorites entry on Varda, compiling Roger's reviews of the director's work. Roger felt that Varda's 2008 film, "The Beaches of Agnès," contained “the most poetic shot about the cinema” that he had ever seen, in which “two old fishermen, who were young when she first filmed them, watch themselves on a screen” mounted on “an old market cart that they push through the nighttime streets of their village.”

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#284 September 6, 2016

Matt writes: In his captivating 2005 memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger, Gene Wilder reflected on his experience of making Mel Brooks' 1974 comic masterpiece, "Young Frankenstein." He likened making the picture to "taking a small breath of Heaven" each day, and that is what the film feels like every time I watch it. Wilder passed away on August 29th at age 83, leaving behind a timeless legacy that was celebrated at RogerEbert.com with Peter Sobczynski's beautiful obituary. Ebert himself gave four stars to several Wilder classics, including 1971's "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," 1974's "Blazing Saddles" and of course, 1974's "Young Frankenstein," a film that earned Wilder an Oscar nomination for the screenplay he co-authored with director Mel Brooks. In his review, Roger wrote that the film "shows artistic growth and a more sure-handed control of the material by a director who once seemed willing to do literally anything for a laugh. It’s more confident and less breathless."

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The best foreign films of 2009

Look at it this way. We have the chance to see virtually every American film that's released, and many of the English language films in general. But with the crisis in U.S. distribution, the only foreign-language films are those someone paid hard cash for, and risked opening here. "You always like those foreign films," I'm told, often by someone making it sound like a failing. Not always, but often. They tend to involve characters of intelligence and complexity. If

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Metropolis, lost and found

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Q. I guess I saw a different movie from you, but "The Informant!" movie offended in the worst way -- it was boring! Matt Damon was boring, the dialogue was boring, the direction was boring. You need to curb your crushes on movie stars and start critiquing movies again based on their merits, not on how much your heart throbs. After giving this piece of crap four stars, you have lost all credibility. I wrote my newspaper, suggesting they drop you and rehire the local movie reviewer who recently lost his job. You aren't worth the money they pay.

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