The Good Dinosaur
A film that has some promising elements and which often seems as if it is on the verge of evolving into something wonderful but never…
* 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.
A report on the winners of the 2015 Chicago International Film Festival.
Raiders of the lost web; Eight highlights of Chicago film fest; Sexism of Bond Girls; Tarantino chats with Ellis; Enablers of pedophile culture.
A review of Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies" from its NYFF premiere last night.
A photo gallery of the 2015 TIFF Ebert Tribute Lunch honoring filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
A recap of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival by the contributors who were there.
Sheila writes: This coming October 8th and 9th is the annual classic car sale held at the Hershey Motor Lodge in Pennsylvania. The auction lots are a sight to behold (for gearheads and also just those who appreciate beauty). Take a look at some beautiful photographs of the various vehicles up for auction.
A report on two more documentaries from TIFF: "The Hard Stop" and "Where to Invade Next".
Ava DuVernay accepted The Ebert Tribute on Sunday and we were there.
A report on two world premieres from the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, Demolition and Where to Invade Next.
An interview with Laura Nix, Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno of "The Yes Men."
On how Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper" examines evil.
A review of the Ross Brothers' "Western" from Sundance 2015.
Why "Mrs. Doubtfire" is Robin Williams's greatest role; Alex Ross Perry on "Listen Up Philip"; Keanu Reeves on "John Wick"; Blackwater founder remains free; Six films to remember from Chicago fest.
A preview of the 2014 Chicago International Film Festival.
Remembering Richard Kiel; Kevin Smith on "Tusk"; Julianne Moore shines in "Still Alice"; New war on big money in politics; How Stephen King teaches writing.
"Life Itself" wins a Founders Prize at the 2014 Traverse City Film Festival.
"Life Itself" to screen at the Traverse City Film Festival, with Chaz Ebert in attendance.
An appreciation of Michael Mann's "The Insider" on its 15th anniversary that connects Michael Mann's film with the westerns of Howard Hawks.
Directors John Maloof and Charlie Siskel and producer Jeff Garlin discuss their documentary "Finding Vivian Maier".
A remembrance of documentary filmmaker Eduardo Coutinho.
Ultra-indie director Cory McAbee ("The American Astronaut," "Stingray Sam") talks about making musical sci-fi cowboy movies, writing an opera and the Monkees.
Marie writes: I recently heard from an ex-coworker named Athena aka the production manager on an animated series I'd painted digital backgrounds for. She sent me some great photos she'd found on various sites. More than few made me smile and thus inspired, I thought I'd share them with club members. I've added captions for fun but if you can come up with something better, feel free to submit your wit by way of posted comment. Note: I don't know who the photographers are; doesn't say. (Click pics to enlarge.)
"I want a peanut for every photo you took of me..."
On Netflix and Amazon Instant.
Considering that we normally think of documentaries as some sort of academic discourse at the fringes of popular cinema, this relatively new genre of Celebrity-driven docs is something peculiar. That we now watch documentaries starring Michael Moore, Morgan Spurlock, and Bill Maher is something inevitable, I suppose. We already have that tradition of following on-screen directors as characters in their features, including Kevin Smith, Spike Lee, and Woody Allen. But, the point here is that we watch some documentaries because of their host celebrities, more than the topic, even though the topics seem to be extensions of those same celebrities.
I suspect few people outside of his fan base will watch this movie: in Larry Charles' documentary "Religulous," (2008) popular Television talk show host Bill Maher is a playful microphone-toting cynic, roaming the landscapes of Christianity, with a few references to Judaism, Islam, and Scientology. The film is very strong and vastly entertaining in finding absurdities in absurd places, but fizzles when it attempts any serious commentary.
My uneasiness about the relationship between Mike Daisey's theatrical piece "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" and its presentation as journalism on This American Life centers on three things. The first has to do with the art of storytelling. Daisey is a performer and storyteller who combines personal anecdotes, fiction and fact, into stage monologues. Nothing wrong with that; it's what monologists do. The second has to do with journalism. This American Life, the Chicago Public Radio/PRI show, also focuses on storytelling -- often personal stories -- but expects them to meet the factual standards of journalism, unless otherwise noted. As host Ira Glass said in the show's most recent episode, retracting the earlier one called "Mr Daisey and the Apple Factory": "Although [Daisey is] not a journalist, we made clear to him that anything that he was going to say on our program would have to live up to journalistic standards. He had to be truthful. And he lied to us."
And the third, and probably the most troublesome aspect for me, has to do with the media's definition of "the story" itself, which has focused on details about Apple (because it makes a better story to connect the shiny new iPad or iPhone to cheap Chinese labor), even though Apple is just one of many major corporate customers of Foxconn, the company that runs the factories. Some very good reporting has been done on the subject (by Charles Duhigg and David Barboza in the New York Times and various reporters at CNN and NPR, just to name a few). But the hook is always Apple. And while I have no reason to believe the reporting is untrue, the framing of the story can be misleading.
Describing Steve James' "The Interrupters," I might sound like I'm talking about some dry public heath study. The centerpiece of the film is a profound theory on human nature. Science and philosophy aside, "The Interrupters" is the closest thing to a real-life superhero origins story that any of us might ever experience. This film is exactly that: a superhero origins documentary. It might be the most powerful movie I have ever seen.