The Farewell Party
High drama and lowbrow, morbid humor get stitched together in this successful tragicomedy about terminal patients and assisted suicide. Works better than expected.
* 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.
"The Unloved" series continues with a neglected recent gem by John Carpenter.
An appreciation of "1941" and interview with Bob Gale.
May 2014 Blu-rays of note.
An obituary for actor Bob Hoskins, star of The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and many more.
Part two of our countdown of twelve great scenes set around Christmas: #8–#5.
"The Wes Anderson Collection" video essay series continues with "The Darjeeling Limited," the director's comedy about brotherhood, death, and the limits of control.
With the 2013 Oscarcast moved up to Feb. 24, movie fans are already in a lather over the possible nominees, especially since again this year there can be "up to" ten finalists in the Best Picture category. I claim no inside knowledge (I'm still waiting to hear from my friend Deep Oscar), but it's never too early to speculate.
When: Through Oct. 25
Marie writes: I may have been born in Canada, but I grew-up watching Sesame Street and Big Bird, too. Together, they encouraged me to learn new things; and why now I can partly explain string theory.That being the case, I was extremely displeased to hear that were it up Romney, as President he wouldn't continue to support PBS. And because I'm not American and can't vote in their elections, I did the only thing I could: I immediately reached for Photoshop....
(Click image to enlarge.)
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...
Marie writes: Behold a truly inspired idea...Age 8: Eileen's pink creature It started with a simple idea: to make a recognizable comfort toy for her 4 year-old son Dani, based on one of his drawing. His school had asked the children to bring in a toy from home; an emergency measure in the event of a tantrum or crying fit. Fearing he might lose his favorite, Wendy Tsao decided to make Dani a new one. Using a drawing he often made as her guide, she improvised a plush toy snowman. Five years later, Wendy Tsao has her own thriving home-based craft business - Child's Own Studio - in which she transforms the imaginative drawings of children into plush and cloth dolls; each one handcrafted and one-of-a-kind. She receives requests from parents all over the world; there's 500 people on waiting list. Note: kudos to club member Sandy Kahn for submitting the piece.
Absolute silence while the Warner logo, the name of the production company and the title of the movie are displayed on the screen. Suddenly, we see ourselves orbiting the Earth while a cacophony of radio and television transmissions confuses us by their sheer volume and sound pollution they cause. Then, slowly, we begin a journey throughout the universe that will last for the next few minutes, taking us far from our old and familiar planet while we experience a kind of time traveling as sounds of our atmosphere become older and older - until, eventually, we are involved by an oppressive silence and we realize that we traveled further than our oldest sound emission. And when we begin to realize the dimension of our surroundings - that goes much beyond our capacity for abstraction -, we are back to the starting point, returning to Earth through the portal represented by the blue and young eyes of Ellie Arroway, our leading character.
Dear Mr Robert Zemeckis Sir,
My name is Forrest. Not Forrest Gump, but Forrest Narayan. I am ten years old.
I have two brothers and their names are Marty and Satyajit and Marty is twenty years old and Satyajit is six and three quarters.
Back then, I could watch Max Fleischer's Superman cartoons forever and never get bored. Today, the case is almost the same. Oh, those films have some of the finest animation I've ever seen--even by today's standards, the animation is phenomenal, right from the fluidity of the movements of the characters to the uncanny weight of the objects. The characters and objects had shadows too.
True, the once neglected art of animation has undergone a rebirth in both artistry and popularity. Yet having escaped one blind alley, it seems headed into another one: The dumbing-down of stories out of preference for meaningless nonstop action. Classic animated features were models of three-act stories: Recall "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" or "The Lion King." The characters were embedded in stories that made sense and involved making decisions based on values. Now too many stories end in brain-numbing battles, often starring heroes the age of the younger audience members. Here is no food for growth and for the imagination, just brainless kinetic behavior.
From Paul Clark, Columbus, Ohio:
by Roger Ebert
FYI, I've still got lots and lots of Opening Shots stacked up to publish, including (off the top of my head): Truffaut's "Day for Night," Paul Schrader's "Cat People," Joe Dante's "the 'burbs," Bob Zemeckis's "Used Cars," Tarkovsky's "Andrei Rublev," Peter Weir's "Picnic at Haning Rock," Paul Thomas Anderson's "Punch Drunk Love" and many, many others. Just haven't been able to work on this stuff as much as I should because of daily reviewing obligations. But I'm gonna try to get to another batch this week, if I possibly can...
Q. I am surprised that you were critical of Robert Zemeckis for giving away the plot to "Cast Away" in the trailer for the movie. While I share your disgust at this marketing tactic, Zemeckis is not doing anything different than what Shakespeare did at the beginning of "Romeo and Juliet". I guess that it proves that audiences haven't changed in 400 years. (Hugh Kearney, Clearwater FL)
Q. You mentioned the time-slippage in "Cop Land," where the characters are betting against the five-time champion Bulls even though it was not yet the season after their fifth championship. Are all movies going "back to the future?" In "Conspiracy Theory," at the end we see a death certificate which says "10-2-97." Were the producers planning a release later in the year? (Casey Anderson, Schaumberg)
Q. In your review of "A Time to Kill," you wrote that it was "a skillfully-constructed morality play that pushes all the right buttons and arrives at all the right conclusions." Okay, close your eyes. Now imagine the two rapists were killed by three hundred white men with a rope. Now imagine the two rapists were black. Does it still arrive at all the right conclusions? (John Lampkins, Los Angeles)