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Jimi: All Is by My Side

What’s fascinating about “Jimi: All Is By My Side” is not only its decision to show us this particular chapter in Hendrix’s life, but also…

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The Boxtrolls

"The Boxtrolls" is a beautiful example of the potential in LAIKA's stop-motion approach, and the images onscreen are tactile and layered. But, as always, it's…

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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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9/11 shorts offer hit & miss views

TORONTO--The 11 films by 11 filmmakers in the film "11/09/01," all trying to address 9/11 in 11 minutes, are uneven and not entirely satisfying. One wonders if the producers, who are from France, should have recruited directors of shorts rather than features, but four of them have undeniable impact, and one is devastating.

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9/11, through eyes of 'The Guys'

TORONTO--The enormity of the attack on the World Trade Center struck many artists dumb; what can be said, and how? Anne Nelson's play "The Guys," which was quickly produced in New York and has starred many actors, reduces the story to two people: one who remembers his fallen comrades, and one who wants to help him word his memories. Now it has been made into a film, which premieres on 9/11/02 at Toronto.

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'Bowling for Columbine,' looks at the gun culture in the United States

TELLURIDE, Colo.--At some point early in his life, Michael Moore must have found himself wearing a baseball cap, a windbreaker, and a shirt hanging outside his jeans, and decided he liked the look. That's what he was wearing when I met him at the Telluride Film Festival in 1989, and that's what he was wearing here Saturday. It is also what he wears in "Bowling for Columbine," his new documentary film, when he goes calling on K-Mart executives and Charlton Heston, the spokesman for the National Rifle Association. He is not necessarily wearing the same shirt and jeans, you understand. His closet must look a lot like Archie's and Jughead's, with rows of identical uniforms. The clothes send a message: Here is a man of the people, working-class. He may be on television but he is not of television. In his films, he is a huge hulking presence at the edge of the screen, doggedly firing questions at people who desperately wish they were elsewhere. His face is usually in shadow because of the baseball cap.

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Moore hits corporate target in 'Columbine'

TORONTO--There is a moment in "Bowling For Columbine" when Michael Moore is at a loss for words for perhaps for the first time in his life. The moment comes at the conclusion of one of the public psychodramas he has become expert in staging, in which he dramatizes evildoing (as defined by Moore) in the way calculated to maximize the embarrassment of the evildoer.

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Off to a sublime start

TORONTO--If the 27th Toronto Film Festival closes after two days, it will have shown six wonderful films and one magnificently bloody-minded one--and I do not exclude the possible greatness of entries I have not yet seen.

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Toronto fest signals the opening of Good Movie Season

After Cannes, the Toronto Film Festival is the most important in the world. Last year's festival was ripped in two on Sept. 11. I walked out of a screening, heard the news, and the world had changed. Now comes the 27th annual festival, opening today. Are movies important in the new world we occupy? Yes, I think they are, because they are the most powerful artistic device for creating empathy--for helping us understand the lives of others.

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