Scarlett Johansson is an intriguing blank in Luc Besson's "Lucy," which is stranded somewhere between a stranger-in-a-strange-land action thriller and apocalyptic science fiction.
The Cannes International Film Festival is the most talked-about film festival of the year, where directors from around the world showcase their newest work, from the most challenging art cinema to the big blockbusters. For many years, Roger Ebert and a team of contributors have covered Cannes, and we are continuing that tradition with start-to-finish coverage from around the festival.
More moviegoers see films on video in some form than ever before -- whether streaming on demand, cable or satellite, instant download services, DVD or Blu-ray. Even high-profile pictures become available to home viewers before or at the same time as their theatrical release. Reviewing them is a job for... The Demanders!
Since he started as film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967, and began covering movies locally and at international film festivals, Roger Ebert has met and interviewed countless movie idols, artists and unknowns -- some of them even before they became famous. There's hardly a major figure in the history of movies, from the last part of the 20th century into the 21st, that he hasn't encountered.
The opening shot of a movie can tell us a lot about how to view and interpret what follows. It can even represent the whole movie in miniature. The Opening Shots Project collects illustrated analyses of some of Jim Emerson's favorites, and contributions from Scanners readers.
Roger Ebert has attended international film festivals and events for almost half a century, from the Kolkata International Film Festival to the Academy Awards. In addition to his coverage, our contributors report the latest from Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, Sundance and other movie showcases world-wide.
The place for everything that doesn't have a home elsewhere on RogerEbert.com, this is a collection of thoughts, ideas, snippets, and other fun things that Roger and others posted over the years.
A collection of tributes to Roger from various sources.
"Life Itself," based on Roger Ebert's memoir and directed by Steve James, will open in theaters and be available On Demand on July 4, 2014.
Actors are always sort of ambivalent about special-effects movies. They know the movie's likely to do well at the box office, but they feel strange about co-starring with the special effects. Alec Guinness observed, for example, that he spent most of the "Star Wars" saga standing in front of a blank blue wall, so that the special-effects guys could put in the visual effects months later. James Caan had a word for the visitors from outer space who were his co-stars in "Alien Nation." He called them "potato heads."
"Pleasantville" contains the last major role by the much-admired character actor J. T. Walsh. He plays the head of the 1950s sitcom Chamber of Commerce, a man much threatened by change, who warns, "There is something happening in our town" - a town, we know, where nothing has ever happened.
TORONTO It is a disturbing movie. People don't know how to think about it. They laugh, and then they squirm. Afterward, they get into heated discussions, some calling it trash, others insisting it's a masterpiece. "Happiness" is like a challenge hurled at audiences who think movies should come with built-in viewing instructions - with cues to the appropriate response.
This grave, attractive young woman sitting across from me, this person who seems like someone to whom I could turn for advice, is 17 years old.
After she finished reading Toni Morrison's novel Beloved, Oprah Winfrey said, "I called Toni and said to her, `You know, I loved this book - but do people tell you they have to keep going over it?' And she said, `That, my dear, is called reading.' "
The Chicago International Film Festival has not always been distinguished by its choice of opening-night films. Some never subsequently opened commercially, and at least one sent Junior Leaguers fleeing from the theater. But Mark Herman's "Little Voice," which opens this year's festival tonight, is a splendid choice - a film that may pick up an Oscar nomination or two.
There is no such thing as a casual conversation with Werner Herzog. When I run into him at a film festival my heart quickens, because I know I am going to be told amazing things, all delivered with the intense air that we are sharing occult knowledge.
TORONTO -- Reeling after a week of too many films built on too much mindless brutality, I found "Little Voice" and "Mixing Nia" to be soothing reassurances that there were still filmmakers with heart and humor. The general view at this year's Toronto Film Festival is that a lot of ambitious new flickers are engaged in a game of one-upmanship in violence and may have outstripped even the audience appetite for mayhem.
TORONTO -- Toronto 1998 was an edgy festival for people like me who are convinced that anything can theoretically be a legitimate subject for a film. Movies about the Holocaust, child abuse, rape and reckless murder have had audiences cringing and critics embroiled in nose-to-nose debates in the lobbies. The director John Waters has coined a term for them: Feel-Bad Comedies. So have I: the New Geek Cinema.
TORONTO, Ont.--It is uphip to admit to being offended by anything in the new movies, and indeed it's pretty hard to offend me, but a film named "Thursday" crossed the line this week at the Toronto Film Festival. Watching it, I felt outrage. I saw a movie so reprehensible I couldn't rationalize it using the standard critical language about style, genre, or irony. The people associated with it should be ashamed of themselves.