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Red Army

Emotionally charged, viscerally exciting and consistently enlightening, Gabe Polsky’s Red Army is a sports documentary like no other.

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Son of a Gun

Avery’s more than capable behind the camera, he just needs to be met halfway by his screenwriting, which dwells in overly familiar territory.

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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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Hawaii fest honors films of Pacific Rim

HONOLULU -- "Twelve Storeys," a film from Singapore about the residents of government-subsidized high-rise housing, won the Golden Maile Award here last week at the 17th Hawaii International Film Festival. Directed by Eric Khoo, the film involves three families who are affected by the suicide of a building resident. The film raises questions about the tightly controlled Singapore society, in which the government provides security, but demands control.

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Helena Bonham Carter: Queen of the period picture

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She is the queen of the British period pictures, the forceful heroine with the flashing eyes and the knack of looking as if she's worn those costumes all her life. Helena Bonham Carter has played Lady Jane Grey and Ophelia, and the heroines of Forster's "Room With a View" and "Howard's End," and the evil doctor's lover in "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," and Olivia in "Twelfth Night," and if she somehow missed starring in one of the Jane Austen adaptations, now here she is as Kate Croy, a woman prepared to loan out the man she loves, in Henry James' "The Wings of the Dove."

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Kasi Lemmons makes powerful debut as director

There has been no more assured and powerful film debut this year than "Eve's Bayou," the first film by Kasi Lemmons. Reviewers have compared it to work by Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers and other Southern Gothic writers; it reminded me of a family drama by Ingmar Bergman. It's made of memories that still have the power to wound. Its shadows contain secrets that will always hurt.

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Director's talent makes 'Boogie' fever infectious

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Paul Thomas Anderson has made perhaps the best film of 1997, and at age 27 is getting the kind of attention no young director has had since Quentin Tarantino erupted. His "Boogie Nights," which follows a cast of colorful characters through six eventful years in the adult film industry, is the year's best-reviewed film - a hit at the Toronto and New York film festivals - and is now opening around the country.

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Chicago Film Fest lines up eye- popping array of films

W ith a new home (six screens all at one location) and a streamlined schedule, the 33rd annual Chicago International Film Festival has programmed no less than 53 screenings on this, its opening weekend. All showings will be at the new Cineplex Odeon theaters atop 600 N. Michigan, and one way to attend the festival might be to hang out in the lobby and listen to the buzz.

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Film Center brings movie madness down from mountains

The Telluride Film Festival shares a double distinction, as one of the best of all festivals, and as one of the hardest to get to. But this weekend, instead of flying to Denver, transferring to the Montrose flight and then driving 90 minutes into the Rockies, movie lovers can simply find their way to the Film Center at the School of the Art Institute, where a selection of the Best of Telluride '97 will be playing.

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'Eve's Bayou' a remarkable directing debut

TORONTO -- Kasi Lemmons was Jodie Foster's roommate in "The Silence of the Lambs," and she was the doomed researcher in "Candyman," and one of Nicolas Cage's victims in "Vampire's Kiss." I mention these credits because they are from another, earlier life; Lemmons emerged at this year's Toronto Film Festival as one of today's most gifted young American writer-directors.

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