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Office Christmas Party

Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…

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Harry Benson: Shoot First

The filmmakers are themselves too celebrity besotted to comment in a meaningful way on how Benson’s career balanced depictions of the rich and famous with…

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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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Writer Profiles: Simon Abrams

We have some amazing writers, film critics and video essayists at RogerEbert.com, and as we head into the home stretch of this year, we would like to remind you of some of their work. Although we have many talented critics who contribute reviews and articles occasionally during the year, these particular profiles will highlight the work of our critics who have contributed the most reviews and/or video essays. Here is our critic Simon Abrams, our revered horror expert (check out his recent essay on why 2016 has proven to be a year of adventurous horror cinema).Chaz Ebert, publisher

Thoughts on 2016 (so far):

I don't know if I can diagnose the year as a whole, but I can say what I'd like to see more of: more coverage of Asian films. I'm sick of seeing Asian movies get treated to a minimum of coverage simply because they're distributed as niche products for an insignficant audience. We're talking about popular movies, like "Shin Godzilla," "The Mermaid," and "Train to Busan," stuff that has found its audience despite their minuscule releases. There have been a lot of strong, compelling Asian films released this year, but only a few of them have gotten the attention they deserve. I hope that changes.

Excerpt from Simon's Movie Love Questionnaire (read the full Q&A here):

Volunteering at the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) in the summer of 2004 [was an experience I'll never forget]. I loved working with and getting to know the festival programmers, and got to watch a lot of fun movies for free. That was a real treat in spite of the fact that the Anthology Film Archives' air-conditioning wasn't working, and it was early June. Still, the movies, and fascination I've since developed with films from Asian countries was fostered at NYAFF. I can still remember conversations I had at that year's festival. And I remember the seats (blue, standalone bucket seats). And the little aluminum cans of Mr. Brown coffee, and the bags of shrimp chips I used to sell. And the experience of seeing my first film directed by Johnnie To ("Running on Karma" blew me away). And what it was like to watch movies on the side of the auditorium for the first time instead of center-middle (my current preference) or all the way in the back (my former preference).

Simon's reviews from 2016 (so far):

Anesthesia
Jeruzalem
Monster Hunt
Southbound
The Witch
The Mermaid
Tricked
Road Games
The Boy and the Beast
My Golden Days
Baskin
11 Minutes
Hardcore Henry
My Big Night
Green Room
Holidays
Dragon Inn
The Asian Connection
Kill Zone 2
The Wailing
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
The Last Heist
Three
The Neon Demon
The Purge: Election Year
Our Little Sister
The Blackout Experiments
The Mind's Eye
Sun Choke
I Am Not a Serial Killer
Mia Madre
Antibirth
Yoga Hosers
Demon
Operation Avalanche
The Greasy Strangler
Phantasm: Ravager
Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience
Shin Godzilla
31

Check out all of Simon's reviews and interviews here.

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