Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
A remarkable tale of immigrant success, wrapped around a crime story.
Roger Ebert became film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. He is the only film critic with a star on Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and was named honorary life member of the Directors' Guild of America. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Screenwriters' Guild, and honorary degrees from the American Film Institute and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since 1989 he has hosted Ebertfest, a film festival at the Virginia Theater in Champaign-Urbana. From 1975 until 2006 he, Gene Siskel and Richard Roeper co-hosted a weekly movie review program on national TV. He was Lecturer on Film for the University of Chicago extension program from 1970 until 2006, and recorded shot-by-shot commentaries for the DVDs of "Citizen Kane," "Casablanca," "Floating Weeds" and "Dark City," and has written over 20 books.
Q. There are several reports about extreme reactions of early cinema audiences that I find hard to believe. It is said that viewers of the first movies were frightened by what they saw, such as moving images of an incoming train.
by Roger Ebert
Q. I am a devoted fan of Ian McEwan’s novel "Atonement," one of those books that raises your heartbeat and ignites conflicting emotions and thoughts like fireworks exploding in the sky. So many nights I returned to that book to amuse myself for several hours by just repeating the poetry of McEwan’s prose, its words melting over my tongue like butter.
Q: The box-office returns for "The Golden Compass" last weekend were modest at best. The film is estimated to have cost more than $150 million and will have a hard time making its money back. The financial disappointment could be catastrophic for New Line Cinema. Not to mention the fact that any chance of an adaptation of The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass (rest of the trilogy) are now slim to nil. Since you gave the film a positive review, what is your opinion of the box-office returns?
From Jonathan D'Ambrosio, Fairfield, CT:
From Adam Peabody, Burbank, CA:
From Joseph Brunetta, Santa Rosa, CA:
by Roger Ebert
From From Rubin Safaya, Dallas, TX:
When he was Juno's age, Jason Reitman remembers, "I was a loser. I was a movie geek, shy, I'd get dropped off at the movies, and go from theater to theater, all day. And I would actually buy tickets to every movie, not just one. Too shy to sneak in."