The Magnificent Seven
Rarely have so many charismatic actors been used in a film that feels quite as soulless as Antoine Fuqua’s update of The Magnificent Seven.
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.
The Toronto Film Festival's leadership uses "postmortem" as a verb, and after this year's festival they're going to be postmorteming a lot. Movies were good, acquisitions were high, screenings were crowded, and sometimes tempers were elevated.
TORONTO--"Whale Rider," a film from New Zealand that arrived unheralded at the Toronto Film Festival, won the coveted AGF Peoples' Choice Award as the most popular of 345 films.
TELLURIDE, Colo.--Peter O'Toole regarded the Telluride Medal hanging around his neck and intoned: "When 50 years ago this year, I took my first uncertain steps on the stage as an actor, had anyone suggested to me that half a century later I would be up a Rocky in a grand old opry house, being festooned with medals, wandering and relaxing with old and new friends and colleagues, watching the better part of five decades of my life tumble on the screen in the company of the new generation O'Toole, my son Lorcan, I might have said that would be unlikely."
TORONTO--At the end of the 27th Toronto Film Festival, six films in six paragraphs, alphabetically:
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.
"I love his films. I study his films. I watch his films when I'm looking for inspiration."
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.
TORONTO--A midterm report on the 27th Toronto Film Festival:
TORONTO--We have a saying in Chicago: Don't drive the Dan Ryan expressway until you've driven it three times. Nobody should see Todd Haynes' "Far from Heaven" unless they've seen a lot of movies, especially from the 1950s. Unless you know what he's doing, you're likely to hate it.
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.