In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

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As Above, So Below

It's that rare found-footage film with a strong premise, a memorably eccentric style, and plenty of energy to burn. It's also poorly conceived, and hard…

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The Last of Robin Hood

A title as good as "The Last of Robin Hood" deserves a better movie. In fact, it deserves a good movie.

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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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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

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.

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Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken

(1991)

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Truly, Madly, Deeply

(1991)

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Backdraft

(1991)

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Madonna: Truth or Dare

(1991)

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Dice Rules

(1991)

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Daddy Nostalgia

(1991)

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FX 2: The Deadly Art Of Illusion

(1991)

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Journey Of Hope

(1991)

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Switch

(1991)

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Impromptu

(1991)

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One Good Cop

(1991)

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A Rage In Harlem

(1991)

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Spartacus

(1991)

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New Jack City

(1991)

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A Kiss Before Dying

(1991)

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The Object Of Beauty

(1991)

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Toy Soldiers

(1991)

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Mister Johnson

(1991)

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Mortal Thoughts

(1991)

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The Comfort Of Strangers

(1991)

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Eminent Domain

(1991)

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Ju Dou

(1991)

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Perfectly Normal

(1991)

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True Colors

(1991)

Saturday night at the movies in my home town

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Painting by Kelly Eddington from St. Joseph, IL, north of Urbana on Route 45. Saturday night was a big deal in those days. Here is Kelly's website.. I own two of her works. She takes commissions,

Marty Moran wrote me:

I discovered your journal a while back as I searched some information about the Rialto Theatre in Champaign and read your piece on the Art Theatre. I have since read many of your entries and I have been struck by the memories you have evoked in me. I too was raised in Champaign - Urbana (having grown up in Champaign I put it first) and attended St Mary's grade school. I've spent my entire life working in the motion picture industry (distribution) and spent a couple of years with Disney that ended somewhat unpleasantly. Your essay on your dad and your memories of him in Nil by Mouth have moved me to comment. My dad also worked at the University of Illinois in the housing division. He had keys to many of the buildings on campus and we would cut through some of the dorms on the way to the July fourth fireworks at Memorial Stadium. He also came home at lunch and made a sandwich... usually salami with mustard.

I figure I am about 12 years younger than you but I grew up in much the same environment. I loved Steak & Shake, preferred Dog N Suds root beer to A&W, frequented Marty K's instead of Mel Roots and walked past the Huddle House on my way to school. We went to Turkey Run occasionally but spent most of our time at Lake of the Woods. My Dad was a Democrat and also hung coffee cans of water in the registers all winter long. Took my first airplane ride (with Dad) at Illini Field and spent some time at the Joy Land amusement park across the road. When your brother in law said; "Could be, when the Lord took away your drinking, he gave you back that memory." ... He probably didn't realize that your memories would trigger so many memories in others. So I am simply writing to say thanks for the memories! I will continue to read your journal regularly and I wish you all the best.

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In memory of Donald Richie

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More than anyone else, Jeannette Hereniko introduced me to the concept of the cinema of the Pacific Rim. I knew Donald Richie through his books, and in particular learned from him about Ozu. More than anyone else, he was responsible for the introduction of Japanese films to the West, Particularly when he brought a group of great titles to the Venice Film Festival, circa 1960. He also wrote fiction and on Japanese society, and a wonderful autobiographical travel book, The Inland Sea, about a young GI who returned to Japan after WWII and stayed, inspired a film. Here is Jeanette's appreciation of Donald, who died on Feb. 19. Roger

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Bill Moyers on Creeping Creationism in our taxpayer-supported public schools

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Moyers devotes a full program to the way "intelligent design" is being used as a a Horse to smuggle religious fundamentalism into pubic schools. Included here, viewable separately, are his sessions with intellectual Susan Jacoby and with Zack Kopplin, who when he was a Louisiana high school student enlisted the support of Nobel Prize winners in his campaign to draw attention to the practice.

Here's a link to Kopplin's segment, and a full transcript on the issue.

My related blog entry, Win Ben Stein's Mind.

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