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Stray Dogs

Tsai Ming-Liang's first feature in five years is a mysterious and alienating series of tableaus about the fragility of flesh and the smallness of humanity.

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The Skeleton Twins

This movie asks a lot of Wiig and Hader. It asks them to navigate territory that’s both funny and dramatic, light and raw, goofy and…

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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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Stray Dogs

Tsai Ming-Liang's first feature in five years is a mysterious and alienating series of tableaus about the fragility of flesh and the smallness of humanity.

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Streep at her best exploring people

TELLURIDE, Colo. -- If there's one thing she can't stand, Meryl Streep said, it's the sensation that another actor is watching her act, while they do a scene together. That sense of scrutiny stands outside the scene and makes it difficult for her to work. She wonders if it isn't one of the reasons "The French Lieutenant's Woman" didn't succeed for her: "It didn't get my rocks off," she said, smiling charmingly during an onstage conversation at the 25th Telluride Film Festival. "I don't know any other way to say it."

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Telluride focuses on '28 classics, guest favorites

TELLURIDE, Colo. For its 25th anniversary celebration, which more or less coincides with the first century of film, the Telluride Film Festival is plunging gleefully into the past. Although there's the usual selection of premieres, at least half of the screenings this year are retrospectives: a look at 1928, the last great year of silent film; personal selections from the festival's guest programmers over the years, and a salute to black-and-white cinematography.

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Telluride surprises are worth the trip

Most film festivals trumpet their offerings, bragging about their premieres and stars. The Telluride Film Festival, which begins Thursday, treats its films like a poker player treats his hole cards. One imagines Bill Pence and Tom Luddy, the co-founders, looking at the programs from Montreal, Toronto and Venice, and sneaking another peek at their hands.

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Cannes winners share theme

CANNES, France -- No films could be more different than the two top prize winners in this year's Cannes Film Festival. And no directors could have accepted the awards more differently - one with joy, the other almost defiantly.

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Bold and beautiful show their Cannes-do spirit

CANNES, France -- There are no taxis to be had in the whole of Cannes. The hotel clerk, she throws up her hands in despair. One cannot walk all the way to the Moulin de Mougins, which is in the hills above town. Viola! Here is ze taxi! But it is ordered for Catherine Verret of the French Film Office. She, however, is also going to the Moulin, although first she must stop at the Martinez Hotel to see if Jeanne Moreau, the great film star, has found a ride.

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The year nobody deserved to win

CANNES, France -- Can there be a Cannes Film Festival without a winner? Is the jury obligated to award the Palme d'Or? Could they send a message by refusing to award the top prize? These and other murmurings and mutterings are growing louder, and they add up to a depressing consensus: Going into the closing weekend, there is no film that seems great enough to deserve the Palme.

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Controversial films test limits

CANNES, France -- Lolitafest, they could call it, on the basis of three controversial films about child sexual abuse that are playing at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Two of them are apparently more extreme than the much-debated "Lolita."

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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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