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

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_oax1ohn3ltgrf3vlh5ff28w0yjn

Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

Thumb_hkvkhuuugjj4jrxkkvqoq5jnqx5

Annie

The new version of "Annie" is fashionably artificial and not very well directed, but its unabashed good cheer is very welcome.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

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…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

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…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

In defense of digital moviegoing

From Brian Rose, Southern Illinois University:

In reply to Nate Kohn's comments about young people's experiences being limited to computers and portables, I thought I might add some perspective as a young person. From my own experience, I can say that I think he is right, but the youth should not shoulder all the blame. Don't forget that it is increasingly difficult to get that theater experience, outside of the multiplex, especially if you live away from the big cities. I live in Southern Illinois and the we have two theatres. Both are multiplexes. If we're lucky, a documentary might be shown on a limited engagement once or twice a year. If I want to see a classic film, I have to travel three hours by car or train to Champaign (which I've done twice for Ebertfest).

In this context, I believe digital gadgetry is less a diversion from the true cinematic experience, and more of a liferaft. As businessmen have closed hundreds of doors, computers have opened a thousand windows. If it weren't for DVDs, I would have yet to see a single Powell & Pressburger. I would never know Renoir or Dreyer. If it weren't for computers and file sharing, I'd never have access to Welles's "Chimes at Midnight" or "The Magnificent Ambersons" (which at the moment seems to be languishing in DVD purgatory). You can forget about silent films, which seem to have been marginalized even by art houses, to where you can see them only at festivals such as Ebertfest or the San Francisco Silent.

It is true that many of my generation are satisfied with their digital appliances, and have no interest of exploring further. I might add that even the creators of films themselves did not think this way until recently, and allowed much of their legacy to crumble or be thrown onto the ash heap. But for others like myself, computers have been a revelation, a gateway to new possibilities. So I would take heart that not all of us are being lulled to sleep by those litle glowing screens. Some of us are being awakened.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

The Ten Best Films of 2014

The ten best films of 2014, as chosen by the film critics of RogerEbert.com.

10 Underrated Female Performances of 2014

Ten underrated female performances from 2014 worthy of Oscar consideration.

Roger Moore's Best: "The Spy Who Loved Me"

An FFC comments on Roger Moore's best James Bond film, "The Spy Who Loved Me."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus