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

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_6cvswroo39trzaw4r8yrob1olpx

Frank

Can insanity, normalcy and creativity co-exist in a successful artist? “Frank” offers a unique, funny, entertaining look at what proves to be an unanswerable question.

Thumb_expendables_three_ver18

The Expendables 3

If you’re over 40, this is your “The Avengers.” As slavishly devoted to the old action films of Sly and company as any Marvel Universe…

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
Chaz's Blog Archives

Rosenbaum replies to Tavernier

From Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader:

At our request, Rosenbaum supplied this reply to Tavernier's letter (below), which has appeared elsewhere on the web but is now "slightly retooled and updated."

Dear Bertrand,

Let’s see if I have this straight. I have “a lot of pre-conceived opinions,” and for me “a lot of films and directors are presumed guilty before being heard or seen” (no examples given). Your letter meanwhile seems to imply that it’s perfectly OK for Roger to dismiss Abbas Kiarostami as an important filmmaker solely on the basis of "Taste of Cherry" and "10," thereby consigning "The Traveler," "Homework," "Close-up," the Koker trilogy, and "The Wind Will Carry Us" to oblivion. It's also OK for Roger not to bother to clarify whether or not he’s seen the original version of "Fanny and Alexander," which Ingmar Bergman himself preferred, while chastising me for not having yet seen the three-hour version (which I finally caught up with, by the way, quite recently). Yet it’s scandalously unacceptable for me to have responded favorably to an invitation from a Times editor to argue that some recent claims being made for Bergman after his death, in the Times and elsewhere--some implying that he dwarfed every other filmmaker in the history of cinema—were a bit overblown, even if I allude in the piece to Bergman's "genius" and compare him to a director as admirable as George Cukor. And apparently having seen roughly 26 of Bergman's films doesn't make it any more acceptable.

Your outburst reminds me of a comment I used to hear in Alabama during my teens: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” (This often made me want to reply, “Then why are you speaking to me?”) But if I wanted to write a major polemic (as I tried to do, for instance, in my book Movie Wars), I wouldn’t have attempted to squeeze it into an Op Ed piece. All I wanted to do was let some air into a subject that some people appeared to be taking for granted--although the mere fact that my comments appeared in the Times seems to have unleashed a wave of hysteria.

Peace,
Jonathan Rosenbaum

Popular Blog Posts

Different rules apply

White privilege, lived.

Ferguson, Missouri: Third World America vs. Atlas Shrugged

An FFC looks at the horrible situation in Ferguson, MO and what it says about where we are and where we're going.

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

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

Retrieving the Grail: Robin Williams and "The Fisher King"

An examination and appreciation of one of Robin Williams' greatest films, "The Fisher King."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus