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

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_mv5botq1njiwmzcynf5bml5banbnxkftztgwndy0nzi1nje_._v1__sx1292_sy697_

The Second Mother

A domestic comedy-drama that starts off from a fairly pat premise but builds strength over the course of its careful, empathetic, and crafty unpeeling of…

Thumb_large_kni3ht0fkmob9utllevkygqheym

Z for Zachariah

Chiwetel Eijiofor, Margot Robbie and Chris Pine star in this low-key post-apocalyptic drama about a Garden of Eden that's not big enough for three people.

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

Reviews

Detropia

Detropia Movie Review
  |  

Via beautiful cinematography, the film wanders the city, contrasting a new automaker's towers with abandoned hotels, derelict theaters, ruined houses and people walking through the snow down the middle of streets because there's no traffic. Such shots are intercut with performances by the Michigan Opera Theatre, which clings to life with the support of the Big Three car companies.

The most striking figure is not the hapless Mayor Dave Bing, but a retired teacher named Tommy Stevens, who owns a blues bar named the Raven Lounge. He can no longer afford a cook, so he does the cooking himself ("I enjoy it. It's a hobby."). Stevens visits the auto show and notes that the electric car on display from China is $20,000 — half the price of the Chevy Volt (which, we learn, GM has since moved the make's manufacture to China).

We follow the last days of the local union at American Axle, as the members turn down a contract that would not allow a living wage, and the company closes. The film's co-directors, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, observe that the inner city has seen a modest population growth because of young people taking advantage of bargain rents. We meet one such couple, who assemble a long table in an urban wasteland and sit at it while wearing golden steampunk gas masks. Their goofiness makes a contrast to the bleak cityscape behind them.

Throughout the film, there are glimpses of the golden days, of sleek new models and glamorous car ads. Stevens takes the camera on a long drive past where the main Cadillac plant once thrived. "We built everything," he said. "In the war, they switched over to bombers. Everything." He is driving past a barren landscape.

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...

Straight Outta Culture: Sexism in Black and White

A piece on the response to the sexism in "Straight Outta Compton."

A Deadwood Dream

A critic dreams about the return of HBO's "Deadwood."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus