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

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_6svpck54r9k0mz9xcfzswrxcin

Winter Sleep

The running time of his new picture Winter Sleep, three hours and change, suggests weight, but at it happens, this movie struck me as both…

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…

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

Toronto: Beware catalog spoilers!

There's nothing I hate more than a review that's mostly plot description -- unless it's a movie that's mostly plot. To me, movies are primarily about images, and after that, behavior, emotions, ideas, and so on. If there's a story in there, swell, but for me, story is the MacGuffin, the excuse that seems important when you're watching the movie, but which turns out to be just a tiny part of the experience when it's over.

So, I've always tried to avoid anything beyond the most basic statement of a film's premise, and perhaps a description of its main characters, when writing about movies. Which is why I'm so disappointed that so many of the entries in the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival catalog ($34.17 Canadian -- though the US exchange rate is practically even now) give away far too much.

I know it's tough to write these things (I did it for years in Seattle). You have to describe enough to make the movie sound enticing enough to potential ticket-buyers. But this is a festival, and one of the glories of a festival is getting to see something that hasn't already been pre-sold and ruined by giveaway trailers and TV spots. So, to cite just one example, if anybody's intending to see "Day Night Day Night" in Toronto, don't read the catalog description!

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.

More on That Later: The Truth About “Serial”

Some thoughts on the hit podcast "Serial".

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus