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Thumbnails 1/27/16

Remembering "The Last of the Mohicans"; Daniel Radcliffe's farting corpse; The most recalcitrant "ism" of all; László Nemes and Géza Röhrig on "Son of Saul"; Roger Deakins on "Hail, Caesar!"

Ebert Club

#179 August 6, 2013

Marie writes: Behold an ivy covered house in Düsseldorf, Germany and the power of plants to transform stone, brick and mortar into a hotel for millions of spiders. To view an amazing collection of such images and showcasing a variety of buildings from around the world, visit The Most Colorful Houses Engulfed in Vegetation at


Why don't critics, Oscars & audience agree?

Why don't the critics, the Oscars and the box-office audience ever seem to agree on the best movies of the year? This question really bugs some people, but I've never understood it, because criticism, intra-industry acclaim and ticket-sales revenue represent such separate and distinct ways of looking at movies. If they all redundantly reinforced the same choices, what would be the point? (Only the money is necessary to the movie business, which regards reviews and awards as simply part of the promotional campaign.) The way I see it, asking why critics, Academy voters and audiences don't agree is like asking why Democrats and Republicans don't choose the same candidates for president (although I once knew a woman who seriously proposed that Ronald Reagan and Geraldine Ferraro would make a great ticket). The obvious reason is: different constituencies want different things.

Audiences want to be entertained, maybe a little inspired. Critics want to be entertained too, of course, but some also seek the greater pleasures of art. For some of us, the hackneyed phrase "mindless entertainment" is a contradiction in terms: how can something be entertaining unless it engages your attention on more than an autonomic level? Oscar voters... well, who the hell knows what they want? But we all want to feel better about ourselves, don't we? Movies, good and bad, can help with that.

Andrew O'Hehir at Salon ("And the Oscar goes to... 'Twilight'!") makes a modest proposal: "What if the Oscars -- an imaginary Oscars, a thought-experiment Oscars, the Oscars of an alternate universe -- honored movies that people actually liked?" His alt.hollywood version would be "an unholy blend of the MTV Movie Awards and the Indiewire critics' poll" in which "Melancholia," "A Separation" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" would go up against "Harry Potter," "Twilight" and "Mission: Impossible."

Ebert Club

#98 January 18, 2012

Marie writes: Okay, this is just plain cool. This is clearly someone using their brain, in combination with "what the hell, let's just go ahead and try it..."

Dr Julius Neubronner's Miniature Pigeon CameraIn 1903, Dr Julius Neubronner patented a miniature pigeon camera activated by a timing mechanism. The invention brought him international notability after he presented it at international expositions in Dresden, Frankfurt and Paris in 1909-1911. Spectators in Dresden could watch the arrival of the camera-equipped carrier pigeons, whereupon the photos were immediately developed and turned into postcards which could be purchased. (click images to enlarge.) - from The Public Domain Review. Visit the site to see even more photos.

Ebert Club

#90 November 23, 2011

Marie writes: club member Sandy Kahn has submitted the following and I salute her web skills for having found it. Namely, an upcoming auction of film memorabilia the likes of which you rarely if ever see...