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Hustlers

Seeing Lopez’s best screen work since her early heyday of Selena and Out of Sight isn’t the only reason to check out writer/director Lorene Scafaria’s…

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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…

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* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.

#354 May 14, 2019

Matt writes: On April 28th, the movie world lost a true giant: filmmaker John Singleton, whose 1991 masterpiece, "Boyz N the Hood," remains one of the most astonishing feature debuts in cinema history. Roger Ebert awarded the picture four stars, writing that it was one of "the best American films of recent years." Roger's thoughts regarding the entirety of Singleton's career were detailed in a special compilation by Nick Allen, while Odie Henderson penned a deeply moving obituary for the trailblazing auteur. I was among the writers at RogerEbert.com who paid tribute to Singleton in a separate article, "Breaking Barriers."

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#64 May 25, 2011

Marie writes: There's a glorified duck pond at the center of the complex where I live. And since moving in, my apartment has been an object of enduring fascination for Canadian geese - who arrive each Spring like a squadron of jet fighters returning from a mission in France, to run a sweeping aerial recon my little garden aka: playhouse for birds... (click to enlarge)

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Young Haven Hamilton: A Poem by Henry Gibson

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Here's the late, beloved Henry Gibson on my favorite sitcom, "The Dick Van Dyke Show," in 1966. (When I grow up, I still want to be Rob Petrie.) On "Laugh-In" (1968-1971), he was known for his recitations, which began with him holding a large artificial flower (he himself was only 5'3") and announcing: "A poem... by Henry Gibson." This particular poem, originally penned by a guy named Frank Stanton circa 1920, later became a song by Gibson and Richard Baskin, performed by Haven Hamilton at the Grand Ole Opry (and sponsored by Goo Goo Candy Clusters) in Robert Altman's "Nashville" (1975). Full lyrics to Haven's inspirational anthem below:

(via Robert C. Cumbow, >Richard T. Jameson)

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Star-struck: Movie criticism or astrology?

View image Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars...

"One of the most genuinely confounding films to come along in years... This is not a film occurring in an alternate or imaginary reality; rather, it is a film of no reality, that is, a picture that changes the rules of its universe strictly according to its creators' whims. Hence, the film is likely to inspire even more heavy thinking on the part of cultural theorists than 'The Matrix' did."

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"A lot of fluorescent, 7-Eleven-tinted images flash by, any of which could easily be removed or re-arranged without significantly disrupting the film's continuity, because it has none. If you can determine the spatial relationship between Speed's Mach 5 (or Mach 6) and any other race car for more than a few consecutive seconds, then good for you. As on the TV series, the pictures don't seem to move so much as repeat -- movement with no momentum."

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"'Speed Racer' is not a feature film in any conventional sense... Whatever information that passes from your retinas to your brain during 'Speed Racer' is conveyed through optical design and not so much through more traditional devices such as dialogue, narrative, performance or characterization."

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"Alas, this radicalization of film language, while certainly impressive to behold, yields heretofore un-dreamed of levels of narrative incoherence, but hey, not every experiment succeeds."

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"One of the more blatantly anti-capitalist storylines to come down the cinematic pike since, I dunno, Bertolucci's '1900.'"

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""Speed Racer" is a manufactured widget, a packaged commodity that capitalizes on an anthropomorphized cartoon of Capitalist Evil in order to sell itself and its ancillary products."

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Three of the above quotations are taken from a three-star review of "Speed Racer." The other three are from a one-and-a-half-star review. Can you tell which is which? Perhaps the tone gives something away, but the descriptions of the movie, what it does and how it works, are strikingly similar. Clearly both of these critics saw the same movie, although one found the experience less daring, less exhilarating, than the other.

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