This is rare, nuanced storytelling, anchored by one of Brad Pitt’s career-best performances and remarkable technical elements on every level. It’s a special film.
* 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.
There’s something glorious about being freed from the confines of a pretty rote thriller and simply waiting for De Palma to uncork some rococo bit of violent suspense.
A review of two premieres from Sundance, including films starring Emma Thompson and Hillary Swank.
A look ahead at the 112 films that will play the Sundance Film Festival in January 2019.
Chaz Ebert reveals her list of movies from 2018 to see before awards season 2019.
An interview with writer/director Elizabeth Chomko and actor Robert Forster about their Chicago family dramedy, What They Had.
A sneak peek at this year's Chicago International Film Festival, which runs from October 10-21.
Two dozen of our favorite performances from 2017.
110 independent films have been announced to premiere at next January's Sundance Film Festival.
On three TIFF premieres, including films starring Emma Thompson, Richard Gere, and Helena Bonham-Carter.
25 films we can't wait to check out during the summer movie season.
Roger's Favorites: directors Kasi Lemmons, Patty Jenkins and Kimberly Peirce.
A report from the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
A piece on the first wave of critics groups awards and some predictions for SAG and the Golden Globe nominees.
An interview with Oscar winner Hilary Swank, star of Tommy Lee Jones' "The Homesman."
Is feature filmmaking dead?; Gripes with "This Is Where I Leave You"; Remembering Peter von Bagh; "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in black-and-white; B. Ruby Rich on "Life Itself."
A preview of the 2014 Telluride Film Festival, which runs August 29-September 1, 2014.
All of our video segments from Cannes 2014.
Chaz Ebert's latest video reports on the Cannes premieres of "Foxcatcher," "The Homesman," "Mr. Turner," and "The Wonders," while offering an extended report on the emotional screening of "Life Itself."
Day five at Cannes sees an analysis of Tommy Lee Jones' "The Homesman" in light of continued issues with gender equality at the fest.
Barbara Scharres previews the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Vex Poet on "Laurence Anyways" and the complicated question of who gets to speak for the trans community.
Peter Sobczynski ranks 27 films by Brian De Palma.
Marie writes: I love photography, especially B/W and for often finding color a distraction. Take away the color and suddenly, there's so much more to see; the subtext able to rise now and sit closer to the surface - or so it seems to me. The following photograph is included in a gallery of nine images (color and B/W) under Photography: Celebrity Portraits at the Guardian."This is one of the last photographs of Orson before he died. He loved my camera - a gigantic Deardorff - and decided he had to direct me and tell me where to put the light. So even in his last days, he was performing his directorial role perfectly, and bossing me around. Which was precious." - Michael O'Neill
Orson Welles, by Michael O'Neill, 1985
A horror or science-fiction movie without subtext is like Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory without electricity. The inner metaphor is what gives it life and resonance. Otherwise, it's just a story about stitched-together people parts. Or take David Cronenberg's "The Fly," a riveting, poignant horror/science-fiction/romance about an ambitious scientist who accidentally gets his DNA mixed up with that of a housefly. Everything about the movie is first-rate, from the direction to the performances to the effects. But what really grabs hold of you is the universal theme: We are all Brundlefly, sentient, self-aware beings whose bodies are going to decay and die. In 1986, a lot of people assumed the subtext was AIDS; Cronenberg later said he was thinking in more general terms about the process of aging. It doesn't matter. The movie works on those levels.
Cronenberg is particularly ingenious at making the word flesh, and the ways he develops his ideas are often even scarier than the explicit horrors: "The Brood" is a masterpiece about the psychosomatic effects of rage turned inward, and about the legacy of emotional abuse passed down from one generation to the next; "Videodrome" is about technology as an extension of the body and the brain; "Dead Ringers" is about mutant forms of psychological and sexual intimacy; "Naked Lunch" is about a writer who has to internalize his own sexuality before he can create art.... Cronenberg is an organic, visionary thinker, storyteller, filmmaker. His movies have meat on their bones. Other filmmakers whose work strikes me as insubstantial lack this ability to flesh-out their pictures with compelling, animating ideas. Their plots are meticulously plotted, but they're skin-deep and there's nothing to sink your imaginative teeth into.
Which brings me to this summer's hits, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," neither of which I have much interest in seeing. Instead I'm intrigued by a few things I've read about them -- specifically about their subtext, or lack thereof. In a piece about the racial themes of "The Help" ("Why Can't Critics Just Get Along?"), David Poland writes: