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#305 June 27, 2017

Matt writes: July 18th, 2017 marked the 75th anniversary of Roger Ebert's birth. To honor his unparalleled legacy, we have compiled a few of his finest articles into a birthday table of contents. I'd also like to share the clip embedded below of Roger asking Alfred Hitchcock a question via phone on a talk show (thanks to Eyes On Cinema for unearthing the footage on YouTube).

Roger Ebert

I'd like you to meet your best friend

It was the opening day of the Disney-MGM studios in Orlando. The stars were there with their children. There was an official luncheon at the Brown Derby, modeled after the legendary Hollywood eatery. I was beside myself. I was in a booth sitting next to Jack Brickhouse, the voice of the Chicago Cubs. A man walked over and introduced himself. "Bob Elliott." Oh. My. God. Bob, of Bob and Ray.

For me he was the biggest star in the room. Who, after all, compared to even one half of Bob and Ray, was Tom Hanks? Whoopi Goldberg? Art Linkletter? "Gosh all whillikers, Mr. Science!" I said, "What's that long brown object???" Bob didn't miss a beat: "That's known as a board, Roger."

Another man was steaming toward us through the throng. A middle-aged man, well-dressed, tanned, with a pleasant smile. "Hi, Jack!" he said. "Say, I hear Ernie Banks is invited. Yeah, I was just talking to Michael and that's what he said." Jack turned to me and said, "Roger, this is a man I want you to meet. You're going to be seeing him again many times over the years. Say hello Jerry Berliant."


TIFF 08: The Wrestler: Aronofsky + Rourke = Sweetness

What a sweet little movie "The Wrestler" is.

Warm. Endearing. Really nice.

This may be the first time adjectives like these have been applied to the work of Darren Aronofsky ("Pi," "Requiem for a Dream," "The Fountain") or Mickey Rourke ("Johnny Handsome," "Sin City"), neither of whom has an on-screen reputation as Mr. Charming. But there's not a mean or cynical (broken) bone in this movie's soft-bellied, soft-hearted, battle-scarred, age-tenderized old body.