Matt writes: In his list ranking the best films of 1987, Roger Ebert included Taylor Hackford’s “Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll!,” calling it “the year's best musical documentary, a rollicking and sometimes revealing record of the attempt by Rolling Stone Keith Richards to stage a 60th birthday concert for Berry, at which the pioneer of rock and roll would at last be accompanied by a well-rehearsed backup band.” After Berry passed away last weekend, our critic Glenn Kenny penned an insightful obituary that paid tribute to Hackford’s film. “Aside from being a superb portrait of Berry—and of Richards, whose intelligence and clear devotion to music here belies his sometime rap as a wizened five-string-zombie,” wrote Kenny, “[it] is one of the great rock and roll documentaries.” And of Berry, Kenny argued, “For all the great things he achieved, he deserves to be the fifth face on Mount Rushmore.”
Marie writes: There was a time when Animation was done by slaves with a brush in one hand and a beer in the other. Gary Larson's "Tales From the Far Side" (1994) was such a project. I should know; I worked on it. Produced by Marv Newland at his Vancouver studio "International Rocketship", it first aired as a CBS Halloween special (Larson threw a party for the crew at the Pan Pacific Hotel where we watched the film on a big screen) and was later entered into the 1995 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prix. It spawned a sequel "Tales From the Far Side II" (1997) - I worked on that too. Here it is, below.
Actress Jill Clayburgh, whose portrayal of women in the 1970s helped define and and reshape the role of leading lady, died last week of chronic lymphocytic leukemia at her home in Lakeville, Connecticut; she was 66. She's best known for her Academy Award nominated roles in "An Unmarried Woman" (Winner: Best Actress Cannes 1978) and "Starting Over." Roger has remembered her on his site: Jill Clayburgh: In Memory.