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MZS

30 Minutes on "Not Fade Away"

The first theatrical feature film written and directed by David Chase, the creator of “The Sopranos,” is an autobiographical tale about the formation of an artistic sensibility. John Magaro plays Doug Damiano, a northern New Jersey teenager whose father Pat (James Gandolfini) is a hot-tempered, Archie Bunker-style reactionary who suffers from psoriasis, and whose mother Antoinette (Molly Price) is a depressive who regularly threatens to kill herself. The movie is narrated by Doug’s sister Evelyn, played by Meg Guzulescu, in the manner of a third-person novel, packing a television season’s worth of incident into an hour and 50 minutes yet somehow never feeling rushed. 

Features

Thumbnails 3/18/15

Ultimate breaks and beats; Can sexual fantasy be filmed?; Adult sympathies of "Breakfast Club"; American patriotism getting out of hand; Memories of Selma.

Ebert Club

#232 August 20, 2014

Sheila writes: In lieu of the recent release of "Get On Up," the James Brown biopic (check out Odie Henderson's review on Rogerebert.com, and you can also check out the video interview with star Chadwick Boseman and director Tate Taylor), I went scrolling through Youtube the other day, enjoying various James Brown clips. I came across this delight: James Brown giving a dance lesson.

Features

Thumbnails 4/8/14

Superhero movies; A personal story about a man's uncle; Under the Skin and feminism; Barbara Walters sets retirement date; Mickey Rooney leaves us.

Features

Thumbnails 12/11/2013

Russian Supreme Court declares Pussy Riot sentence unlawful; Erica Huggins appointed new president of Imagine Films; a music critic comes to her senses about R. Kelly; Bette Midler to play Mae West; celebrities' queasy new publicity machine.

Tom Shales At Large

How many Beyonci does it taketo blow out a Super Bowl?

by Tom Shales

Okay, now we know: God DOES "care" about the Super Bowl, as people were wondering during the big build-up to the game -- the one that began around Thanksgiving, 2012. Yes, God cares; He HATES it. And that's why He (or, yes, She) turned off the lights on Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans Sunday night and left everybody standing there and waiting for the second half to continue. Maybe it was a kind of Old-Testament warning -- ya think?

Far Flungers

Insanity Set to Pop Culture Deconstruction

* "Detention" is available on Blu-ray and Amazon Instant, and "Girl Walk//All Day" is available for free on Vimeo.

In its drift from one receptive viewer to the next, a cinematic motif or choice soundtrack selection bristles at the prospect of first exposure. Luis Bacalov's titular, Elvis-aping ballad for "Django Unchained" washed recently for the first time over many filmgoers' ears, and thus became their primary recollection. The same can and should not be said, however, about the western's mid-climax "duet" from 2Pac and James Brown later on, which aimed for adrenaline but landed on awkward bafflement instead. Call that disappointing instance decoupage or mash-up, but a post-modern cut-and-paste can also work wonders under the right framework: Two remarkable films from 2012 - Joseph Kahn's madcap teen genre "Detention" and Jacob Krupnick's feature-length music video "Girl Walk//All Day" - operate on the opposite assumption; that their usage of pop culture sources finds audiences second-hand, and in doing so ensure their unique re-appropriation attains an euphoric fusion overall.

Chaz at Cannes

Indy in the Riviera sunshine

Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford and George Lucas bring "Indiana Jones" to Cannes. (AP photo)

Dear Roger,

The weather gods smiled on Steven Spielberg and George Lucas for their world premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Crowds gathered in the Riviera sun, some of them with signs pleading, “S’il vous plait, I NEED tickets for Indiana Jones!” There was a screening scheduled for 1 p.m., for both the press and the official invitation holders. In the past mixing the two has spelled disaster for a movie so highly anticipated; usually the screenings are separate, so the black tie crowd doesn't hear the possible snickers of the critics. Today I expected a crowd, so I got to the Palais des Festivals much earlier than usual, but to no avail. The guards told me it was complet!

Festivals & Awards

Ebert's Oscar predictions (2007)

In a year when the Academy Award nominations are more diverse and international than ever before, it's anyone's guess who will win best picture. "Dreamgirls" garnered more nominations than any other movie, but was passed over for both picture and director.