Lina Wertmuller

Reviews

Seven Beauties (1976)

Blog Posts

Features

Susan Seidelman, Survivor

Susan Seidelman has been making films for over 30 years. Her work includes "Desperately Seeking Susan," the pilot for "Sex and the City," and her new sports comedy "The Hot Flashes." Her story is the story of women in Hollywood: a study in creativity, courage and strength. A profile by RogerEbert.com's Christy Lemire.

Roger Ebert

DGA honors Bigelow, Cameron, Daniels, Reitman, Tarantino

AP -- The science-fiction blockbuster "Avatar" has earned James Cameron his latest nomination for the top honor from the Directors Guild of America. Cameron won the guild prize 12 years ago for "Titanic." Also nominated are Kathryn Bigelow for the Iraq War drama "The Hurt Locker," Lee Daniels for the Harlem teen tale "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire," Jason Reitman for the recession-era story "Up in the Air" and Quentin Tarantino for the World War II hit "Inglourious Basterds."

Scanners

Flawed

One of my favorite movie lines ever, impeccably written and delivered so that it has stayed fresh and funny for me every single day since I first heard it 30 years ago:

"We saw the new Lina Wertmuller film.... I loved it. Phil thought it was flawed."

-- Patti (Lisa Lucas), the 15-year-old daughter of Jill Clayburgh's title character in "An Unmarried Woman" (1978) by Paul Mazursky

BTW, I'm struck that studios hardly ever make mainstream movies like this anymore, naturalistic, humanistic comedy-dramas about adults who look, talk and behave like adults -- or like15-year-olds, depending on the circumstances. "An Unmarried Woman" is flawed, and I love it. (Clayburgh's shrink still drives me up the wall, but I never doubted that she was a dead-accurate caricature. Now I think she's hilarious; I used to just feel outrage that she was so full of shit and granola: "Guilt is a man-made emotion.... Turn off the guilt.")

Even if the movie plays like a '70s period picture in some ways (and it did then, too -- because it was made and set in a recognizable '70s New York movie-milieu), it's as smart and honest and observant as ever. Almost shockingly so, given what's passing for adult drama on big screens right this minute....

Interviews

Richard Pryor: 1940-2005

(Note from Roger Ebert: Cynthia, who now lives and works in Tucson, was a features writer at the Sun-Times in the 1970s, where our desks faced each other and we shared everything from coffee to the mysteries of the new computers. She sent me this after the death of Richard Pryor.)

Festivals & Awards

Star Power and Small Gems Get Equal Time at Festival

In the autumn march of film festivals, Chicago's comes after Montreal, Telluride and Venice, and is held at about the same time as New York. All of these festivals are essentially fishing in the same pond, so the remarkable thing about the 31st annual Chicago event is how many new or unfamiliar titles have been discovered.

Festivals & Awards

Dusty sells Billy a movie: Showdown at the American Bar

Billy (Silver Dollar) Baxter traveled to the Cannes Film Festival every year with two old friends, Herb and Anna Steinman of New York City. He always introduced Mrs. Steinman as “Jack Nicholson’s shrink,” and Herb as “the retired millionaire and my old buddy-boy.” From time to time over the years, Baxter and Steinman had purchased the rights to films at Cannes, and released them in the United States. Their purchases included "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" and Lina Wertmuller’s "Love and Anarchy," and in 1977 they were hot on the trail of a Canadian film titled "Outrageous!"

Interviews

Hanging out with Wilder and Pryor

"What happened was, I was reading about Buster Keaton," Gene Wilder said. "About how he did all his own stunts. Like the time he had to stand in exactly the right place for the two-ton building to fall on him and he was right where the window was. So then we were making 'Silver Streak' and there we were doing our own stunts."