The House That Jack Built
Ultimately, it’s more of an inconsistent cry into the void than the conversation starter it could have been.
Roger Ebert became film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. He is the only film critic with a star on Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and was named honorary life member of the Directors' Guild of America. He won the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Screenwriters' Guild, and honorary degrees from the American Film Institute and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since 1989 he has hosted Ebertfest, a film festival at the Virginia Theater in Champaign-Urbana. From 1975 until 2006 he, Gene Siskel and Richard Roeper co-hosted a weekly movie review program on national TV. He was Lecturer on Film for the University of Chicago extension program from 1970 until 2006, and recorded shot-by-shot commentaries for the DVDs of "Citizen Kane," "Casablanca," "Floating Weeds" and "Dark City," and has written over 20 books.
When the producer is Ross Hunter, you go to him. He greeted his visitor at 10 a.m. last Monday in his suite at the Ambassador East. He was garbed in a blue silk dressing gown with Japanese sleeves, and he apologized, but - well, it was 10 in the morning, you know. His latest film: "Thoroughly Modern Millie."
For many American moviegoers, Jean-Luc Godard's “Breathless” (1960) was an introduction to the new style of French filmmaking. Everything about the movie seemed filled with life, invented on the spot. Godard scribbled the script on the backs of envelopes every morning before shooting. For his hero he chose an unknown, Jean-Paul Belmondo, who was not handsome like Rock Hudson but ugly like Humphrey Bogart. Aware of the inevitable comparisons, Belmondo parodied Bogart in a memorable scene which put him in the tradition of the master.
At first the screen is filled by an enormous bunny tail. Then the camera pulls back to show the Chicago Playboy Club, and there's Hugh Hefner, nodding to his friends and heading for the door.
Who's peeking out from under a stairway, Calling the name that's lighter than air?
"Here's another one," Severn Darden said. He was standing on the other side of the police station reading descriptions of Chicago's most wanted criminals.
"You wanna hear a funny story?" Jacqueline Susann said. "When 'Valley of the Dolls' came out in Russia, it was reviewed in Pravda. "So somebody sent us the review and we had it translated. They said it was a very exotic story."
Up in the 2400 block of Lincoln Ave., there is still a grocery and a bar and a butcher shop, and there is still the Biograph Theater, which is 40 years old this week.
Roger Corman Eats a Club Sandwich, or, Portrait of the Artist as a Boy Wonder Turned 41.
Jayne Mansfield, who was not a dumb blond, spent most of her adult life in the service of that image. She was so successful that today, as she lies dead in New Orleans, there is very little to say about her that is not the invention of a press agent.
"You don't, ah, know anything about a race where you balance beans on a knife, do you?"