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Just Getting Started

Just Getting Started never really gets going. It only kept me thinking, “Is this ever just going to finish?”

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

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.

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The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell

(1968)

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Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?

(1968)

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The Swimmer

(1968)

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Petulia

(1968)

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Speedway

(1968)

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Anzio

(1968)

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The Green Berets

(1968)

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Villa Rides

(1968)

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Benjamin

(1968)

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Dutchman

(1968)

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Blue

(1968)

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The Odd Couple

(1968)

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A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die

(1968)

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Inspector Clouseau

(1968)

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Will Penny

(1968)

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Closely Watched Trains

(1968)

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Yours, Mine and Ours

(1968)

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Half a Sixpence

(1968)

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The Devil's Brigade

(1968)

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Festival

(1968)

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Wild in the Streets

(1968)

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Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

(1968)

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Finnegan's Wake

(1968)

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Live for Life

(1968)

Roger loves Chaz

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Wednesday, July 18, is the 20th anniversary of our marriage. How can I begin to tell you about Chaz? She fills my horizon, she is the great fact of my life, she has my love, she saved me from the fate of living out my life alone, which is where I seemed to be heading. If my cancer had come, and it would have, and Chaz had not been there with me, I can imagine a descent into lonely decrepitude. I was very sick. I might have vegetated in hopelessness. This woman never lost her love, and when it was necessary she forced me to want to live. She was always there believing I could do it, and her love was like a wind forcing me back from the grave.

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The body count

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I've never held a handgun in my life. I did some rifle target shooting with the ROTC in college. That's it with me and firearms. Does this make me less of an American? I think handguns are dangerous, and the more people who walk around carrying them the more dangerous they are. I also don't understand why civilians need to possess AR-15 assault rifles, such as the one used by James Holmes in Colorado. They fire 10 shots at a time, and are intended for combat use. In civilian hands, they are by definition weapons of slaughter. Do you need one in your home?

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Cannes #5: Waiting for Godard

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When I began as a film critic, Jean-Luc Godard was widely thought to have reinvented the cinema with "Breathless" (1960). Now he is almost 80 and has made what is said to be his last film, and he's still at the job, reinventing. If only he had stopped while he was ahead. That would have been sometime in the 1970s. Maybe the 1980s. For sure, the 1990s. Without a doubt, before he made his Cannes entry, "Film: Socialisme."

The thousands of seats in the Auditorium Debussy were jammed, and many were turned away. We lucky ones sat in devout attention to this film, such is the spell Godard still casts. There is an abiding belief that he has something radical and new to tell us. It is doubtful that anyone else could have made this film and found an audience for it.

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