In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb concrete poster

Dragged Across Concrete

It’s difficult to ignore the craftsmanship and performances in Dragged Across Concrete simply because you don’t like some of its darker themes or feel like…

Thumb sunset poster

Sunset

Nemes' suggestive, impressionistic approach takes some getting used to, but Sunset is worth the extra effort.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

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…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Far Flunger Archives

Ebertfest 2008: My heart is in Urbana

The 10th Anniversary Ebertfest begins tonight in Urbana-Champaign. It is with some melancholy that I write these words on a legal pad in a hospital bed in Chicago. After consulting with my doctors, I have decided it may not be prudent to try to make the journey today with a fractured hip.

Sigh. I was really happy with this one. The films, the guests, the friends. Chaz, Nate Kohn, Mary Susan Britt and I had all the pieces in place. The only tweak I didn’t have time for was a proper full-length review of “Shotgun Stories.” It was on the to-do list. What I’m using now is what I wrote after seeing it at the Chicago Film Festival. The rest is almost a turn-key operation---the little festival that runs itself, with the help of countless volunteers.

Advertisement

It’s hard to express what it means to me that the festival is in my hometown. People never seemed to think I quite had a job. “And how is Roger?” my mother’s friends would ask. “Is he still just… going to the movies?”

Illness has been playing an unwelcome role in my life these days. After unsuccessful surgery in January, I ended up back in the friendly confines of the Chicago Rehabilitation Institute. Graduating from there in good shape to attend Ebertfest, I went to the wonderful Pritikin Longevity Institute for more exercise. I was there one day and -- whoops! -- my shoe caught on a rug and I fell and broke my hip. Nobody’s fault.

A broken hip adds to my tour of medical adventures. My current plan is to take it easy, obey the doctors orders, and start writing reviews again.

In the meantime, my heart will be in Urbana. Old friends like Bill and Carolyne Nack, Richard and Mary Corliss and Barry Avrich and Hannah Fisher will meet new ones. Chaz will be the Emcee. Again, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson will add their gravitas and wit to the proceedings.

My “Ebert & Roeper” colleagues Richard Roeper and Michael Phillips will be on board. And damn, I wish I could be there for Michael Barker, Christine Lahti, Tom DiCillo, Paul Schrader, Timothy Spall, Rufus Sewell, Bill Forsyth, Ang Lee, Joey Pantoliano, Aida Turturro, Farmer John, Tarsem Singh, Jeff Nichols, Eran Kolirin and the great designer Eiko Ishioka.

But there will be the sad absence of Dusty Cohl, who the festival is dedicated to.

Jim Emerson, the editor of this site, will be blogging from Ebertfest for rogerebert.com, and also check out the blogs of David Bordwell, David Poland, Lisa Rosman and Peter Sobcynski. I will.

Popular Blog Posts

The Most Unforgettable Episodes of The Twilight Zone

Jessica Ritchey on the episodes of The Twilight Zone that she thinks about the most.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

S. Craig Zahler on Dragged Across Concrete, Casting Mel Gibson, His Writing Process and More

An interview with writer/director S. Craig Zahler about his new film, Dragged Across Concrete.

A Reappraisal of Oliver Stone's "Alexander: The Ultimate Cut"

On the eve of its 10th anniversary, a new version of Oliver Stone's Alexander on Blu-ray demands a reappraisal.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus