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

Thumb dogs

Isle of Dogs

As entertaining as it is to look at Isle of Dogs, I couldn’t get past Anderson’s usual clumsiness when dealing with minorities.

Thumb v5hlmjk9bdehxn2qhafp1ivjx3u

Pacific Rim Uprising

I'm writing this review in a hurry because every hour that I wait makes it harder to remember any specific thing that happens in Pacific…

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

I miss Robert Altman so much it hurts


I've been reading Mitchell Zuckoff's "Robert Altman: The Oral Biography" before going to sleep each night, and it's reminding me of how much he influenced my life -- from the life-changing epiphany of "Nashville" in 1975 to the first time I met him in 1977 to the countless hours I've spent living with (and in) his films, writing about them, talking about them with people who knew him and knew his movies...

Reading this, from Julian Fellowes (Oscar-winning screenwriter for "Gosford Park"), made me feel the loss acutely once again -- and kept me awake, wandering down memory-trails, for hours:


The standard thing in Hollywood is to direct the camera with a movement on the scene. The dog goes down the walk and the camera follows the dog, and it leads to the body. With Bob, the dog goes one way and the camera goes the other. He creates this illusion in the mind of the spectator that they are directing the camera. It becomes an autonomous being that is moving around the room. Because you are the viewer, you take responsibility for the image. You are given the impression that you are exploring this film.

"You take responsibility for the image." Was there ever a director who offered his audience so much freedom, trust, responsibility (and everything that word implies)?

Of course, Altman's camera did sometimes "follow the dog," but more often than not both the dog and the frame would continue moving, allowing new elements to enter and exit so that you were fully aware of the world that extended beyond the edges of the frame. The frame wasn't just a proscenium, but a permeable membrane through which life continually ebbed and flowed...

Popular Blog Posts

Netflix Docuseries "Wild Wild Country" is Fascinating Entertainment

Netflix's "Wild Wild Country" is easily one of the craziest documentaries I’ve ever seen.

We’re Still the Lunatics: A Special Edition of “The ‘Burbs”

An appreciation of Joe Dante's The 'Burbs on the eve of its Blu-ray Special Edition release.

SXSW Film Festival 2018: “Ready Player One”

A review of Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One" from the SXSW Film Festival.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus