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"Thank you for being the best readers any film critic could ask for."

Roger Ebert has announced that he has had a recurrence of cancer and will be taking a partial hiatus from reviewing while he undergoes treatment. Ebert, who lost the ability to speak and eat to cancer in 2006, filed a career-record 306 reviews in 2012. The news comes as Ebert plans to revamp his website and is considering a Kickstarter campaign to bring back his iconic show At the Movies. A documentary about Ebert directed by Steve James and executive produced by Martin Scorsese is currently in production.
posted by alexoscar on Apr 3, 2013 - 212 comments

Barbet Schroeder's "Barfly"

Roger Ebert on the set of Barfly. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 14, 2012 - 21 comments

Roger Ebert On Why Movie Theatre Revenues Are Falling

"I'll tell you why movie revenue is dropping" SLREP
posted by everichon on Dec 29, 2011 - 238 comments

"The cinema is Nicholas Ray"

Today is the 100th birthday of Raymond Nicholas Kienzle, better known as Nicholas Ray. The seminal Hollywood-outcast-turned-French-New-Wave idol behind Rebel Without a Cause, Bigger Than Life, Bitter Victory and the hallucinatory Western Johnny Guitar made intensely emotional films about isolated people, often infused with profound desperation and a sense of the nightmarish. Francois Truffaut dubbed him "the poet of nightfall," while Jean-Luc Godard simply declared that "the cinema is Nicholas Ray." He studied architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright, mentored Jim Jarmusch and let Wim Wenders film him as he was dying of cancer. Bob Dylan even wrote a hit song about one of his movies. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Aug 7, 2011 - 18 comments

The Siskel & Ebert Vault

Starting tonight, Ebert Presents At the Movies will begin airing full episodes of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s original PBS show, Sneak Previews. Taking a break from reviewing movies, co-hosts Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky will introduce and discuss the episodes. Hungry for more classic Siskel & Ebert? Try the invaluable, Ebert-approved SiskelandEbert.org, a growing archive of home-taped episodes of Sneak Previews and At the Movies. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on Aug 5, 2011 - 21 comments

"...the way of nature, and the way of grace."

For Roger Ebert, it's a prayer that made him "more alert to the awe of existence." For Rober Koehler, it's a kitschy New Age con. For Richard Brody, it perfectly captures the essence of a generation by depicting a character thinking "back to the musings and fantasies of childhood, which are the product of a wondrous and fantastic view of science formed by popular-science books for children and by the commercial artists whose illustrations adorned them." For Stephanie Zacharek, it's "a gargantuan work of pretension." For Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, it's "a creation myth in the guise of a crypto-autobiography" that invents a universe of its own only to destroy it. For J. Hoberman, it's lifeless and dull, "essentially a religious work and, as such, may please the director's devotees, cultists, and apologists." It spent thirty years in development, three in editing and, yes, it contains dinosaurs. The Tree of Life, written and directed by famously reclusive Zoolander fan and "JD Salinger of American movies" Terrence Malick , won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Tomorrow, it comes out in the United States. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar on May 26, 2011 - 64 comments

"Dark, small, stroby, headache inducing, alienating. And expensive."

Film editor and sound designer extraordinaire Walter Murch writes to Roger Ebert regarding a fundamental conundrum of current 3D technology: "It is like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time."
posted by oulipian on Jan 24, 2011 - 84 comments

"The best single film criticism site.."

Roger Ebert: "In the last year or two, the world's cinema has become even more available. This instant, sitting right here, I can choose to watch virtually any film you can think of via Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, MUBI, the Asia/Pacific Film Archive, Google Video or Vimeo. At Europa Film Treasures, I can watch films none of us has heard of." Ebert on how the accessibility of film online is making for more and better film criticism from around the world "..by their early 20s, Wael Khairy of Cairo and Seongyong Cho of Seoul had seen every significant film ever made." "The best single film criticism site is arguably davidbordwell.net". [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jan 23, 2011 - 24 comments

Roger Ebert on Anime, with a focus on Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

"In Japan, animation is not seen as the exclusive realm of children's and family films, but is often used for adult, science fiction and action stories, where it allows a kind of freedom impossible in real life. Some Hollywood films strain so desperately against the constraints of the possible that you wish they'd just caved in and gone with animation." -- Roger Ebert on anime, with this excerpt being related to Tokyo Godfathers. Ebert has been a fan of anime for a while, especially the works of Hayao Miyazaki. Ebert has reviewed 6 of the 18 Studio Ghibli films released to date, and even interviewed Miyazaki with a bit of fanboy glee. More reviews and videos inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 30, 2010 - 92 comments

3-D != Serious Drama

Why Roger Ebert Hates 3-D (And You Should Too)
posted by Rory Marinich on May 11, 2010 - 152 comments

When I am writing my problems become invisible and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be.

Roger Ebert, his writing, and his battle with cancer are hardly foreign topics here, but this in-depth interview/profile from Esquire about Ebert's illness, loss of speech, and late career burst of creativity is worth a read.
posted by anazgnos on Feb 16, 2010 - 63 comments

Ending up in a kind of soundlessly spinning ethereal void as we all must.

The day will come when the words of Shakespeare are no longer known. Roger Ebert looks back on a long career and waxes philosophical.
posted by The Card Cheat on Feb 10, 2009 - 60 comments

Roger's little rule book

It is acceptable, but rarely, to join in a general audience uproar, as at the first Cannes press screening of "The Brown Bunny." Even then, no cupping your hand under your armpit and producing fart noises. Roger Ebert's little rule book.
posted by Knappster on Nov 2, 2008 - 39 comments

AFI Top 100

The American Film Institute decided the need for more money an update to their 1998 list of the 100 Greatest Movies was so pressing that they made a new list. Ebert (and friends) ask where's Fargo?. The IHT wonders why the past decade has only spawned four new, worthy movies. And, generally, no one seems super excited about it. (some links go to wikipedia to avoid registration on AFI's site).
posted by ztdavis on Jun 21, 2007 - 88 comments

Sir Lord, meet Miss Boop-a-Doop-a-Dee

In 30 years of going to Cannes, Roger Ebert has witnessed Francis Ford Coppola suffering from post-Apocolypse insanity and learned Jerry Lewis's secret for preventing riots--but the most interesting character he ever met there was a loudmouthed, fast-talking Texan named Silver Dollar Baxter with an uncanny gift for bluffing...
posted by yankeefog on May 9, 2005 - 5 comments

Watching movies in a difficult year

On the meaning of life... and movies: The radiation made it difficult for me to handle solid food, and I existed on a product named Ensure, which kept everything humming along. Very early on the first morning in Cannes I woke early, as I always do, and wandered, as I always do, down to the all-night cafe by the port, and ordered, as I always do, a croissant and cafe au lait. I dunked the croissant into the coffee, as I always do, and ate it, and that was the beginning of real food again.

Roger Ebert describes his battles with cancer--and his love of movies--in the introduction to his 2005 Movie Yearbook.
posted by Faint of Butt on Dec 2, 2004 - 25 comments

Roger Ebert savages "John Q." for general dumbness

Roger Ebert savages "John Q." for general dumbness yet agrees with the message: we should have socialized health care. Steve MacLaughlin, however, details how the film greatly misrepresents medical and health care reality just to make its point -- and he fears that Joe Popcorn is going to absorb it as political education. Given that the film is set in the present day, rather than some fictional dystopian future, is this artistic license or irresponsible oversight? Perhaps libelous propaganda?
posted by Tubes on Feb 18, 2002 - 73 comments

No place for political correctness in film. By Roger Ebert.

No place for political correctness in film. By Roger Ebert.
posted by adrober on Jan 18, 2002 - 23 comments

The Godfather Mystery Goof

The Godfather Mystery Goof is now solved. Thanks to Roger Ebert, Francis Ford Coopola, and Mike Spearns from Newfoundland.
posted by adrober on Dec 16, 2001 - 16 comments

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