2 items from 2015
A terminal cancer diagnosis proves more liberating than traumatic for the historied rock-guitarist subject of “The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson.” Julien Temple’s characteristically playful, pop-culture-savvy approach to the documentary form might seem ill suited to the subject of mortality, but veteran English axman Johnson’s unexpectedly buoyant response to very bad news makes for a film about saying goodbye that is itself void of grief, fear or regret. The engaging result should do well as a broadcast item, particularly wherever its protagonist has a substantial fan base.
That would likely preclude the U.S., where the band Johnson is primarily known for never got a commercial foothold. Indeed, he left the British R&B “pub rock” movement leader Dr. Feelgood after just six years in 1977, later fronting his own band, playing with Ian Dury and others — though little of that later history is recounted here. Instead, the focus is »
- Dennis Harvey
Editor's Note: RogerEbert.com is proud to reprint Roger Ebert's 1978 entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica publication "The Great Ideas Today," part of "The Great Books of the Western World." Reprinted with permission from The Great Ideas Today ©1978 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
It's a measure of how completely the Internet has transformed communication that I need to explain, for the benefit of some younger readers, what encyclopedias were: bound editions summing up all available knowledge, delivered to one's home in handsome bound editions. The "Great Books" series zeroed in on books about history, poetry, natural science, math and other fields of study; the "Great Ideas" series was meant to tie all the ideas together, and that was the mission given to Roger when he undertook this piece about film.
Given the venue he was writing for, it's probably wisest to look at Roger's long, wide-ranging piece as a snapshot of the »
- Roger Ebert
2 items from 2015
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