7 items from 2015
After much media speculation over news that Jon Stewart met with Barack Obama twice during his presidency, The Daily Show host came clean Wednesday night with all the juicy details: "I was brought through the secret White House tunnel entrance at Mount Rushmore," the host cracked. "It was a round table meeting with the President, Elvis — still alive — Minister Farrakhan and the Area 51 alien."
Clearly relishing the ridiculousness of his momentary place in the 24-hour cable news cycle, Stewart downplayed his visits with Obama, noting first and foremost, they weren't actually secret. »
What does it take to get to know someone? Like truly, to know someone. Greg (Thomas Mann) drifts through his high-school days by casually interacting with all of the social circles. He’s perfectly content with his surface level “friendships” he has with the jocks, the techno-geeks, the white-guy hip-hop kid – never taking the time to go too far out of his way to get to know any of them and always hiding his own life in the process. Even Earl (R.J. Cyler) is never described as a friend by Greg, instead he’s called a co-worker due to the film spoofs they make together. All of this changes though when Greg’s mom (Connie Britton) forces him to go visit the girl from school that was diagnosed with cancer. What soon develops though between Greg and the dying Rachel (Olivia Cook) calls into question Greg’s impersonal way of getting through life. »
- Michael Haffner
'Fanny and Alexander' movie: Ingmar Bergman classic with Bertil Guve as Alexander Ekdahl 'Fanny and Alexander' movie review: Last Ingmar Bergman 'filmic film' Why Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander / Fanny och Alexander bears its appellation is a mystery – one of many in the director's final 'filmic film' – since the first titular character, Fanny (Pernilla Allwin) is at best a third- or fourth-level supporting character. In fact, in the three-hour theatrical version she is not even mentioned by name for nearly an hour into the film. Fanny and Alexander should have been called "Alexander and Fanny," or simply "Alexander," since it most closely follows two years – from 1907 to 1909 – in the life of young, handsome, brown-haired Alexander Ekdahl (Bertil Guve), the original "boy who sees dead people." Better yet, it should have been called "The Ekdahls," for that whole family is central to the film, especially Fanny and Alexander's beautiful blonde mother Emilie, »
- Dan Schneider
The festival program unveiled today includes 33 world premieres (including 22 shorts) and 135 Australian premieres (with 18 shorts) among 251 titles from 68 countries.
Among the other premieres will be Daina Reid.s The Secret River, Ruby Entertainment's. ABC-tv miniseries starring Oliver Jackson Cohen and Sarah Snook, and three Oz docs, Marc Eberle.s The Cambodian Space Project — Not Easy Rock .n. Roll, Steve Thomas. Freedom Stories and Lisa Nicol.s Wide Open Sky.
Festival director Nashen Moodley boasted. this year.s event will be far larger than 2014's when 183 films from 47 countries were screened, including 15 world premieres. The expansion is possible in part due to the addition of two new screening venues in Newtown and Liverpool.
As previously announced, Brendan Cowell »
- Don Groves
Whenever I sit down to review an Ingmar Begman movie I tend to bounce over to IMDb just to see how many of his films I've seen. Obviously when you're talking about Bergman we all pretty much start with the well known classics (The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, etc.) and then slowly begin to explore his lesser known films. Well, having now finally seen Cries & Whispers, what very well may be the last of his well known classics I had left to see (except for "Scenes from a Marriage"), I feel there are only lesser known corners of his oeuvre for me to explore. However, with over 65 films credited to him as a director on IMDb it would seem I've still only scratched the surface as I've only 14 of his films under my belt. Criterion's new Blu-ray release of Cries and Whispers is an upgrade from their 2001 DVD release, arriving »
- Brad Brevet
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
7 items from 2015
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