8 items from 2015
Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson on the Oscars' Red Carpet Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson at the Academy Awards Eli Wallach and wife Anne Jackson are seen above arriving at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, held on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The 95-year-old Wallach had received an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in November 2010. See also: "Doris Day Inexplicably Snubbed by Academy," "Maureen O'Hara Honorary Oscar," "Honorary Oscars: Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo Among Rare Women Recipients," and "Hayao Miyazaki Getting Honorary Oscar." Delayed film debut The Actors Studio-trained Eli Wallach was to have made his film debut in Fred Zinnemann's Academy Award-winning 1953 blockbuster From Here to Eternity. Ultimately, however, Frank Sinatra – then a has-been following a string of box office duds – was cast for a pittance, getting beaten to a pulp by a pre-stardom Ernest Borgnine. For his bloodied efforts, Sinatra went on »
- D. Zhea
Netflix does a lot of things right. From cheap DVD’s and blu-ray’s delivered right to your door to a streaming service that is damn-near perfect (thousands of shows and movies for only $9! You seriously can’t beat it.) But the Best thing they do are their Netflix Original Series. I mean, we as a society, are this close to relying on them solely for our television needs, amiright?
They create these amazing shows and give them to us in an entire season at a time to binge watch at our leisure. Almost every month, it seems a Netflix Original Series releases a new season to stream and it has made our lives infinitely better.
Of the dozens of original series and continuations of shows, these are the top five that you should be dedicating your precious time to because seriously, they deserve it.
- Sarah Sommer
The Star Wars franchise is going strong 38 years later. But what about the artists and filmmakers who helped make the 1977 original a hit?
In theatres all over the world in 1977, audiences thrilled at the sights and sounds of Star Wars. Harking back to a bygone age of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, it also pointed forward to the coming age of ubiquitous computers and special effects-led blockbusters.
But while the triumphant fanfare of John Williams' score gave Star Wars a confident swagger, its success was far from preordained. George Lucas reworked his script time and again; studios turned his concept down; even the production was rushed and torturous.
By now, the contribution George Lucas, John Williams and Star Wars' cast made to cinema is well documented. But what about some of the other artists, technicians and fellow filmmakers who helped to make the movie such a success? Here's »
The Oscars sum up Hollywood quite tidily: The most popular people get together to find out who has been selected as being especially notable, and then everyone claps. If you're the type who likes attention - and let's face it, most who excel in Hollywood do - getting that moment onstage is a dream come true. Every now and then, however, an Oscar winner isn't present to receive his or her statuette. It's Hollywood heresy - the thought that someone would have somewhere more important to be than onstage, receiving applause. But it happens, and when it does, there's usually a good story behind it. »
- Drew Mackie, @drewgmackie
It’s It's an oft-echoed sentiment that movies are made in the cutting room, so the Academy Award for Best Film Editing is a cherished trophy indeed. First, some guild award stats: since 1963, the American Cinema Editors have correctly predicted the eventual Oscar winner 36 times (in years when the award has been split between Dramatic and Musical/Comedy Editing, the specific prize given has been noted): 1963: Harold F. Kress, “How the West Was Won” 1964: Cotton Warburton, “Mary Poppins” 1965: William Reynolds, “The Sound of Music” 1968: Frank P. Keller, “Bullitt” 1970: Hugh S. Fowler, “Patton” 1972: David Bretherton, “Cabaret” 1973: William Reynolds, “The Sting” 1975: Verna Fields, “Jaws” 1976: Richard Halsley and Scott Conrad, “Rocky” 1978: Peter Zinner, “The Deer Hunter” 1979: Alan Heim, “All That Jazz” 1980: Thelma...' »
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
I love movie and television soundtracks. I’ll often use a given soundtrack while I work, letting it fuel my writing. I can’t listen to music with lyrics in them; that interferes with my process. I’ll get themes, characters, even scenes or whole plots from the music. Soundtrack music is in service of the story that the film is trying to tell; it’s a part of the narrative, heightening the emotion that’s being invoked.
I have my own particular favorites. The composers usually have a large body of work but certain key works resonate within me – Jerry Goldsmith’s Chinatown and Patton, James Horner with Field of Dreams, Shaun Davey’s Waking Ned Devine, Elmer Bernstein’s To Kill A Mockingbird (has there ever been a more beautiful and evocative theme?) and, of course, The Magnificent Seven.
I’ve also been very fond of Alan Silvestri »
- John Ostrander
Moviegoers can finally enjoy a film with a genuine hero who served his country and fought in a righteous war
The New England Patriots spent this past weekend earning a spot in the Super Bowl. But many more patriots went to the movies and propelled “American Sniper” to a record-setting January box office weekend.
In doing so, they officially declared war against the likes of Michael Moore, Seth Rogen and so many liberal, peace loving, pot-smoking A-listers and Hollywood suits who, since the 1970s, have had an ambivalent, if not disdainful relationship with war movies in general, and American patriotism in particular. »
- Thane Rosenbaum
8 items from 2015
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