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Sunday Film News Roundup — April 7th, 2013

April 7, 2013


I think even people who have been living under a rock are aware of the passing of Roger Ebert earlier this week from complications due to a reemergence of the cancer that took his jaw and his ability to speak, but never took his voice.

I can’t quite remember the last time I’ve seen such a ubiquitous, generous outpouring of grief and remembrance for someone, at least someone who wasn’t a Pope or a Princess or a Beatle. Surely not Siskel, who never really got a chance to find a voice online, where Ebert really flourished. Though, looking at it all, I can’t help but think that Ebert would find the outpouring of grief a little bit maudlin, and maybe a little bit undeserved. But then, I never met him or talked to him. I’ve watch him on TV plenty, and read him plenty — most of his books to begin with. If you haven’t read his autobiography then you’re missing out on a great read, one that extends so much further than just a life writing about movies. But that’s all I have to go off of. I have no real remembrance to share. I just admired him, that’s all.

Sometimes, when there is a big tragedy that dominates the news or the Twittersphere, there is a tendency in our rapid culture to want to be closer to the pulse of what’s happening, just so you don’t get left behind, or left out of the conversation. But I feel okay with the fact I was just a distant admirer, one of the ordinary schlubs that Siskel and Ebert and their producers over the years tried so hard to speak to through the idiot box, to foster a love of movies in a new generation.

They fostered it well in me, and I think I meet the criteria that a film critic should meet that both Siskel and Ebert have talked about (though clarity is a weak point from time to time), so, yeah, I’m okay with it.


-First: Roger Ebert’s last review, of Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder. I don’t read much criticism anymore, and never for a film I haven’t seen yet, but I made an exception here. (Chicago Sun-Times)

-In case you didn’t read it when it first came out, try this Esquire bio from 2010. It’s a great read. (Esquire)

-Siskel and Ebert in the Playboy Interview. (Longform)

-Ebert outs Paul Newman’s game of Reach, as well as his suspect taste in beer. (Esquire)

-“Roger Ebert Hails Human Existence as ‘A Triumph'” (The Onion)

-The opening of Ebert’s great commentary track for Ozu’s Floating Weeds. (Criterion)

-By the way, this Kindle Single, Enemies: A Love Story, that shares the backstory from the early days of Siskel & Ebert, is probably the best $1.99 you could spend right now. (Amazon)

-Ebert remembered on Twitter. (ArtsBeat)

-Jim Emmerson. (Scanners)

-Kim Morgan. (SunsetGun)

-Matt Singer (CriticWire)

-A.O. Scott. (NY Times)

-Peter Bagdonavich. (Blogdanovich)

-And our own Steve Schneider. (Orlando Weekly)

News, links, etc:

-Tony Rayns on the history of, and his involvement in, Asian cinema. (Festivalists)

-More on the Anne Hathaway problem, because it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. (NY Times)

Anna Karina in Godard's BAND OF OUTSIDERS (1964).  Courtesy of F

-Richard Brody on the iconic dance scene in Band of Outsiders. Odile’s eyes and self-consciousness are still the most important thing about the scene to me, though her self-consciousness is part of the voiceover he talks about. (The New Yorker)

-In case you have $35k burning a hole in your pocket and you hate hate hate those damn kids and their cell phones at the movies, Best Buy and Universal have a solution for you. (Moviefone)

-Reading this piece on Chadwick Boseman’s challenge of playing Jackie Robinson it dawns on me that I don’t think I’ve ever heard him speak. (CBS Sports)

-By the way, film critic Michelle Obama thinks we should all see 42. Hard to say no to her. (NextMovie)

-The first picture of Nicholas Hoult as Beast from Days of Future Past. (@BryanSinger)

-Disney buying Lucasfilm was great for Star Wars fans. No so great for Disney or LucasArts employees. (Cartoon Brew)

-More pictures from Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, mostly centered on Emma Watson. (Playlist)

-Wesley Snipes is out. (TMZ)

-You Fell Asleep Watching a DVD, thanks to @SunsetGunShot. I have fallen asleep to the Punch-Drunk Love DVD menu before (just the menu, never the film). (YFAWADVD)

Trailers, poster, etc:


-The red band trailer for Nicolas Winding-Refn’s Only God Forgives, his second team-up with Ryan Gosling. Could be absolutely amazing as long as it cleans up some of the style above substance problems that Drive had. (Moviefone)

-Remember in The Professional when Stensfield yells, “get me EVERYONE!”? Well, that’s what the Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg yelled when they began casting for This is the End. Also a red band trailer. (Machinima)

-The French trailer for Asghar Farhadi’s A Past — no subs. (Playlist)

-The Brass Teapot, with Juno Temple and Michael Angarano. I swear this is also random, it’s not a Juno Temple crush. (Apple)

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