Roger Ebert autobiography review - Chicago Tribune
If you went to "Meet The Parents" (), you will probably find yourself going to " Meet the Fockers," because having met one set of crazy. Roger Joseph Ebert was an American film critic, historian, journalist, screenwriter , and author. Ebert and Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel helped popularize nationally televised film reviewing when they co-hosted the PBS . That same year, he met film critic Pauline Kael for the first time at the New York Film Festival. Meet the Parents is a American comedy written by Jim Herzfeld and John Hamburg and .. Film critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars out of four comparing the film to Roach's previous work on the Austin.
InMcCabe and Mrs. Miller was better than The Last Picture Show. InChinatown was probably better, in a different way, than Scenes from a Marriage. His main arguments were that they were too strict on sex and profanity, too lenient on violence, secretive with their guidelines, inconsistent in applying them and not willing to consider the wider context and meaning of the film.
He wrote that he drew a distinction between films like Nosferatu and The Silence of the Lambswhich he regarded as "masterpieces", and those that had no content other than teenagers being killed.
He leveled this charge against such films as The Night Porter. Herzog dedicated his film Encounters at the End of the World to Ebert, and Ebert responded with a heartfelt public letter of gratitude. Ebert responded that "nobody would say such a thing to a bunch of white filmmakers: They do not have to represent 'their people'! He was opposed to the practice whereby theatres lower the intensity of their projector bulbs in order to extend the life of the bulb, arguing that this has little effect other than to make the film harder to see.
Ebert wrote a further piece in response to Barker. He admitted that he barely played video games: He was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and had written some blog entries on the subject. A Memoir," Roger Ebert fails to mention me: The nights he and I had many drinks on the porch of his house on Dickens Street and elsewhere, the favorable in-print review I gave to one of his early forays into television or the many times he attempted, persuasively but without success, to convince me of the benefits of AA.
These are understandable, even wise, omissions, given all that Ebert has to pack into pages and how effectively he manages to detail that life, which began in relatively idyllic youth in downstate Urbana as the only child of Walter and Annabel.
He details college life at the University of Illinois with fondness; his love of newspapering, which began early, took him through high school and college jobs and, sincework at the Chicago Sun-Times ; some of his love affairs and sex life, which include the I'm-not-sure-I-really-needed-to-know story of losing his virginity to a South African prostitute and culminate with his over-the-moon marriage to attorney Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert; TV success with the Tribune's Gene Siskel and Sun-Times colleague Richard Roeper ; and his struggles with booze, which ended inreligion and his health.
Nearing 70 and beset in recent years by a series of maladies and operations that have robbed from him parts of his face and the ability to speak he was a celebrated conversationalisteat and drink he was prodigiously accomplished at both and to take long walks in foreign cities London and Venice, most romanticallythe Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and television star has crafted a beautiful book, which is scheduled to hit bookstores Tuesday.
Yes, there is some here that any frequent visitor to his hugely popular blog rogerebert. Most are here for the first time. They come pouring forth in a flood of relief. I have read, known, admired and worked with Ebert over more than 30 years, and so every few pages I come across familiar places and people.
There is my father, Herman, on pagethe editor who published some of Ebert's first stories in the Daily News and later facilitated his being hired at the Sun-Times, and my mother, Marilew misspelled as Marilou, but if she were still alive she wouldn't care and so neither do Iin a few places. There is the gang at O'Rourke's, the North Avenue writers hangout, so powerfully evoked that one can almost hear bygone conversations and the tinkle of ice against glasses.
I bought the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church lock, stock, and barrel, apart from the God problem. How I Believe In God For many years I visualized the Soviet Union as a land where the sun never came out and enslaved Catholic peasants labored under lowering skies for their godless rulers. But our theology was often very practical: All men are created equal.
Do onto others as you would have them do onto you. I understood they could have no answers. At some point the reality of God was no longer present in my mind. I believed in the basic Church teachings because I thought they were correct, not because God wanted me to. In my mind, in the way I interpret them, I still live by them today.
Not by the rules and regulations, but by the principles. For example, in the matter of abortion, I am pro-choice, but by personal choice would have nothing to do with an abortion of a child of my own. I believe in free will, and believe I have no right to tell anyone else what to do.
Meet the Parents/Requiem for a Dream/Bamboozled/The Dancer in the Dark
Their dictums strike me as lacking in the ability to surprise. They have been leading a holding action for a millennium. I kept this to myself. I never discussed it with my parents.
My father in any event was a nonpracticing Lutheran, until a deathbed conversion that rather disappointed me. Did I start calling myself an agnostic or an atheist? I would not want my convictions reduced to a word. During all the endless discussions on my blog about evolutionintelligent design, Godand the afterworld, numbering altogether thousands of comments, I have never named my beliefsalthough readers have freely informed me that I am an atheistand agnosticor at the very least a secular humanist — which I am.
How I Believe In God Let me rule out at once any God who has personally spoken to anyone or issued instructions to men. That some men believe they have been spoken to by God, I am certain. I believe mankind in general has a need to believe in higher powers and an existence not limited to the physical duration of the body.
I believe mankind feels a need to gather in churches, whether physical or social.
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I sit in them not to pray, but to gently nudge my thoughts toward wonder and awe. I am aware of the generations there before me and the reassurance of tradition. I have no interest in being instructed in what I must do to be saved. I prefer vertical prayer, directed up toward heaven, rather than horizontal prayer, directed sideways toward me. I believe a worthy church must grow through attraction, not promotion.
How I Believe In God That the universeas was once thought, expands and contracts indefinitely, one Big Bang collapsing into another one, seemed reasonable enough. But in both models of the universe, what caused the first Big Bang?
Or was there a first Big Bang, any more than a last number? If there was a first cause, was there a first causer? Did Big Bangs just happen to happen?
We can name it anything we want. I can name it after myself. It is utterly insignificant what it is called, because we would be giving a name to something that falls outside all categories of thought and must be unknowable and irrelevant to knowledge. So naming it is a futile enterprise. How I Believe In God Quantum theory is now discussing instantaneous connections between two entangled quantum objects such as electrons. This phenomenon has been observed in laboratory experiments and scientists believe they have proven it takes place.
Speed has nothing to do with it.
Meet the Parents - Wikipedia
The entangled objects somehow communicate instantaneously at a distance. If that is truedistance has no meaning. Light-years have no meaning. Space has no meaning. In a sense, the entangled objects are not even communicating.
They are the same thing. Sunmoonstarsrain, you, me, everything. If this is so, then Buddhism must have been a quantum theory all along. No, I am not a Buddhist.
I am not a believer, not an atheist, not an agnostic. I am more content with questions than answers. How I Believe In God Many readers have informed me that it is a tragic and dreary business to go into death without faith. All depends on what is believed in.
Go Gently Raised as a Roman Catholic, I internalized the social values of that faith and still hold most of them, even though its theology no longer persuades me. I have no quarrel with what anyone else subscribes to; everyone deals with these things in his own way, and I have no truths to impart. All I require of a religion is that it be tolerant of those who do not agree with it. Go Gently " Kindness " covers all of my political beliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilitieswe have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.
To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problemsour healthour circumstances. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out. Go Gently Reviews[ edit ] Four star reviews[ edit ] James Cameron 's film has been the subject of relentlessly dubious advance buzz, just as his Titanic was.
Once again, he has silenced the doubters by simply delivering an extraordinary film. Magnolia is the kind of film I instinctively respond to.
Leave logic at the door. Do not expect subdued taste and restraint, but instead a kind of operatic ecstasy. Magnolia is one of those rare films that works in two entirely different ways. In one sense, it tells absorbing storiesfilled with detail, told with precision and not a little humor.
On another sense, it is a parable.
I don't know when a film has connected more immediately with my own personal experience. In uncanny ways, the central events of The Tree of Life reflect a time and place I lived in, and the boys in it are me. If I set out to make an autobiographical film, and if I had Malick's giftit would look so much like this. Why did they give an R rating to a movie perfect for teenagers? Review of Almost Famous 15 September Old age isn't for sissies, and neither is this film. We are filled with optimism and expectation.
Why would we want to see such a film, however brilliantly it has been made? I think it's because a film like Amour has a lesson for us that only the cinema can teach: That was another movie I walked into with uncertain expectations. James Cameron 's film has been the subject of relentlessly dubious advance buzz, just as his Titanic was. Review of Avatar 11 December Especially in its opening scenes, Ballast is "slower" and "quieter" than we usually expect. So is life, most of the time.
We don't wake up and immediately start engaging with plot points. But Ballast inexorably grows and deepens and gathers power and absorbs us. I always say I hardly ever cry at sad films, but I sometimes do, just a little, at films about good people.
Review of Ballast 29 October I said this is the Batman movie I've been waiting for; more correctly, this is the movie I did not realize I was waiting for, because I didn't realize that more emphasis on story and character and less emphasis on high-tech action was just what was needed.
The movie works dramatically in addition to being an entertainment. There's something to it. Review of Batman Begins 13 June Dances With Wolves has the kind of vision and ambition that is rare in movies today.
It is not a formula movie, but a thoughtful, carefully observed story. It is a Western at a time when the Western is said to be dead. It asks for our imagination and sympathy.
'Life Itself': Ebert autobiography a charming remembrance
It takes its time, three hours, to unfold. It is a personal triumph for Kevin Costnerthe intelligent young actor of Field of Dreams, who directed the film and shows a command of story and of visual structure that is startling; this movie moves so confidently and looks so good it seems incredible that it's a directorial debut. Sympathy I felt in the sense that I would feel it for a rabid dog, while accepting that it must be destroyed.
I do not feel the film provides "a sufficient response to what Hitler actually did," because I feel no film can, and no response would be sufficient. All we can learn from a film like this is that millions of people can be led, and millions more killed, by madness leashed to racism and the barbaric instincts of tribalism. Review of Downfall 11 March Let me tell you a story.
The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program.
The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event.
Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn't have messed with me.
I'll go out in a blaze of glory. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.