Roger Ebert (1942-2013)
Just a few days after he announced that he would try to slow down on reviewing films following his ongoing battle with cancer, Roger Ebert has tragically passed away. His contribution to film criticism is remarkable and will never be forgotten. To celebrate his life, I’ve decided to post his reviews for my favourite films. So enjoy.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1968)
“Leone cares not at all about the practical or the plausible, and builds his great film on the rubbish of Western movie cliches, using style to elevate dreck into art. When the movie opened in America in late 1967, not long after its predecessors “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964) and “For a Few Dollars More” (1965), audiences knew they liked it, but did they know why?”
“The purpose of the movie is not for us to solve the murder of the wife (“I can’t remember to forget you,” he says of her). If we leave the theater not sure exactly what happened, that’s fair enough. The movie is more like a poignant exercise, in which Leonard’s residual code of honor pushes him through a fog of amnesia toward what he feels is his moral duty. The movie doesn’t supply the usual payoff of a thriller (how can it?), but it’s uncanny in evoking a state of mind. Maybe telling it backward is Nolan’s way of forcing us to identify with the hero. Hey, we all just got here.”
A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
“`Stairway to Heaven” (1946) is one of the most audacious films ever made – in its grandiose vision, and in the cozy English way it’s expressed. The movie, which is being revived at the Music Box in a restored Technicolor print of dazzling beauty, joins the continuing retrospective at the Film Center of 15 other films by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, the most talented British filmmakers of the 1940s and 1950s.”
“What a bewilderingly brilliant and entertaining movie this is–a confounding story about orchid thieves and screenwriters, elegant New Yorkers and scruffy swamp rats, truth and fiction. “Adaptation” is a movie that leaves you breathless with curiosity, as it teases itself with the directions it might take. To watch the film is to be actively involved in the challenge of its creation.”