roger ebert

Hoop Dreams to celebrate 20th anniversary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival

Hoop Dreams to celebrate 20th anniversary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Institute today announced that the newly restored Hoop Dreams (1994) will screen in the From the Collection program at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, 20 years after the film made its world premiere at the 1994 Festival.

Robert Redford to honor Roger Ebert at "Celebrate Sundance Institute" benefit

Robert Redford to honor Roger Ebert at "Celebrate Sundance Institute" benefit

Sundance Institute today announced that its president and founder Robert Redford will present journalist and film critic Roger Ebert with the Vanguard Leadership Award in recognition of his advocacy of independent cinema. The award presentation will take place at the third annual “Celebrate Sundance Institute” benefit, on June 5, 2013, in Los Angeles.

Is 3D the new normal?

Is 3D the new normal?

I’ve seen two films recently in 3D, FRIGHT NIGHT and SPY KIDS, two very solid, genre films. A kid’s movie with bright colors, bubble gum complexions and gee-whiz humor, and a horror film with dark interiors and tired tropes of let-the-camera-follow-the-guy-who’s-about-to-be-jumped. And then it struck me. It happened when I laid eyes on Toni Collette, who plays a suburban mom in FRIGHT NIGHT, which is not her usual indie fare. I suddenly got very scared: will independent films soon be in 3D? What the hell will THAT look like? The LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE van hurtling towards you? Robert Duvall reaching for your head to bless you, APOSTLE-style? The SIDEWAYS spit bucket in your face?

Roger Ebert's winning New Yorker caption

Roger Ebert's winning New Yorker caption

After years of submitting his punchline to The New Yorker’s caption contest found in each issue, film critic Roger Ebert finally won after 107 attempts with the above entry to the accompanying cartoon. Of course, not every winner gets a write-up by the magazine’s cartoon editor Robert Mankoff who shared some of Ebert’s previous entries. My juvenile alter-ego found the one below, which didn’t get past the cartoon censors, plane-ly hysterical. Congrats Mr. Ebert!

IDIOT WITH A TRIPOD

IDIOT WITH A TRIPOD

NYC auteur Jamie Stuart recorded the recent blizzard that hit our city and transformed it into “IDIOT WITH A TRIPOD,” an artsy gorgeous short film that had critic Roger Ebert proclaiming that it “deserves to win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject” for the following reasons: This film deserves to win the Academy…

The best of "best of" movie lists for 2009

The best of "best of" movie lists for 2009

Some people vow to lose weight and start exercising in the New Year. I resolve to whip my Netflix queue in shape, trimming out last year’s worthy crap and replacing it with this year’s best offerings, which I have 12 months to get through before they turn into last year’s worthy crap. Aiding me in this task are the nation’s critics, who dutifully spend all year watching movies and the last few weeks in December compiling “best of” lists. Many of these lists tend to look more or less the same, but some offer the occasional surprise. These critical taste quirks are the spice of list reading.

So here, in the spirit of 10 best lists, are the 10 best “10 best movie” lists of 2009. I must warn you that, as a parent of two small children who only rarely leaves the house to sit in the dark with cinematically minded strangers, I have seen very few of the movies on these lists. (Thus the great importance of proper Netflix queue maintenance.) Then again, given how many kid-friendly movies made it onto the lists this year, that excuse may be a bit flimsy. Too bad. It’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. On to the list of lists!

Read The Book

Read The Book

We are continually told that Sundance is for the filmmakers. True enough, but at Dolly’s Bookstore on Main Street it is also for the authors. Right next to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – in case reading makes you hungry – Dolly’s takes advantage of the film festival by stocking up on film books and roping in authors for signings and readings. In recent years, producer Christine Vachon A Killer’s Life, Roger Ebert and others have showed up with their books. Manager Sue Fassett sets out to find literary connections the minute the Festival issued their line up.