Posts Tagged ‘Roger Ebert’

Just some snippets of opinion

April 24, 2013

I don’t want a new Gatsby movie. Especially a musical. By Baz Luhrmann. I enjoy the book, I sort of enjoy the old Redford movie.  I don’t see Dicaprio as Gatsby or Tom or anyone else from the book. I’d rather just see it left alone, or done by someone who isn’t, well, Luhrmann. No offense, but Moulin Rouge, Romero + Juliet, and Australia don’t inspire huge amounts of confidence and I’m not looking forward to Gatsby getting that treatment.

I don’t want a new prequel to The Shining. What made the original Shining movie great wasn’t Stephen King, it wasn’t the hotel, it wasn’t Colorado. It was Stanley Kubrick directing Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duval, and Jake Loyd. Want proof? Look at the more recent tv miniseries.  To pile on the negatives, this wouldn’t have King’s blessing and it will be based on material even he cut from the original book.  Want to do a horror movie set in a hotel? Great. have at it. Just leave The Shining out of it. And, for God’s sake, get good people involved.

I don’t want Amazon getting involved in every damn part of media experience. This includes television. I’m complained about Amazon enough, but on this level I feel roughly the same about a handful of companies owning the majority of our television and radio stations, how our newspapers are being swept under larger and larger umbrellas, how cable/phone companies have increasingly monopolies, etc. It’s never good when one company has their hands in too many cookie jars.

I don’t want to never read another Roger Ebert blog or tweet. I have Ebert’s RSS feed in my google reader, something else I don’t want to see go away, and I haven’t ready any of the posts that are still marked unread. I’ve read them on Ebert’s actual blog site, but through the reader. Because then they would no longer be unread. And they would disappear. I don’t want them to disappear. I watched Siskel and Ebert, and I was crushed when Siskel died. I never warmed to Roeper. I became a devotee of Ebert’s website.  He was really the only the movie critic I bothered to read any more. I’ve found his like/dislike to be a fair barometer of how I will enjoy a movie. Right or wrong, I found that I often agreed with him on whether or not a movie was worth watching. We probably disagreed on why, but if he liked a movie, I was reasonably confidant in it. Now, well, I don’t know.

Alright, I think I’m done. Just an ugly day, and I feel gripey. Had to get it out of my system, I guess.

 

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What it means to be a critic

March 24, 2010

Got this wonderful link from Ebert’s twitter. It’s about a man named Steve Almond lamenting how useless critics are…and critics response to it. In short, it highlights what I have been trying to move toward here, a critical response to whatever I’m reading at the time. The subject might be different (literature vs music) but the basic tenets are the same. The idea of criticism is to try to find a different way of looking at a work and finding greater themes/ideas within it beyond the basic story/lyrics/beat/image/whatever. It’s something I’m still a massive work in progress on but I hope to get better and the responses to Almond’s article, laid out by other critics, are where I hope to one day end up.

Front Right. Back Left.

August 5, 2009
Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert

I don’t read a lot of blogs.  Maybe this makes me like one of those people who uses P2P filesharing apps but doesn’t share themselves. It’s a one way street with me. I either give or take and how much pleasure I derive from it usually determines which I do. Maybe not reading a lot of  different blogs makes me like that. But I do read Roger Ebert’s blog.

It amazes me. I always enjoyed watching him review movies on television, first with Gene Siskel and then with a cadre of other reviewers before settling on Richard Roeper. He was informed, articulate and funny. He is the Image of what I have also found to be every good professor I’ve ever had.
I do not write my blog half as well as he writes his. I’m not yet knowledgeable enough about literature in general, nor aware enough about my own writing process, to do it. But I’m getting there. And Roger Ebert is helping me lately.
I read one of Mr. Ebert’s blogs about how to “read” a movie. In it he talks a bit about his own learning curve when he first became a movie reviewer and he mentions a  few other critics/reviewers/books along with some methods he has picked from those books that he has found useful and right. One of these methods is how to read the physical position of characters on screen and how it helps shape how we, consciously or unconsciously, percieve them.  Roger Ebert eloquently defines it in part as:
In simplistic terms: Right is more positive, left more negative. Movement to the right seems more favorable; to the left, less so. The future seems to live on the right, the past on the left. The top is dominant over the bottom. The foreground is stronger than the background. Symmetrical compositions seem at rest. Diagonals in a composition seem to “move” in the direction of the sharpest angle they form, even though of course they may not move at all.
Thinking about this, I wonder if this couldn’t be applied to fiction as well – in the analyzing of it but also in the writing of it. From action/dialogue to the physical construction of the work, I have been wondering if there is a way to incorporate this “intrinsic weighting” into the construction of a work to lend it the same effect as it lends film.
This is something I’ve only begun thinking about recently, but it is something I think I will start looking for in the works that I read and begin experimenting with in my own writing. If it leads somewhere, I’m curious what it will lend to my work and how it may help in reading the work of others.