This year’s Ebertfest, opening today and running through Sunday features, as Peter Sobczynski writes in his overview for RogerEbert.com, “a provocative and entertaining slate of titles from around the world that includes the most recent works from two of the most audacious filmmakers in the world today, a number of recent art-house favorites (including the winner of this year’s Foreign-Language Film Oscar), advance screenings of two highly anticipated independent films from former festival honorees, a couple of strong older titles and the requisite silent film, once again shown with a live musical accompaniment from the Alloy Orchestra.”
Not only does Sobczynski preview every title in the lineup, but each film’s page has a review at the site as well. So what I thought I’d do here is offer a brief supplement: Titles link to the Ebertfest pages, followed, when possible, by links to roundups here and to those James Kang has put together at Critics Round Up (followed by CRU ratings).
Today, April 15:
- 7 pm. Jean-Luc Godard‘s Goodbye to Language. Reviews. CRU (95/100).
- 9:30 pm. A tribute to Harold Ramis, to whom this year’s edition is dedicated. The celebration will include clips “and on-stage reminisces from his wife, Erica Ramis, and colleagues Trevor Albert and Laurel Ward.” (Sobczynski)
Tomorrow, April 16:
- 1 pm. Roy Andersson‘s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence. Reviews. CRU (69/100).
- 4 pm. Godfrey Cheshire‘s Moving Midway, ” analytical and emotive portrait of ancestral roots and antebellum mystique,” as Fernando F. Croce calls it at Slant. “Made with inquisitive intelligence and fondness, Moving Midway shows how looking at culture and looking at one’s own history are one and the same for a committed critic.”
- 8:30 pm. James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour. Reviews. CRU (90/100).
Friday, April 17:
- 1 pm. Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood. Reviews. CRU (76/100).
- 4 pm. George Fitzmaurice’s The Son of the Sheik (1926). Margarita Landazuri for TCM: “It turned out to be Valentino‘s last film, and most critics think it’s his best.”
- 8:30 pm. Robert De Niro‘s A Bronx Tale (1993). The Austin Chronicle‘s Marjorie Baumgarten finds that it takes the “often-portrayed, Italian-American experience of young manhood and examines it in some unfamiliar ways.”
Saturday, April 18:
- 11 am. Damián Szifrón’s Wild Tales. Reviews. CRU (78/100).
- 2 pm. Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida. Reviews. CRU (80/100).
- 5 pm. Alan and Gabe Polsky’s The Motel Life. From Ben Sachs in the Chicago Reader: “Adapted from a 2006 novel by Willy Vlautin, this independent drama effectively captures the spirit of much contemporary fiction: the tone is at once precious and stark, and the narrative drifts from one episode to another (and from realism to fantasy) as though it were playing out in a dream.”
- 9 pm. Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes. Reviews. CRU (69/100).
Sunday, April 19:
- Ethan Hawke‘s Seymour: An Introduction. Reviews. CRU (78/100).
Meantime, Chaz Ebert especially recommends catching The Son of the Sheik, with the previously mentioned Alloy Orchestra performing their score live, and Seymour: An Introduction, with the renowned pianist Seymour Bernstein himself on hand for a discussion and masterclass.
Updates, 4/25: First up, here’s the hour-long panel on criticism moderated by Godfrey Cheshire and featuring Matt Zoller Seitz, Glenn Kenny, Scott Foundas, Michael Phillips, Richard Roeper, Susan Wloszczyna, Nell Minow, ReBecca Theodore-Gershon, Brian Tallerico and Sam Fragoso:
And RogerEbert.com has posted more videos, the Q&A’s that followed screenings of Goodbye to Language, The End of the Tour, A Bronx Tale and 99 Homes.
Also, Sam Fragoso interviews Héloïse Godet, who appears in Goodbye to Language, and Godfrey Cheshire.
Leonard Matlin attended Ebertfest for the first time this year, and “had a wonderful time.”
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