Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category
Friday, May 17th, 2013 by Sean
Thanks, Julia B!
Friday, May 3rd, 2013 by Sean
It feels like you’ve won the lottery when you get to watch a video on YouTube sans suffering through an advertisement of some sort, so it’s extra bonkers to actually go to the site looking for an ad. Unless that ad is “Shift It”, the The official commercial for Arlen’s Transmission in Burbank, CA.
Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 by Sean
More at Special Bored.
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 by Sean
Today is Willie Nelson’s 80th birthday. In honor of 4-30, we’re sharing a brilliant This American Life piece about a dude who changed his telephone listing from his roommate’s name to ‘Willie Nelson’ for a laugh. He figured it’d be fun to have that name pop up on caller displays. He did not figure people would start calling him looking for Willie.
Friday, April 19th, 2013 by Sean
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 by Sean
Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 by Sean
Friday, April 5th, 2013 by Nimesh
In the early days of the internets (or my early days on the internets), I discovered Roger Ebert’s archive of reviews. What I found in them opened my eyes.
I grew up with a father who loved films, and trusted in the word of critics. Since we assume our fathers know everything, I started reading movie reviews at an early age. (I’m sure the Globe And Mail film department had no idea how young their readership skewed.) When I would see movies with my dad, more often than not I’d find myself liking those same movies the critics liked.
So why didn’t they like the movies I liked?
Ebert changed that for me. I’d seen his TV show, but those truncated-for-television soundbites could never reveal the tremendous skill for writing he actually had. No, I mostly just liked to see Siskel and Ebert argue, and loved the secret thrill when a movie I liked but my dad would never deign to see got “two thumbs up.”
It wasn’t until those early internet days, immersed in Ebert’s archive, that I found a writer and critic who never once treated a science fiction or fantasy film as “lesser” than any other film. They started from the same point as every other film in his mind, and could achieve the same greatness or sink to the same depths. So what if they featured superheroes or spaceships? He treated the movies I loved with such care and respect, like they were works of art, which I had always believed but never seen expressed by anyone else. When a science fiction film didn’t spell every detail out to the viewer, he would never brush it off as unworthy of analysis — understanding was not a prerequisite of enjoyment to Roger.
In 1998, a scifi film called Dark City was quietly released to and quickly disappeared from theaters. I wanted oh so badly to see it, but 14 year old Nimesh was alone in the universe on that count. Eventually I found my way to the film on video, and adored it. Little did I know someone else was hosting screenings and discussing the film on college campuses, shouting as loudly as he could for people to watch this fantastic little bit of science fiction. Roger Ebert provided an exuberant audio commentary for Dark City when it was released on DVD, and once again, I wasn’t alone.
Ebert became more of an internet presence after he lost his speech, and it was thrilling for me to see him pick up a whole new generation of followers. I would read his pieces here and there, not as religiously as some, but one thing never changed: any time I saw a science fiction film that filled my mind with awe and wonder, I had to find out what Ebert thought. Last year, his fucking perfect review of Cloud Atlas is what made me run to theaters to catch the film before it disappeared. I ended up seeing it twice, and I can’t wait to see it again.
Now Ebert is gone, and in this age of tomato-throwing review aggregators I can’t imagine ever running to the theater based on the writing of a single critic ever again. We don’t live in that world anymore. But every time I’m sitting in an empty theater, alone, watching a science fiction film that my friends couldn’t care less about and critics are ignoring, I’ll know the truth.
Roger Ebert is sitting right there with me.
Originally posted on How Did I Slip Into, 04.04.13.
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 by Sean
Monday, March 25th, 2013 by Sean