THE FOG is by Brighton-based artist Luke Insect
CHRISTINE is the FrightFest Originals debut of London-based artist Dan Mumford,
PRINCE OF DARKNESS is by Welsh-based ‘Godmachine’
Ebertfest had an emotional start this year, kicking off with Steve James’ documentary Life Itself. This film, more of a memorial to Roger Ebert than a biography, examines the life and work of Ebert, along with the handful of decisions and relationships that most significantly shaped his life. It was a lovely way to begin the festival and, as James noted during the Q&A after the film, seeing it with this audience, in this theatre (Champaign, IL’s gorgeousVirginia Theatre), was a truly special experience. The Ebertfest crowd is always a warm one- they laugh louder, hold their breath longer, and applaud the crew along with the cast. They’re also passionate and canny, and it was great to see this film with an audience of people who could watch Life Itself and start chuckling right away when the outtakes of Siskel & Ebert start up, not needing the punchline to understand the dynamic. As Josh Spiegel wrote inhis review from Sundance, Life Itself is a beautiful, heartfelt, at times shocking, and incredibly funny film, and it was a wonderful way to begin this 16th Annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival.
There are few auteurs as instantly recognizable and divisive as Stanley Kubrick, few filmmakers as idiosyncratic or groundbreaking. His work spans the entirety of life itself–sometimes in the same film–and has inspired almost as much derision as hosannas. There is no easy consensus on Kubrick’s films–though you may not be terribly surprised by our writers’ choice for his best, it’s hard to imagine that your ranking of his work will line up wholly with ours–nor on the messages imparted within. Is The Shining secretly about the moon landing? Is 2001? What is he really saying about violence in society in A Clockwork Orange? And so on. Closing out (some weeks late, granted) our monthly theme on his works, here is Sound on Sight’s ranking of the films of Stanley Kubrick. Enjoy. Share. Debate. We know you’ll want to debate.
It’s not hard to see why the great Spike Lee would want to get his hands on the drug-trafficking dramatic thrillerManos Sucias. It’s exceptionally made and extraordinarily tense. It also profiles a culture that’s both rarely depicted in art and quite underserved in real life. Lee isn’t this film’s director, though. That title, improbably, belongs to rookie filmmaker Josef Wladyka, whose voice is shockingly established for someone as green as he is.