Sheila writes: 2015 Ebertfest approaches! Held from April 15-19, 2015 at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, Illinois, there are still some passes left to those hoping to attend! Exciting news on the film front: Jean-Luc Godard’s “Goodbye to Language 3D” will be the opening film of Ebertfest! Chazz Palminteri will also be in attendance to present “A Bronx Tale,” which Ebert gave 4 stars in his initial review. You can read more about it here, and stay tuned for more updates!
Self/less (2015). Directed by Tarsem Singh. Written by David Pastor,
Àlex Pastor. Starring Matthew Goode,
Natalie Martinez. Synopsis: An extremely wealthy man, dying from cancer, undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man. But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause. Opens in US theaters on July 31, 2015.
About Elly (2009). * U.S. Release trailer * Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi. Starring Golshifteh Farahani,
Taraneh Alidoosti. Synopsis: The mysterious disappearance of a kindergarten teacher during a picnic in the north of Iran is followed by a series of misadventures for her fellow travelers. Opens in US theaters on April 8, 2015.
San Andreas (2015). Directed by Brad Peyton. Written by Carlton Cuse. Starring Alexandra Daddario,
Carla Gugino . Synopsis: In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his estranged daughter. Opens in US theaters on May 29, 2015.
Before I Wake (2015). Directed by Mike Flanagan. Written by Mike Flanagan,
Jeff Howard. Starring Annabeth Gish,
Thomas Jane. Synopsis: A young couple adopt an orphaned child whose dreams – and nightmares – manifest physically as he sleeps. Opens in US theaters on May 8, 2015.
Adult Beginners (2014). Directed by Ross Katz. Written by Jeff Cox,
Liz Flahive. Starring Nick Kroll,
Bobby Cannavale. Synopsis: A young, narcissistic entrepreneur crashes and burns on the eve of his company’s big launch. With his entire life in total disarray, he leaves Manhattan to move in with his estranged pregnant sister, brother-in-law and 3-year-old nephew in the suburbs – only to become their nanny. Opens in US theaters in limited release on April 24, 2015.
The Ecstasy Of Wilko Johnson (2015). Directed by Julien Temple. Synopsis: A terminal cancer diagnosis proves more liberating than traumatic for the storied rock-guitarist subject of “The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson.” Release dates TBD.
Furious 7 (2015). Directed by James Wan. Written by Chris Morgan,
Gary Scott Thompson. Starring Vin Diesel,
Dwayne Johnson. Synopsis: Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother. Opens in US theaters on April 3, 2015.
Tomorrowland (2015). Directed by Brad Bird. Written by Brad Bird, Damon Lindelof. Starring George Clooney,
Hugh Laurie. Synopsis: Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory. Opens in US theaters on May 22, 2015.
Bone In the Throat (2015). Directed by Graham Henman. Written by Mark Townend (based on the book by Anthony Bourdain). Starring Ed Westwick,
John Hannah. Synopsis: ‘Bone in the Throat’ based on celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s novel of the same, is a gritty fast paced story about a young ambitious chef who is mixed up with the East End London mob. While showing off his culinary skills, he finds himself trapped as a witness to a murder in his own kitchen. Release dates TBD.
The Corpse of Anna Fritz (2015). Directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens. Written by
Isaac P. Creus. Starring Albert Carbó,
Bernat Saumell. Synopsis: Anna Fritz, a famous and beautiful actress, has died recently. Three young men sneak into the morgue to see her naked. Fascinated by her beauty, they decide to become the last people to have sex with her. Release dates TBD.
Calls To Okies: The Park Grubbs Story (2015). Directed by Bradley Beesley and Ben Steinbauer. Synopsis: In the early 1980s, before the Jerky Boys brought prank phone calls to a mainstream audience, a group of Oklahoma teenagers were conducting strange backwoods experiments with their landline telephone. These underground prank calls gained infamy, and became known as Park Grubbs. Release dates TBD.
The Shaman (2014). Written and directed by Marco Kalantari. Starring Danny Shayler,
Susanne Wuest. Synopsis: The dark year 2204, in a world that has seen 73 years of continuous war. A Shaman is sent on a mission to convert the soul of a giant battle colossus. Release dates TBD.
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2015). Written and directed by Brett Morgen. Synopsis: The authorized documentary on late Guitar/lead singer Kurt Cobain from his early days in Aberdeen Washington to his success and downfall with Grunge band Nirvana. Premieres on US television on May 24, 2015.
Saint Laurent (2014). Directed by Bertrand Bonello. Written by Thomas Bidegain,
Bertrand Bonello. Starring Gaspard Ulliel,
Louis Garrel, Léa Seydoux. Synopsis: Yves Saint Laurent’s life from 1967 to 1976, during which time the famed fashion designer was at the peak of his career. Opens in the US in limited release on May 24, 2015.
SXSW Panel: “Diversify or Die”
Sheila writes: Chaz Ebert headed up a panel on the future of film criticism at this year’s SXSW, joined by Justin Chang (chief film critic at Variety), Matt Zoller Seitz (editor-in-chief of RogerEbert.com) and Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (a Rogerebert.com contributor). The topic was diversity in film criticism. You can read all about the panel here.
R.I.P. Albert Maysles
Sheila writes: Pioneering documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles died on March 5, 2015, at the age of 88, just as the new restoration of “Grey Gardens“, the unforgettable 1976 film he made with his brother David, hits theaters once again. Maysles also has a new documentary coming out called “Iris“, about style maven Iris Apfel. Maysles has inspired generations of filmmakers! Roger Ebert gave “Grey Gardens” a a 4-star review, saying about the two Edies in the film, “She and her mother talk all the time, sometimes at the same time — they both know all the words. And out of this existence comes a movie that, curiously enough, is comic and bright, as well as sobering. It’s hard not to find these two odd women likable.” Here is the new 2015 trailer for “Grey Gardens.”
Rogerebert.com editor-in-chief Matt Zoller Seitz wrote a poignant tribute to Albert Maysles, entitled, 8 Things About Albert Maysles.
“The Red House” (1947). Directed by Delmer Daves. Starring Edward G. Robinson,
Judith Anderson . Synopsis: An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods.
Watch “The Red House.”
“Three Husbands” (1951). Directed by Irving Reis. Starring Eve Arden,
Vanessa Brown . Synopsis: When a recently deceased playboy gets to heaven and is granted one wish, he requests that he be able to see the reactions of three husbands, with whom he regularly played poker, to a letter he left each of them claiming to have had an affair with each one’s wife.
Watch “Three Husbands.”
“Shed No Tears” (1948). Directed by Jean Yarbrough. Starring Wallace Ford,
Mark Roberts . Synopsis: A wife convinces her husband to fake his death so they can collect on the life insurance. However, he doesn’t know that she has been having an affair for some time, and she has plans for the money – and they don’t include him.
Watch “Shed No Tears.”