On April 4, 2013, film critic Roger Ebert passed away after a long battle with cancer. His career as a critic spanned over forty years and three mediums – in print in the Chicago Sun-Times, on television with Siskel and Ebert at the Movies and on the internet with both his blog and his endlessly entertaining Twitter account. He edified a massive audience in his time and inspired countless writers to try their hand at criticism. In fact, there is no critic in the world today who had as far a reach and as much esteem as Roger Ebert. His loss is a terrible one. (more…)
The Air Tokyo jet banked softly, beginning its descent. I was headed to the tiny fishing village of Nishikawa, on the Boso Peninsula on the border of Tokyo Bay. It is literally the last point of the mainland of Japan. From there it was a few small islands and then a very long swim across the Pacific to Hawaii.
My guide and translator, a young college graduate named Taki, led the way as we drove from the airport through the city and towards the village.
Television. It has changed our lives in some shape or form; for most of America, that shape or form seems to be round. Ba dum bum. Always open up with a joke, thank you Henny Youngman.
As the market slowly morphs into handheld devices and moves from stationary living rooms to going (thank you Pete Townsend) mobile, I was asked to reflect on how exactly my life has been changed by the tele, the idiot box, the boob tube, groove tube, teacher, mother, secret lover.
The answer came immediately.
The 4:30 Movie. (more…)
In the summer of 1982, Universal Studios released John Carpenter’s The Thing. Fresh off major genre landmarks (Halloween, The Fog and Escape from New York), Carpenter was about to hit his zenith with a film no one in their right mind could have expected. The Thing oozed 1970s-era paranoia and mistrust as much as it did alien slime. (more…)