Errol Morris

Film Review: Roger Ebert’s Treasure of a Journey in ‘Life Itself’

CHICAGO – We will never see the likes of his kind again – the influential arbiter of cinematic taste, whose magic thumb could make or break the dreams of both filmmaker and film fan. The journey of Roger Ebert, the most influential film critic of our times, is told in the new documentary, “Life Itself.”

Interview: Chaz Ebert, Director Steve James on ‘Life Itself’

CHICAGO – The iconic film critic and renaissance man, Roger Ebert, deservedly gets a full documentary film treatment of his 2011 memoir, “Life Itself,” and who better to create it than the Chicago-based director of “Hoop Dreams,” Steve James. And who better to produce and guide it than Roger’s soulmate, his wife Chaz Ebert.

Film Review: Errol Morris’ ‘The Unknown Known’ Seeks Donald Rumsfeld

CHICAGO – The reason some people fit into government service is fairly well defined in the latest film of iconic documentary maker Errol Morris. His profile of ex-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in “The Unknown Known” is a tale of history – affected by war, death, torture and justification.

Film News: Magnolia Pictures Acquires Roger Ebert Biography Film ‘Life Itself’

Life Itself, Roger Ebert

CHICAGO – The buzz at Sundance was for a documentary about the life of a film critic – but that film critic happens to be Roger Ebert, and the film is an adaptation of his memoir, “Life Itself.” Magnolia Pictures announced yesterday that they have acquired U.S. theatrical, Video-On-Demand and home entertainment rights to the film, and are planning on a summer release.

Interview: Director Joshua Oppenheimer Dissects ‘The Act of Killing’

CHICAGO – Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing” is now playing in most major markets, currently running at the Music Box Theatre here in Chicago. The film is one of the most devastating experiences you’ll have in a theater this year and it’s a must-see.

Film Review: Riveting ‘The Act of Killing’ Demands to Be Seen

CHICAGO – We like to think that mass murderers are pure monsters. They don’t have kids. They don’t walk around free. They couldn’t possibly have a moment of joy after causing so much pain. This is, of course, nothing more than a comforting fallacy.

Interview: Director Frederick Wiseman Pays Visit to Parisian Cabaret in ‘Crazy Horse’

CHICAGO – Frederick Wiseman doesn’t pretend to be an expert on the locations that he explores in his documentaries. It’s his meticulous attention to detail during production that makes the audience feel as if they are truly immersed in the environment of Wiseman’s films.

DVD Review: Errol Morris Continues Incredible Legacy With ‘Tabloid’

Tabloid Film Review

CHICAGO – Errol Morris is not just a great “documentary” filmmaker, he’s one of the most important living directors. His work is wildly entertaining but not often give deserved credit for being as influential as any filmmaker of his generation. His latest, “Tabloid,” recently released on DVD, is another gem about a unique personality — the director’s speciality. With a bizarre blend of stories that are too ridiculous to be true, Joyce McKinney almost seems to have been designed as a Morris creation. It’s a shame that no bonus material is available for the DVD-only release, but the movie itself is a gem.

Film Review: Over-Produced, Misguided ‘Chasing Madoff’ Buries the Lead

Chasing Madoff

CHICAGO – What Errol Morris does so well is very, very difficult. He takes unusual interview subjects (“Fast, Cheap, & Out of Control,” “Mr. Death), sometimes even with a political background (“The Fog of War,” “Standard Operating Procedure”) and makes them completely riveting. Clearly inspired by the Morris filmography, Jeff Prosserman’s “Chasing Madoff” attempts that blend of personality and history but falls flat on its face. Rarely has a documentary taken a more interesting story and told it in a more annoying manner.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Grace, Or the Art of Climbing

    CHICAGO – What is life but a constant climb? The Brown Paper Box Co., one of the most vital storefront theater groups in Chicago, asks that question and more in the significant “Grace, Or the Art of Climbing.” Using a woman’s journey through some difficult situations, the parallels of “the climb” become a artfully performed story that is all inspiration and uplift. The play runs through July 7th, 2019, at Stage 773 in the Belmont Avenue Theater District in Chicago. For more information and tickets, click here.

  • Elizabeth Laidlaw

    CHICAGO – The recent limited series “The Red Line” on CBS-TV was notable for a couple elements – it was set in Chicago and it featured Chicago actors in major roles. Creators Caitlin Parrish and Erica Weiss (from here), cast their Chi-town colleague Elizabeth Laidlaw, who portrayed police officer “Vic” Renna.

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