In Memory of Roger Ebert: Films on Connection | Roger ebert


“Robert Altman’s life’s work refused to be contained within the edges of the screen. His famous overlapping dialogue, for which he invented a new sound recording system, is an attempt to deny that only one character is speaking at a time. His characters have neighbors, friends, secret alliances. They connect unexpectedly. Their stories are not contained in conventional plots.


“Inside, later, Alma delivers a long monologue about Elizabeth’s child. The child was born deformed and Elizabeth left him with parents so that she could return to the theater. The story is unbearably painful. It is told with the camera on Elizabeth. Then it is repeated, word for word, with the camera on Alma. I believe it is not just Bergman who tries both, as has been suggested, but literally both women tell the same story – through Alma when it is Elizabeth’s turn, since Elizabeth is not speaking. . It shows that their beings are in union.


Jean Renoir’s “The River” (1951) begins with a circle drawn in rice paste on the floor of a courtyard, and the circular patterns continue. In an opening scene, the children of a British family in India watch through the porch railings at a newcomer arriving next door. In the end, the same children, minus one, are looking through the same railing at the start. The porch overlooks a river, “which has its own life”, and as the river flows and the seasons turn in their order, the Hindu festivals punctuate the year and everything flows from life to death until rebirth, as it should be. ”


“I’m afraid I haven’t communicated how enriching the film is. In his big sweep, the chickens play a small part. If you see it as a trance movie, meditation, head trip, or whatever, it can make you more grateful for what we have here. It’s a rather noble film.

“The tree of life”

“The film’s portrait of everyday life, inspired by Malick’s memories of his hometown of Waco, Texas, is bounded by two vastnesses, one of space and time, and the other of spirituality. “The Tree of Life” has impressive visuals suggesting the birth and expansion of the universe, the emergence of life on a microscopic level, and the evolution of species. This process leads to the present moment and to all of us. We were created in the Big Bang and over millions of years molecules formed in, well, you and me.

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