Ebert Remembered, from WILL-TV on April 18, 2013


HELLO.
I AM JAN SLATER, DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF MEDIA AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS.
TODAY WE CELEBRATE ONE OF OUR VERY OWN. HE WAS A PULITZER PRIZE WINNING JOURNALIST,
A SCREENWRITER, AND A FILM CRITIC WHO BECAME AN AMERICAN ICON.
EBERT REMEMBERED, WE REVISIT ROGER EBERT, A MAN WHO ROBERT REDFORD SAID WAS ONE OF THE
GREAT CHAMPIONS OF FREEDOM OF ARTISTIC CREATION. LET’S TAKE A STEP BACK IN TIME.
THE YEAR IS 1995, AND THOMAS GUBACK, FORMER PROFESSOR IN THE INSTITUTE OF COMMUNICATIONS
RESEARCH, AND HOST OF W.I.L.L.’S “SILVER SCREEN” EXPLORES THE LIFE AND WORKS OF A ONE OF A
KIND ORIGINAL. HERE IS ROGER EBERT, “ONE ON ONE.”
>>>I AM THOMAS GUBACK. ROGER EBERT, WELCOME TO “ONE ON ONE.”.
NICE TO BE HERE.>>ROGER, YOU HAVE BEEN A PRINT JOURNALIST,
A FILM CRITIC FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED COLUMN.
YOU WERE THE FIRST FILM CRITIC TO WIN A PULLEYSER PRIZE, A PROGRAM ON TELEVISION, FILM REVIEW
PROGRAM ON TELEVISION FOR ALMOST 20 YEARS. YOU HAVE WRITTEN ALMOST 20 BOOKS.
WHY DID YOU BECOME A FILM CRITIC THIS.>>GOOD LUCK!
(LAUGHING) I WAS NOT ON ATTRACT TO BECOME A FILM CRITIC.
I DIDN’T TAKE ANY FILM COURSES IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS BECAUSE NONE WERE OFFERED.
ALTHOUGH I SAW A LOT OF MOVIES HERE IN TOWN. AND ON CAMPUS AT VARIOUS FILM SOCIETIES.
WHEN I WENT TO WORK FOR THE SUN TIMES, IN THE FALL OF ’66, I WAS A FEATURE WRITER.
SOME OF THE STORIES I COVERED HAD TO DO WITH THE MOVIES AND WITH MOVIE STARS, AND THEY
LIKED MY WRITING. WHEN THE FILM CRITIC RETIRED, I GOT THE JOB!
(LAUGHING).>>THAT CERTAINLY IS BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE
AT THE RIGHT TIME. YOU GREW UP IN EAST CENTRAL ILLINOIS.
>>IN URBANA, LET’S FACE IT.>>IN URBANA.
HOW HAS THAT EXPERIENCE SHAPED YOUR VISION OF MOTION PICTURES?
>>I DON’T KNOW HOW IT SHAPED MY VISION OF THE MOVIES, BUT IT HAS CERTAINLY SHAPED MY
VISION OF LIFE. TO ME, THE CENTRAL FACT OF CHAMPAIGN‑URBANA
WAS THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS. MY FATHER WORKED THERE AS AN ELECTRICIAN.
WE WENT TO YOU WILL A THE GAMES. HE HELPED TO BUILD MEMORIAL STADIUM.
I WENT OVER TO CAMPUS EVEN IN GRADE SCHOOL. I WENT TO THE ILLINI UNION TO THE MEETINGS
OF THE STAMP CLUB, THE STAMP COLLECTORS CLUB. I WAS EARLY ENTRANCE STUDENT, WHILE STILL
M HIGH SCHOOL, I TOOK A RHETORIC CLASS, THEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS.
THIS SCHOOL REALLY KIND OF GAVE ME MY OPENING TO THE REST OF MY LIFE.
>>IS THAT BECAUSE YOU WERE LATER AS A STUDENT HERE, YOU WERE ABLE TO WATCH MOVIES IN THE
FILM SOCIETY?>>THAT HAD A LOT TO DO WITH IT.
I STARTED OUT IN HIGH SCHOOL GOING TO THE ART THEATER IN DOWNTOWN CHAMPAIGN. I SAW CITIZEN
CANE THERE, THE VIRGIN SPRING, SEVENTH SEAL BY BERGMAN, THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY.
LA DOLCE VITA BY FELLINI, I SAW ANTONIO LA CHANCE, FRENCH NEW WAVE, AMERICAN NEW CINEMA,
AND ON CAMPUS, I SAW AMERICAN CLASSICS AND FOREIGN CLASSICS.
I SAW CASA BLANCA FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE MARKS BROTHERS, STAREN ROGERS ALL IN THE GREGGORY
HALL AUDITORIUM. GREGGORY HALL, AUDITORIUM, RIGHT.
>>AFTERWARDS, WE WOULD TALK ABOUT THE MOVIES ENDLESSLY.
THERE WAS A FILM CRITIC AT THE DAILY ILLINI WHEN I WAS AT THE PAPER NAMED RON SZOKE.
HE KNEW A LOT ABOUT THE MOVIES. HE AND I WOULD TALK.
I WAS AMAZED WHAT HE KNEW. THAT KIND OF ESTABLISHED ME ON THE RIGHT PATH
FOR WHAT I EVENTUALLY WOUND UP DOING. YOU GREW UP HERE IN TOWN, AND YOU WERE IN
HIGH SCHOOL IN THE LATE 50’S AT THE UNIVERSITY IN THE EARLY 60’S.
DID THAT TIME PERIOD HELP TO SHAPE YOUR VIEW OF MOTION PICTURES GROWING UP, SAY, IN THE
LATE 50’S?>>THE MOVIES THAT WERE AROUND FROM AMERICA
IN THE LATE 50’S WERE PRETTY COMMONPLACE. NOW THAT I CAN GO BACK AND SEE SOME OF THEM
AGAIN THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES, FOR EXAMPLE, THE JAMES DEAN PICTURES AND SOME OF THE OTHERS,
THEY WERE BETTER THAN I REALIZED AT THE TIME BECAUSE I WAS SORT OF I DON’T KNOW PREMATURE
SNOB IN A WAY. I LIKED THE FILMS AT THE ART THEATER BETTER
THAN THE PRINCESS REALTO, ORPHEUM THEATER.>>BLACK SWEATER.
>>BEATNIK PERIOD BEFORE THE HIPPIES. THERE WAS A PLACE ON CAMPUS CALLED THE TURK’S
HEAD COFFEE SHOP. YES, I REMEMBER THAT.
>>I USED TO HANG OUT THERE. THE ENTIRE CULTURAL SCENE WAS IN ONE BUILDING.
THE TURK’S HEAD COFFEE SHOP, USED BOOKSTORE AND THE ART MART WERE ALL IN ONE BUILDING.
THAT BURNED DOWN, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO BOHEMIAN IN CHAMPAIGN!
>>THAT’S RIGHT. WHAT CRITICS INFLUENCED YOU AS YOU WERE LEARNING
TO BE A FILM CRITIC, WHAT CRITICS DID YOU ADMIRE?
>>THE GREAT INFLUENCE WAS BEFORE I EVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE A FILM CRITIC, DWIGHT McDONALD,
IN “ESQUIRE MAGAZINE.” IN THE 50’S AND 60’S WAS THE BEST MAGAZINE
PUBLISHED IN AMERICA, EXCEPT THE NEW YORKER. IT WAS A VERY GOOD MAGAZINE.
McDONALD’S WROTE ABOUT THE MOVIES EVERY MONTH. AS I READ HIS COLUMN, I GOT ACCUSTOMED TO
THE VOICE, THE TONE OF VOICE, THE CONFIDENCE OF SOMEONE WHO WAS AN OUTSPOKEN OBSERVER AND
CRITIC OF THE MOVIES. THEN IN COLLEGE, I THINK IT WAS STILL McDONALD,
AND THERE WAS A MAGAZINE CALLED “SATURDAY REVIEW” THAT HAD REVIEWS BY ALBERT, AND KNIGHT.
THEY WERE IMPORTANT TO ME. IT WASN’T UNTIL ABOUT ’66 THAT I READ “I LOST
IT AT THE MOVIES” PAULINE KAEL’S BOOK. PAULINE KAEL, WAS FOR ME, AS SHE HAS BEEN
FOR SO MANY PEOPLE, AN INSPIRATION.>>YES EX EXACTLY.
ANY PARTICULAR BOOKS ON CRITICISM ITSELF THAT WERE IMPORTANT TO YOU ASIDE FROM THE AUTHORS
YOU HAVE MENTIONED?>>WELL, I READ ALL OF THE BOOKS OF EDMUND
WILSON. HE DIDN’T WRITE ABOUT MOVIES VERY OFTEN.
HE WAS A FREELANCE CRITIC WHO LIVED AT HOME, AND DIDN’T BELONG TO A UNIVERSITY AND JUST
WROTE WHAT INTERESTED HIM. I LIKED HIS STUFF A LOT.
I ADMIRED IT A LOT. I LIKED HIS POINT OF VIEW.
HE WAS A PERSON WHO WROTE IN A VERY DIRECT AND CLEAR AND FORCEABLE ENGLISH STYLE.
HE DIDN’T USE A LOT OF JARGON. HE COMMUNICATED IN ORDINARY LANGUAGE, AB YET
HE WAS DEALING AT THE TOP LEVEL OF HIS INTELLECTUAL ABILITY.
HE WAS IMPORTANT. THERE WAS ANOTHER PERSON ROBERT WARSHAW WHO
WROTE THE IMMEDIATE EXPERIENCE.>>SO MANY ANTHOLOGIZED, BOOKS LIKE “MASS CULTURE”
POPULAR CULTURE, THEY BECAME VERY IMPORTANT FOR A WHOLE GENERATION OF SCHOLARS AS WELL.
AS A FILM CRITIC, WHAT DO YOU SEE YOUR ROLE BEING?
ARE YOU TRYING TO EDUCATE THE AUDIENCE? ARE YOU TRYING TO EDUCATE THE INDUSTRY?
EXACTLY HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR ROLE?>>ONE WOULD LIKE THE AUDIENCE TO AGREE WITH
ONE’S REVIEWS AND FOR THE INDUSTRY TO TAKE HEED, BUT I DON’T KNOW WHETHER THAT HAPPENS.
THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF A FILM CRITIC IS WRITE IN THE FIRST PERSON AND EXPRESS HIS OR HER
OWN POINT OF VIEW. THAT’S ONE THING YOU CAN BE CORRECT ABOUT.
YOU MAYBE WRONG ABOUT THE MOVIES, BUT YOU ARE NOT WRONG WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT THE MOVIES.
IT IS NOT IMPORTANT THAT READERS AGREE WITH YOU OR WHETHER THEY DISAGREE WITH YOU.
I FIND THAT CRITICS THAT I READ ARE IMPORTANT TO ME NOT BECAUSE I MAY AGREE WITH THEM, BUT
BECAUSE OF SOMETHING THEY MAY HAVE SEEN IN THE MOVIES OR THE WAYS THEY EXPRESSED THEMSELVES.
>>I SEE. DO YOU FEEL THAT PART OF YOUR ROLE AS A FILM
CRITIC IS EDUCATE THE PUBLIC, TO LOOK FOR PARTICULAR THINGS OR SEARCH FOR HIGHER STANDARDS?
>>I THINK IF YOU POINT OUT SOMETHING IN A REVIEW, IT MAY HELP PEOPLE TO SEE IT OR TO
THINK ABOUT IT OR TO CONSIDER IT. IF YOU PLUG AWAY AT BETTER MOVIES, MAYBE PEOPLE
WILL GO TO SEE THEM. SOMETIMES YOU CAN HELP A FILM.
I’D RATHER HELP A FILM THAN HURT A FILM. DO PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY, BY THE INDUSTRY,
I MEAN EVERYONE FROM CREATIVE PEOPLE TO BUSINESS PEOPLE, DISTRIBUTORS, EXHIBIT TORS, DO PEOPLE
IN THE INDUSTRY PAY ATTENTION TO REVIEWERS?>>IN PERHAPS NOT TO EACH INDIVIDUAL REVIEWER,
BUT, IN GENERAL, THEY DO. IF A MOVIE GETS GOOD REVIEWS, THEY ARE INTERESTED
IN THAT. IF A MOVIE GETS BAD REVIEWS.
FOR EXAMPLE, RECENTLY “SHOW GIRLS” CAME OUT AND GOT TERRIBLE REVIEWS.
I NOTICED IN THIS MORNING’S PAPER, EVEN THE DIRECTOR IS NOW RESPONDING TO THOSE REVIEWS.
YOU ARE FEELING THE FILM REVIEWS DO REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE, PERHAPS NOT WITH EACH REVIEW,
BUT OVER ALL?>>THEY MAY.
SOME MOVIES ARE CERTAINLY CRITIC PROOF. GENRE HORROR MOVIES, FRIDAY THE 13TH, OR NIGHTMARE
ON ELM STREET SERIES, THOSE MOVIES HAVE A BUILT‑IN AUDIENCE.
CERTAIN MOVIES PROBABLY HAVE A GUARANTEED AUDIENCE BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE IN THEM.
RIGHT NOW, FOR EXAMPLE, JIM CARREY IS VERY HOT.
IF HE OFFENSE IN A NEW MOVIE, AND HE WILL BE OPENING IN ANOTHER ACE VENTURA PROGRAM,
THAT WILL DO BUSINESS AT LEAST FOR A WEEK BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO SEE JIM
CARREY’S NEW FILM.>>AS A REVIEWER, AND YOU SEE FILMS UNDER LET’S
SAY SPECIAL CONDITIONS. YOU HAVE GREAT TRAINING IN PERCEIVING FILL
MANIES AND SO FORTH. DO YOU FIND IT HARD TO IDENTIFY WITH THE ORDINARY
PERSON WHO WALKS INTO THE THEATER, BUYS A TICKET AND SIT DOWN AND WATCHES THE PICTURE?
>>WELL, FIRST OF ALL, I AM NOT SURE THAT I AM SUPPOSED TO IDENTIFY WITH THAT PERSON
BECAUSE A CRITIC WHO TRIES TO SPEAK FOR SOMEBODY ELSE IS NOT A CRITIC, BUT VENTRILOQUIST.
MY JOB IS IDENTIFY WITH MYSELF, MY OWN OPINIONS. I AM AN ORDINARY FILM GOER IN THE SENSE THAT
I DO SOMETIMES GO TO REAL MOVIE THEATERS, BUY A BOX OF POPCORN, SIT DOWN AND LOOK AT
THE MOVIE, AND HAVING GONE TO THE MOVIES FOR 25 YEARS, 27 YEARS STEADILY, I MAY EVEN LIKE
THE MOVIES MORE THAN MOST PEOPLE. I PROBABLY DO.
I GET LETTERS FROM PEOPLE THAT SAY I AM TOO EASY ON MOVIES.
I GIVE TOO MANY STARS. MAYBE THAT’S TRUE.
MAYBE I AM ABOUT HALF A STAR TOO HIGH. I AM NOT SURE!
BUT IT DOESN’T BOTHER ME TOO MUCH BECAUSE I AM SORT OF LIKE IT IS BETTER FOR A HUNDRED
GUILTY PEOPLE TO GO FREE THAN FOR ONE INNOCENT MAN TO SPEND THE NIGHT IN JAIL.
IT IS BETTER FOR PEOPLE TO SEE A MOVIE THAT MIGHT BE BAD, RATHER THAN RUN THE CHANCE OF
MISSING A MOVIE THAT MIGHT BE GOOD.>>YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOU ARE UNCOMFORTABLE
ON TELEVISION, AND REALLY AT HEART, YOU ARE A PRINT JOURNALIST.
BUT HERE, IN 1976, YOU STARTED THIS FILM REVIEW PROGRAM ON PBS.
IT HAS BEEN GOING FOR 20 YEARS. THAT’S A LONG RUNNING PROGRAM IN TELEVISION
THESE DAYS. HOW DO YOU ACCOUNT FOR THE POPULARITY OF THAT
PROGRAM?>>WELL, I THINK IT IS ‑‑ I THINK PEOPLE
WHO WATCH SISKEL AND EBERT SENSE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE MOVIES AND WE ARE REALLY TALKING
TO EACH OTHER. IT IS UNREHEARSED.
IT IS SPONTANEOUS. WE RESPECT EACH OTHER, YET AT THE SAME TIME
WE ARE VERY COMPETITIVE, AND WE HAVE KIND OF A TOUCHY RELATIONSHIP I AM NOT UNCOMFORTABLE
ON TELEVISION. I HAVE LEARNED TO DO THE SHOW ENJOY DOING
THE SHOW, BUT I AM NOT A PERSON WHO EVER WAS AIMED AT TELEVISION.
I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A PRINT JOURNALIST. I PUBLISHED MY FIRST NEWSPAPER IN GRADE SCHOOL
CALLED “WASHINGTON STREET NEWS.” AND I GAVE IT AWAY TO THE NEIGHBORS.
IN HIGH SCHOOL, I WORKED FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL PAPER, AND ON AND ON.
I ALWAYS SAW MYSELF IN PRINT JOURNALISM. TODAY, I SPENT 80% IN PRINT, AND 20% ON TELEVISION.
>>OVER ALL, THERE ARE CERTAINLY MANY MORE FILM CRITICS WHO WRITE IN PRINT THAN ON TELEVISION
OR RADIO. WHAT WOULD BE ROUGHLY THE RATIO?
>>I DON’T KNOW. I REALLY DON’T.
>>LET ME CHANGE SUBJECTS A BIT. IN SEPTEMBER OF 1995, THE CENTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
POLICY AT U.C.L.A. ISSUED A REPORT ON VIOLENCE IN TELEVISION AFTER REVIEWING PRIME TIME PROGRAMMING,
IT SAID THAT THE AMOUNT OF VIOLENCE IN PRIME TIME TELEVISION MAYBE DECLINING.
THE AMOUNT OF VIOLENCE IN MADE FOR TELEVISION FEATURE FILMS MAYBE DECLINING, BUT THE CENTER
WAS STILL VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THEATRICAL FILMS ON TELEVISION.
IN FACT, THE CENTER POINTED OUT THAT ROUGHLY FOUR OUT OF TEN PICTURES THEATRICAL PICTURES
SET OFF THE ALARM BELLS THERE IS SO MUCH VIOLENCE IN THEM.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FEELING ABOUT THIS?>>THIS IS A VERY INDISCRIMINATE WAY TO LOOK
AT IT BECAUSE IT DIVORCES VIOLENCE FROM CONTEXT. IT IS ABOUT AS MEANINGFUL AS SAYING THERE
ARE TOO MANY WOMEN WEARING RED DRESSES ON TELEVISION BECAUSE SOME OF THEM MAYBE GOOD
ACTRESSES IN INTERESTING ROLES AND OTHERS ARE BAD ACTRESSES IN BORING ROLES, BUT THE
DRESS IS THE SAME COLOR. VIOLENCE ITSELF IS NEUTRAL.
VIOLENCE CAN BE VERY, VERY IMPORTANT TO A MOVIE THAT CAN BE A VERY USEFUL GROWTH EXPERIENCE
FOR PEOPLE. IT CAN BE VERY DESTRUCTIVE.
JUST TO MEASURE VIOLENCE AS CONTENT IS PRETTY CLOSE TO MEANINGLESS.
>>WOULD YOU SAY THEN THAT THE MOVE TO INSTALL V‑CHIPS ON TELEVISION.
>>IT IS VALUABLE FOR PARENTS TO MONITOR THE DEVELOP VISION VIEWING OF THEIR CHILDREN.
THINK THAT’S FINE. FOR THAT MATTER, ANYONE HAS ‑‑ I MEAN
YOU HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OVER TELEVISION SET.
IT IS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM OR YOUR KITCHEN, WHEREVER YOU HAVE IT, AND IT IS YOUR’S.
YOU BOUGHT IT. YOU PAID FOR IT.
YOU CAN PROGRAM IT. YOU CAN CONTROL IT.
IF YOU HAVE A V‑CHIP TO HELP YOU, THAT’S FINE.
BUT WHAT DISCOURAGES ME SO MUCH IS MANY OF THE CRITICS OF THE MEDIUM DON’T EVER SEEM
TO WANT TO PUT A MOVIE IN ANY SORT OF CONTEXT THAT CONSIDERS WHETHER IT IS ANY GOOD OR NOT.
THEY WILL ‑‑ I HAVE HEARD PEOPLE CRITICIZE MOVIES BECAUSE THEY ARE ABOUT UNPLEASANT PEOPLE
OR UNSAVORY PEOPLE, OR THEY GLORIFY KILLERS. SURELY CAN YOU HAVE A GOOD MOVIE THAT GLORIFIES
A KILLER OR BAD MOVIE THAT GLORIFIES THE I WILL KILLER.
MAYBE THEY DON’T GLORIFY THE KILLER AT ALL, SIMPLY THEY ARE ABOUT THE KILLERS.
PEOPLE DON’T ENCOURAGE VIEWERS TO MAKE UP THEIR OWN MIND ABOUT THE WORTH OF THE MATERIAL.
THERE IS A LOT OF JUST KIND OF REFLEXIVE MEDIA BARB.
PEOPLE BLAME THE MEDIA. IF YOU WANT TO SEE WHY TELEVISION OR THE MOVIES
HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON OUR SOCIETY, MAYBE YOU SHOULD LOOK AT THE ATTENTION SPAN.
MAYBE THAT’S THE PROBLEM. MAYBE IT ISN’T THAT THE CONTENT IS VIOLENT,
BUT THAT THERE IS NEVER ANY DEVELOPMENT OF CHARACTER OR ANY PAYOFF OR ANY CONSEQUENCES
SO THAT ON TELEVISION, IN PARTICULAR, SOMETHING NEW IS HAPPENING EVERY THREE MINUTES OR EVERY
30 SECONDS. M TV, A SHOT GENERALLY DOESN’T LAST MORE THAN
FIVE SECONDS. COMMERCIALS NOW HAVE MORE SHOTS THAN THE MOVIES
USED TO HAVE. HALF AN HOUR, HOUR TELEVISION SHOWS DON’T
HAVE 30 MINUTES OF DRAMA OR 60 MINUTES OF DRAMA.
THEY HAVE LITTLE KIND OF LIKE BITES OF ACTIVITY AS THEY GO ALONG.
SO AS YOU GROW UP EXPOSED TO THIS, AND THE TELEVISION SET IS ON IN THE AVERAGE HOME ABOUT
EIGHT HOURS A DAY, IT IS ALMOST AS IF YOUNG PEOPLE LOOKING AT TELEVISION ARE BEING TAUGHT
THAT THE WORLD COMES IN SNIPPETS, THAT IT COMES IN SOUND BITES, THAT INSTANT GRATIFICATION
WITHOUT PREPARATION, WITHOUT CONTEXT, AND WITHOUT RESULT OR CONSEQUENCE IS THE WAY THE
WORLD WORKS. THAT’S THE MIND SET I THINK THAT LEADS TO
SOCIAL DISINTEGRATION. THE CONTENT IS NEUTRAL.
I THINK HERE McCLUEN IS CORRECT, MEDIAN IS THE MESSAGE.
ALL THESE PEOPLE CRITICIZING VIOLENCE ON TELEVISION WOULD BE HORRIFIED IF YOU SUGGESTED TO THEM
THAT THE PROBLEM WASN’T WITH VIOLENCE, THE PROBLEM WAS WITH TELEVISION.
YOU WOULD SAY, WELL, OH, YOU ARE RIGHT. IN THAT CASE, LET’S TURN THE TV SETS OFF.
OH, NO, WE DON’T WANT TO TURN THE TV SETS OFF.
WE WANT TO DECIDE WHAT IS GOING TO BE SEEN. IF YOU TOOK ALL THE VIOLENCE AWAY, IF YOU
LEFT THE ATTENTION SPAN PROBLEM, YOU WOULD STILL HAVE A PROBLEM.
KIDS SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED TO READ BOOKS WHERE IT TAKES THREE OR FOR HOURS, EVEN FOR A CHILDREN’S
BOOK, EVEN TO READ THE WHOLE BOOK, TO DISCUSS THINGS, TO GET INVOLVED IN THINGS THAT TAKE
A PERIOD OF TIME THAT REQUIRE PATIENCE, THAT REQUIRE PLANNING, THAT HAVE A REWARD AT THE
END, INSTEAD OF SIMPLY LOOKING AT TELEVISION WHICH IS JUST ONE PIECE OF EYE CANDY AFTER
ANOTHER. I THINK IT IS MEDIAN THAT WE SHOULD LOOK AT,
RATHER THAN WHETHER THERE IS TOO MUCH VIOLENCE.>>THERE IS A NEW BOOK OUT CALLED “ON KILLING.”
IT WAS WRITTEN BY A MILITARY OFFICER WHO ALSO HAPPENS TO BE A PSYCHOLOGIST AND APPARENTLY
WEST POINT PROFESSOR. HE WRITES AND SAYS “WE ARE REACHING THAT STAGE OF DESENSITIZATION
AT WHICH THE INFLICTING OF PAIN AND SUFFERING HAS BECOME A SOURCE OF ENTERTAINMENT VICARIOUS
PLEASURE RATHER THAN REVULSION.” HIS ARGUMENT IN THIS BOOK IS THAT THE MEDIAN,
VIDEO GAMES, TELEVISION, MOVIES ARE AN INSTRUCTION AL TOOL, AND THEY ARE BREAKING DOWN OUR LEVELS
OF LET’S SAY OUR LEVEL OF RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE.
WE ARE BREAKING DOWN OUR RESISTENCE TO KILLING OTHER HUMAN BEINGS, THIS KIND OF TRAINING
IS JUST LIKE THE TRAINING THAT THE MILITARY WENT THROUGH IN VIETNAM TO PRODUCE HIGHER
KILL RATES. THAT’S HIS POSITION.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FEELING ABOUT THAT?>>ACTUALLY I THINK WE HAVE MADE A LOT OF
PROGRESS IN THAT WE HAVE MANAGED TO LOCALIZE THIS ON TELEVISION AND IN THE MOVIES.
IN HUMAN MOVIES WE USED TO THROW CHRISTIANS TO THE LIONS, AND SACRIFICE IN SOCIETIES.
ONE OF THE GREAT AZTEC ISSUE WAS SACRIFICE. BEAR BATING, COCK FIGHTS, DOG FIGHTS, BLOODY
ALL IN BOXING MATCHES. HUMANS HAVE BEEN ENTERTAINED BY VIOLENCE FOR
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS. IT IS PART OF OUR NATURE.
TO BLAME IT ON THE MEDIA IS TO BLAME THE MESSENGER RATHER THAN TO LOOK FOR THE SOURCE OF THE
MESSAGE.>>ON ANOTHER SUBJECT, WHAT ABOUT BULLFIGHTS?
>>YES.>>WHAT WOULD YOU RATHER DO SEE NATURAL BORN
KILLERS BY OLIVER STONE OR GO TO A BULLFIGHT?>>IF I HAD TO MAKE THE CHOICE, I THINK I
WOULD DO IT IN THE MOVIES RATHER THAN SEEING A BULLFIGHT.
>>WE KNOW SINGLE SCREEN MOTION PICTURE THEATERS ARE JUST ABOUT DEAD, AND YOU HAVE SAID AT
ONE POINT THE MOVIE EXPERIENCE IS EVAPORATING. WHAT IS THE MOVIE EXPERIENCE?
>>JUST AS WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE ATTENTION SPAN PROBLEM, PEOPLE, TODAY, I THINK
BELIEVE THAT THEY HAVE SEEN A MOVIE IF THEY LOOK AT IT ON VIDEO.
NOW I LOVE HOME VIDEO. I WATCH HOME VIDEO A LOT.
BUT THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTION FOR LIGHT SHINING THROUGH CELLULOID ON THE SCREEN WITH AUDIENCE.
THE EXPERIENCE OF SEEING A MOVIE IN A GREAT THEATER WITH A GOOD AUDIENCE, CAN’T BE DUPLICATED
ANY OTHER WAY. IN THE THEATER, THE PICTURE IS BIG, SOUND
SURROUNDS US, WE LOSE CONTACT WITH OUR ENVIRONMENT, AND WE HAVE VOYEURISTIC ESCAPE EXPERIENCE.
AT HOME, WE CONTROL. WE ARE THE PROJECTIONIST, OR EXHIBITORS.
OUR ATTENTION IS OFTEN DISTRACTED SO THE MOVIE ITSELF BECOMES FRAGMENTED.
>>I THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD IF PEOPLE COULD SEE MOVIES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A MOVIE THEATER,
AT LEAST GOOD MOVIES. HOME VIDEO IS GOOD FORESEEING A MOVIE FOR
THE SEC TIME OR SEEING MOVIES THAT YOU HAVE ESSENTIALLY SIMPLY CAN’T GET TO.
A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN’T GET TO ALL THE MOVIES THEY WANT TO GO TO.
>>IS THEATER PRESERVATION SOMETHING THAT WE, AS CITIZENS, SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT?
>>PRESERVING THEATERS FOR ARCHITECTURAL DISTINCTION IS ONE THING.
PRESERVING THEM FOR THEIR FUNCTION IS ONE THING.
IN TERMS OF FUND RAIDING FOR ART THEATER IN CHAMPAIGN, PEOPLE DON’T BELIEVE IT IS ARCHITECTURAL
LANDMARK, BUT IT IS A FIRST RUN VENUE FOR SUBTITLED DOCUMENTARY EXPERIMENTAL, ALTERNATIVE,
INDEPENDENT, AND ART FILMS, AND THERE WAS NO OTHER PLACE LIKE IT IN DOWNSTATE ILLINOIS.
IT IS NOT RESPECTABLE SOMETIMES TO SUPPORT THE MOVIES.
YOU CAN ALWAYS GET A COMMITTEE TO RAISE FUNDS FOR AN ART THEATER OR FOR A SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CONCERT OR BALLET SEASON BECAUSE THESE HAVE A SOCIAL CACHE.
I THINK THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THE COMMITTEE TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THE ART THEATER ARE VERY
BRAVE PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY ARE DOING IT OUT OF THEIR LOVE FOR THE CINEMA.
THERE WAS NO SOCIAL PAYOFF TO BE ACHIEVED HERE.
>>SOMETIMES WE HEAR CRITICISM OF FILM FESTIVALS, AND PRIZES AND AWARDS, EVEN THE ACADEMY AWARDS
WHERE A FEW YEARS AGO THE FILM “JOURNEY OF HOPE”, THERE WAS SOME CRITICISM THERE THAT
REALLY DIDN’T DESERVE TO WIN THE BEST FOREIGN FILM AWARD.
YET, ORDINANCES WE HAVE PICTURES LIKE “HOOP DREAMS.”
>>THAT DON’T GET NOMINATED. THE FOREIGN FILM CATEGORY IS NOT ON THE LEVEL.
THE REASON IS VERY SIMPLE. THEY REFORMED IT OR THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE
REFORMING IT A FEW YEARS AGO, ABOUT TEN. BY REQUIRING THAT EVERY ONE WHO VOTES IN THE
FOREIGN FILM CATEGORY HAS TO HAVE SEEN ALL FIVE OF THE NOMINEES.
TO VOTE IN THE BEST PICTURE CATEGORY, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SEE ANY OF THE PICTURES.
YOU CAN JUST MARK YOUR BALLOT. IN FOREIGN FILM, YOU HAVE TO PROVE YOU HAVE
SEEN ALL FIVE FILMS BEFORE YOU ARE ALLOWED TO VOTE.
THE PROBLEM THERE, THE FOLLOWING SITUATION KEEPS COMING UP, FOUR OF THE FILMS WILL BE
IN GENERAL RELEASE, AND ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THEM.
THE FIFTH FILM HAS NOT YET BEEN RELEASED THEATRICALLY. IT IS SCREENED FOR ACADEMY MEMBERS IN NEW
YORK AND LOS ANGELES. LETS A SAY IT IS YOUR FILM.
YOU SEND OUT SPECIAL INVITATIONS TO ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS.
OF COURSE, THERE IS AN AD IN THE TRADE PAPER SO ANYBODY CAN COME.
BUT BASICALLY THE PEOPLE YOU INVITED COME TO THOSE SCREENINGS.
BY DEFINITION, THEY ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEEN ALL FIVE FILMS.
IF YOU LOOK BACK OVER RECENT YEARS IN THE FOREIGN FILM CATEGORY, YOU WILL FIND CONSISTENTLY
THE FILM THAT WINS IS THE FILM THAT HASN’T BEEN RELEASED PUBLICLY.
IT WON BECAUSE THE PEOPLE WHO PROMOTED THE FILM WERE ABLE ESSENTIALLY TO SKEW THE VOTING
POPULATION IN THEIR FAVOR.>>ABOUT “HOOP DREAMS.”
>>THE FAILURE OF “HOOP DREAMS” BEST AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY IN YEARS, TO EVEN BE NOMINATED
CAUSED SUCH AN UPROAR THAT THE ACADEMY WAS FORCED AFTER YEARS OF COMPLAINTS BECAUSE THE
DOCUMENTARY COMMITTEE HAS BEEN A SOURCE OF CONTENTION FOR A LONG TIME.
THE ACADEMY WAS FINALLY FORCED TO REVISE ITS VOTING RULES AND TO IMPROVE THEM I HOPE.
>>YOU HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT THE ARTISTIC SIN.>>LET ME ADD ONE MORE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT.
“MALE IN” WAS BEST DOCUMENTARY. I WOULD PROPOSE TO YOU IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE
TO GATHER ANY GROUP OF INFORMED MOVIE GOERS FROM ANYWHERE, ANY JURY OF ANY SIZE OR ANY
COMPOSITION AND SHOW THEM BOTH FILMS AND FIND ANYONE WHO WOULD SAY THAT “MALE IN” WAS A
BETTER FILM THAT “HOOP DREAMS.” MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE WAS NOT JUST A MATTER
OF OPINION.>>YOU HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT THE ARTISTIC SIN
OF COLORIZATION. WE KNOW THAT COLORIZING IS A SUBJECT OF GREAT CONTROVERSY, SOME DIRECTORS
AND SOME ACTORS ON ONE SIDE OPPOSE IT. SOME INDUSTRY PEOPLE ARE VERY MUCH IN FAVOR
OF IT, NOTABLY MR. TURNER WHO OWNS CONSIDERABLE FILM LIBRARY.
WHAT CAN THE AVERAGE CITIZEN DO? WHAT CAN VIEWER DO?
>>FIRST OF ALL, YOU HAVE TO START BY ASSERTING THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BLACK AND WHITE
FILM. A BLACK AND WHITE FILM IS A BONUS.
THE WORLD IS IN COLOR. COLOR FILMS DON’T ADD ANYTHING.
COLOR FILMS JUST RECORD WHAT IS ALREADY THERE. BLACK AND WHITE ADDS SOMETHING, BY ADDING
A LEVEL OF STYLIZATION THAT ISN’T THERE IN COLOR FILMS.
ALSO, THE EMOTIONAL CHARGE OF BLACK AND WHITE FILM CAN BE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN A COLOR FILM.
EVEN APART FROM THE FACT THAT BLACK AND WHITE MIGHT BE THE RIGHT CHOICE, IT IS CERTAINLY
THE WAY THE FILMS WERE MADE. YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER FROM THE 30’S ON, THE
DIRECTORS HAD THE CHOICE OF COLOR IF THEY WANTED IT.
SO THEY CHOSE BLACK AND WHITE. IT IS WRONG TO TAKE A BLACK AND WHITE FILM
AND COLORIZE IT. IT IS LIKE PUTTING GRAFFITI ON A PAINTING
IN AN ART GALLERY. THING TO DO IS CALL UP THE CHANNEL THAT IS
SHOWING IT AND PROTEST AND WRITE A LETTER TO TED TURNER OR ANYBODY ELSE, AND SAY I WILL
NOT WATCH YOUR CHANNEL UNTIL YOU STOP DOING THIS.
THERE IS PERFECTLY ALTERNATIVES, AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS AND BRAVO, WILL NOT SHOW COLORIZED
FILMS.>>WHY DO YOU THINK THERE AREN’T MORE BLACK
AND WHITE FILMS MADE THESE DAYS?>>BECAUSE OF THE TELEVISION RESALE RIGHTS.
THAT’S WHY BLACK AND WHITE BEGAN TO BE PHASE OUT IN THE 60’S.
COLOR TELEVISION CAME IN, PEOPLE HAD SETS. IF THEY WANTED COLOR SET, THEY WANTED TO SEE
COLOR ON THE TV SET. THE STUDIOS FOUND THEMSELVES UNDER PRESSURE
FROM THE NETWORKS TO SHOOT IN COLOR. TODAY IT HAS BECOME THE DE FACTO STANDARD
SO A DIRECTOR HAS TO THINK VERY HARD ABOUT SHOOTING IN BLACK AND WHITE.
>>IT HAS BECOME THE STANDARD. ROGER EBERT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING
ON “ONE ON ONE.”.>>ROGER EBERT WAS TRULY A LOCAL BOY.
BORN AND RAISED IN URBANA, ILLINOIS, HE NEVER FORGOT HIS ROOTS, AND HE RETURNED OFTEN TO
GIVE BACK WHAT HE HAD ALWAYS BEEN GIVEN, THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS ONE’S CREATIVITY, HONESTY,
AND FULL CIRCLE WITH INTENTION AND RESOLVE. IN OUR NEXT SEGMENT, THE YEAR IS 2000, AND
ROGER JOINS FELLOW FILM CRITIC PAT MATZDORFF ON W.I.L.L.’S CRITICS CHOICE TO DISCUSS HIS
UPCOMING SECOND ANNUAL OVERLOOKED FILM FESTIVAL. OF COURSE, WE KNOW THAT NOW AS EBERTFEST.
>>>>THANK YOU FOR JOINING CRITICS CHOICE, ROGER.
>>PLEASURE.>>HOW DID THIS WHOLE FILM FESTIVAL GET STARTED?
>>WE HAD SOMETHING AT ILLINOIS ABOUT FOUR YEARS AGO CALLED “CYBER FEST.”
WHICH RECOGNIZED THE BIRTHDAY OF HALL 9,000. THE COMPUTER IN 2001.
THAT WAS HELD AT THE KRANNERT CENTER. WE HAD 70‑MILLIMETER SCREENING OF 2001 AT
THE VIRGINIA. THIS WEEK WENT SO WELL THAT KIM ROTSEL AND
NANCY CASEY AT COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATIONS ASKED ME IF I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN HAVING A NIL
MANY FESTIVAL EVERY YEAR UNDER THE BANNER OF THE COLLEGE.
AT FIRST I THOUGHT A CRITIC SHOULDN’T BE DOING THIS BECAUSE THEN YOU ARE ASKING FAVORS OF
STUDIOS WHOSE FILMS YOU HAVE TO REVIEW COULD BE A CONFLICT.
I THOUGHT WHY NOT PUT THE SHOE ON OTHER FOOT, INSTEAD OF ME DOING THEM A FAVOR, OUR FESTIVAL
COULD DO A FAVOR FOR OVERLOOKED FILMS OR OVERLOOKED GENRES.
>>ALONG THE LINES WE WERE TALKING ABOUT DING CAL VERSUS FILM.
YOU WILL BE HAVING A PANEL DISCUSSION ABOUT THAT VERY TOPIC. ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE A STAND
OR DO YOU SIEBEN FITS BOTH WAYS?>>I FEEL THAT TRADITIONALLY PEOPLE HAVE GONE
TO THEATERS TO SEE THINGS ON THE SCREEN THAT THEY CAN’T SEE AT HOME.
THAT’S WHY MOVIES STARTED TO TALK, WHEN RADIO CAME IN, THEY HAD TO COMPETE.
MOVIES WENT TO COLOR, MOVIES WENT TO WIDE SCREEN.
THEY EXPERIMENTED WITH 3D, STEREO PHONIC SOUND, AND CAME UP WITH THX AND OTHER FORMS OF SURROUND
SOUND. IT IS TIME FOR THE MOVIES TO CONTINUE WITH 48 FRAME PROJECTION WHICH IS SO MUCH
BETTER THAN YOU CAN GET AT HOME. WHEN HIGH‑DEFINITION TELEVISION COMES IN
EFFECT, WHICH IS SLOWLY ARRIVING, YOU WON’T NECESSARILY WANT TO GO TO A MOVIE THEATER
SEE A PICTURE NO BETTER THAN THE PICTURE YOU ARE GETTING AT HOME.
>>WILL THE NEW FORMAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, IS THAT STILL 35‑MILLIMETER FILM.
35‑MILLIMETER, YES.>>OBVIOUSLY WE ARE HAVING THE SECOND FESTIVAL.
FIRST ONE MUST HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL. TO OUR AMAZEMENT, THE FESTIVAL WAS MUCH BETTER
THAN ANTICIPATED. GOOD CROWDS.
GOOD QUESTIONS FOR THE PANEL DISCUSSIONS, AND WE ACTUALLY JUST ABOUT BROKE EVEN.
IT WAS ALSO SUCCESSFUL FOR THE VIRGINIA THEATER.>>UH‑HUH.
I WENT TO THE VIRGINIA THEATER AS A KID. MY DAD WOULD TELL ME THAT ‑‑ MY DAD SAW
THE MARX BROTHERS ON THE STAGE THERE.>>OH, WOW.
>>IT WAS ALWAYS THE SHOW PLACE IN CHAMPAIGN‑URBANA. WE GO BACK A FEW YEARS, ORPHEUM, AND REALTO,
THE ART. I HE GUESS THE COED IS NOW BEING CYCLED OUT
OF MOVIE BUSINESS. IT IS TORN DOWN.
PRINCES WHICH BECAME THE CINEMA IS NO LONGER THERE.
THE THUNDERBIRD IS THERE, BUT IT ISN’T BEING USED.
VIRGINIA IS THE LAST GASP, ALONG WITH THE ART THEATER WHICH IS VERY SPECIAL TO ME.
THE LAST GASP OF MOVIE EXHIBITION IN CHAMPAIGN‑URBANA. AND THAT’S IMPORTANT BECAUSE NOT EVERYBODY
WANTS TO DRIVE TO A MALL OR DRIVE OUT TO SAVOY TO TO GO TO THE MOVIE.
>>THIS FILM FESTIVAL ACTUALLY PLAYED A PART IN THE REFURBISHING?
>>YES, I THINK SO. THE SUCCESS OF LAST YEAR’S FESTIVAL LED THE
CITY OF CHAMPAIGN, AND ITS MAYOR, A MOVIE FAN WAS RIGHT ON STAGE AND WAS AT MANY OF
THE SCREENINGS TO MAKE A DONATION, SUBSTANTIAL DONATION TOWARD THE RESTORATION AND OPERATION
OF THE VIRGINIA AS A PERFORMING ART CENTER FOR THE TWIN CITIES.
IT WOULD JUST COST A FORTUNE TO REPRODUCE A THEATER LIKE THAT.
IT HAS BEEN THE SAME EXPERIENCE HERE IN CHICAGO WHERE THE RESTORATION AND REPPING OF THE CHICAGO
THEATER, ORIENTAL THEATER, AND NOW THE PALACE THEATER.
>>AND THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL.>>YEAH.
YOU WALK‑IN SIDE, AND YOU SAY I AM GLAD THEY SAVED THIS BECAUSE IF IT WERE GONE, IT
COULD NEVER BE REPLACED.>>ABSOLUTELY.
THE ACADEMIC PANEL HAD A QUESTION ABOUT ONE OF THEM TITLED “LOOKING AT LOOKING IN THE
OVERLOOKED FILMS.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
>>THAT INVOLVES A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF PANELMANSHIP, SAYING YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE SUBJECT MEANS
AND TRYING TO DEFINE IT.>>AND OPEN IT UP.
>>IN GENERAL, I THINK I AM ON PANEL MYSELF. MY REMARKS MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH
THE FEELING THAT ALL FILM LOVERS SHARE, THAT THERE ARE FILMS OUT THERE THAT PEOPLE ARE
NOT CONNECTING WITH. YOU CAN GO TO NOTHING BUT GOOD FILMS OR MOSTLY
GOOD FILMS IF YOU TAKE A LITTLE CARE IN YOUR CHOICES.
BUT IF YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE SWEPT ALONG BY MARKETING AND ADVERTISING, YOU WILL JUST
BE HARD OF THE HERD. SOMETIMES YOU WILL SEE A GOOD FILM.
SOMETIMES YOU WILL JUST BE WASTING YOUR TIME. WHAT ABOUT YOUR DIGITAL ASPECTS, PEOPLE FINDING
AUDIENCES FOR THEIR LITTLE SHORT FILMS ON INTERNET?
>>YES, I THINK SHORT FILMS ON THE INTERNET WERE MADE FOR EACH OTHER.
OF COURSE, SHORT FILMS ARE SUCH A THREATENED GENRE.
AT ONE POINT, WE TALKED ABOUT HAVING A PROGRAM OF SHORT FILMS IN THE OVERLOOKED FESTIVAL.
THEN WE FELT WE HAD SO MUCH WORK TO ASSEMBLE ‑‑ NATE, I DON’T KNOW HOW HE GETS HIS DAYTIME
JOB DONE, AND TO SCREEN SHORT FILMS AND DEAL WITH THEM IN THAT WAY WOULD BE QUITE DIFFICULT.
MAYBE SOME YEAR WE WILL BE ABLE TO ADD SOMETHING LIKE A PACKAGE FROM THE NEW YORK SHORT FILM
FESTIVAL OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. BUT IN ANY EVENT I DON’T THINK WITH TODAY’S
BAND WIDTH SPEEDS, THAT MOST PEOPLE ARE READY TO SEE A FEATURE LENGTH FILM ON THE WEB. IF
YOU LIVE ON THE DORM AT U OF I, YOU PROBABLY HAVE REAL FAST ACCESS.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T. EVEN IF YOU HAVE A DSL LINE, THAT’S NOT FAST
ENOUGH. IT IS FINE FOR LOOKING AT MOVIE FOUR MINUTES
LONG, OR NINE MINUTES LONG OR 15 MINUTES LONG. THERE HAS BEEN THIS EXPLOSION OF SHORT FILMS
ON THE WEB. ADAM FILM, AND I‑FILM, AND INDEPENDENT FILM
CHANNEL, AND YAHOO MOVIES AND WATCH FILM.COM. THEY ARE SHOWING SHORT FILMS ALL THE TIME
AND DOING A LOT OF TRACK. IT IS GIVING THE REGULAR GUY WHO WANTS TO
BE A FILM MAKER MUCH LIKE THE GUY THAT DID THE COVEN THAT YOU WILL BE COVERING, GIVES
THEM A CHANCE TO ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING AND FIND A WORD.
>>WE HAVE TO GET TO THE COVEN. MY THEORY IT TAKES $3,000 TO BE A MOVIE MAKER.
3,000 YOU CAN DO IT.>>$1,500 FOR THE CAMERA, AND $1,500 FOR THE
COMPUTER, AND YOU CAN MAKE A DIGITAL FILM. DON’T GET ME WRONG, I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST
DIGITAL FILM MAKING. I DON’T LIKE DIGITAL PROJECTION IF IT REPLACES
FILM. PROJECTION AS ITSELF, I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM
WITH. BUT IN ANY EVENT, I THINK IT IS GREAT THAT
WITH $3,000 WORTH OF EQUIPMENT, YOU CAN MAKE A MOVIE TO PLAY IN THEATER, AND USED TO COST
MILLIONS OR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS TO MAKE A MOVIE.
NOW YOU CAN ACTUALLY HAND MAKE YOUR OWN MOVIE. I REALLY HOPE THAT PEOPLE COME TO SEE AMERICAN
MOVIE, THE DOCUMENTARY, ABOUT THIS MAN MARK BORCHARDT FROM SUBURB OF MILWAUKEE.
THIS MOVIE WON THE SUN DANCE FILM FESTIVAL, BEST DOCUMENTARY.
IT IS HILARIOUS, AND ALSO VERY TOUCHING, AND IT IS VERY UNFORGETTABLE.
IT IS THE STORY OF A GUY WHO REALLY WANTS TO MAKE MOVIES.
HE HAS BEEN MAKING MOVIES EVER SINCE HE WAS A KID.
HE IS NOW IN HIS 30’S. HE MAKES HORROR FILMS, IN THIS COURSE OF AMERICA
MOVIE, HE IS MAKING A HORROR FILM CALLED COVEN, NOT COVEN.
BECAUSE COVEN, THE CORRECT PRONUNCIATION, IT RHYMES WITH OVEN, AND HE DOESN’T LIKE THAT.
THE WORD MAYBE COVEN, BUT HIS MOVIE IS COVEN. WE ARE THEN GOING TO SHOW COVEN AFTER AMERICA
MOVIE, WHICH IS ONLY 30 MINUTES ALONG. MARK BORCHARDT WILL BE THERE ON STAGE, AND
THIS GUY IS AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL. HE IS KIND OF LIKE A BLUE COLOR, BEER DRINKING QUINTEN
TARANTINO. YOU GOT TO MEET HIM.
HE IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE THE BEST GUEST WE HAVE ON STAGE.
>>SOMEBODY THAT HAS A TRUE PASSION FOR FILM. WHERE DO YOU SEE THE FILM FESTIVAL GOING IN
LIKE TEN YEARS? HOPEFULLY THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF A LONG
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE VIRGINIA THEATER.>>WELL, YOU KNOW, I HOPE IT DOESN’T GROW TOO
LARGE. RIGHT NOW, IF YOU REALLY WANT TO, YOU CAN
GO TO ALL THE MOVIES. WE HAVE THIS CHEAP PASS.
ACTUALLY THE PRICE IS RIGHT FOR THIS FESTIVAL. VERY REASONABLE.
>>AND A LOT OF PEOPLE WENT TO ALL THE MOVIES LAST YEAR. THEY JUST TOOK OFF, THURSDAY, FRIDAY,
SATURDAY, AND WENT TO THE MOVIES. AND YOU GOT TO SEE THE SAME FACES.
>>NOT GOING TO TURN INTO A SUN DANCE WEEK LONG THING WITH TRADE SHOWS?
>>NO, WE DON’T WANT A TRADE SHOW. WE DON’T WANT ‑‑ WE WANT TO KEEP IT PRETTY MUCH
CLOSE TO SEA LEVEL. MAYBE ONE YEAR AS WE SEE HOW THINGS DEVELOP,
WE COULD FOLD THE ART THEATER INTO THE MIX AND USE IT, MAYBE FOR A SECOND SCREENING OF
EACH FILM OR FOR SIDE BAR SCREENINGS. I LOVE THE ART THEATER.
I WAS INVOLVED IN A BENEFIT FOR THEM ONCE TO HELP THEM GET NEW SEATS.
>>THEY HAVE NEW SEATS NOW!>>I KNOW THEY DO.
>>VERY COMFORTABLE! .
THEY SHOW AWFULLY GOOD MOVIES. THEY SURE DO.
>>IT WOULD BE ‑‑ BECAUSE ART IS ONLY A BLOCK AWAY FROM THE VIRGINIA.
>>IT IS PERFECT. WE COULD HAVE A NICE LITTLE SYSTEM THERE.
>>ARE WE EVER GOING TO SEE BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS?
>>IT IS NOT OVERLOOKED. IT RECENTLY PLACED NUMBER TWO IN NATIONAL
POLL OF THE GREATEST CULT FILMS OF ALL TIMES.>>WOW.
THAT’S GREAT. BEHIND WHAT?
>>DEATH RACE 2000. IT IS MUCH BETTER THAN THAT.
IT IS MUCH BETTER THAN DEATH RACE 2000.>>INTERESTING.
WELL, I GUESS THAT COVERS IT THEN.>>I WILL SEE YOU AT THE VIRGINIA.
>>YOU BET. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I AM PAT MATZDORFF HERE WITH ROGER EBERT ON CRITICS CHOICE.
>>ISN’T IT AMAZING HOW THE HIGH TECH OF TODAY WAS DISCUSSED BACK THEN LIKE A SCI‑FI POSSIBILITY?
SPEAKING OF SCI‑FI, OUR NEXT SEG MANY GOES INTO THE TIME MACHINE, AND COMES OUT AT CYBER
FEST, 1997. A GAIL A CELEBRATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
ILLINOIS AT URBANA‑CHAMPAIGN. THROUGH THE MAGIC OF TECHNOLOGY, ROGER PICKS
UP THE VIDEO PHONE AND CALLS SRI LANKA TO INTERVIEW ARTHUR C CLARK, THE AUTHOR OF ONE
OF THE GREATEST SCIENCE FICTION MOVIES OF ALL TIMES “2001, A SPACE ODYSSEY.”
I THINK YOU WILL AGREE THAT BOTH OF THESE ICONS ENJOYED THEIR CONVERSATION QUITE A BIT.
>>(PHONE DIALING).>>AT & T VIDEO PHONE.
HELLO!>>MR. CLARK?
>>GOOD MORNING OR GOOD AFTERNOON, AS THE CASE MAY BE.
>>MORNING OR AFTERNOON FOR YOU. EVENING FOR US.
I AM FINE. LOOKING FORWARD TO TALKING TO YOU.
>>YOU KNOW, EVERY PARENT IS PROUD ON THE BIRTHDAY OF A CHILD, AND YOU MUST BE VERY PROUD NOW
THAT HALL’S BIRTHDAY IS FINALLY COMING UP SO MANY YEARS AFTER 2001 WAS RELEASED.
>>WELL, OF COURSE, THERE IS A PROBLEM HERE BECAUSE HE HAS TWO BIRTHDAYS, ONE IN THE BOOK
AND ONE IN THE MOVIE. I AM NOT SURE WHICH WAS WHICH OR WHY WE CHANGED!
(LAUGHING). LET ME ASK YOU HOW YOU ORIGINALLY CREATED
“HALL.” WE KNOW, OF COURSE, THE FAMOUS STORY HOW KUBRICK
APPROACHED YOU, AND YOU REMEMBER THE SHORT STORY THAT YOU HAD WRITTEN CALLED “THE SENTNAL.”
BUT THERE WERE MANY, MANY STEPS BETWEEN THE FIRST MEETING AND THE SCREENPLAY AND NOVEL
OF 2001. AT WHAT POINT DID THE IDEA OF HALL BEGIN TO
EMERGE?>>WELL, YOU ARE TRYING ‑‑ YOU ARE ASKING
ME TO DREDGE UP MEMORIES OVERLAID BY ANY OTHER STRATAS OF BOOKS AND MOVIES AND OTHER THINGS.
IT ALL BEGAN IN ’64. I CAN’T REALLY BELIEVE THE DATE, WHEN I WAS
ACTUALLY MOONLIGHTING AT “TIME LIFE.” ISSUE OF “TIME” JUST ARRIVED, AND GOT A LETTER
IN IT ABOUT “2001” HOW IT ANTICIPATED THE FUTURE.
SANDY CONTACTED ME. IN FACT, HE CONTACTED ME BEFORE I WENT TO
NEW YORK TO WORK ON THE TIME LIFE MAN IN SPACE PROJECT.
WE SORT OF BRAIN STORMED TOGETHER FOR QUITE A FEW DAYS, AND WHAT I DID, WENT THROUGH STORIES
I HAD WRITTEN AND MADE A LIST OF ABOUT SIX, AND HERE ARE BASIC IDEAS I SOLD THEM ALL TO
STANLEY, ALL SIX. ONLY ONE HE USED REALLY WAS FROM THE SENTNAL,
A SHORT STORY ABOUT THE DISCOVERY OF ARTIFACT ON THE MOON. I BROUGHT BACK THE ONES HE DIDN’T
USE FROM STANLEY AND HOPE TO RESELL THEM TO SOMEBODY ELSE.
WHO INVENTED WHAT, AFTER ALL THIS LENGTH OF TIME, I HAVE TO IDEA.
WE WERE BOUNCING IDEAS BACK AND FORTH LIKE A TABLE TENNIS MATCH.
CERTAINLY AT THAT TIME YOU WERE MUCH MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE POSSIBILITIES OF ARTIFICIAL
INTELLIGENCE THAN PEOPLE ARE TODAY.>>OH, I DON’T THINK SO.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS ROARING ALONG. IN FACT, I JUST GOT A JET PROPULSION LABORATORY,
IT IS INTERESTING, RATHER THAN TELL YOU WHAT THEY ARE UP TO.
I AM READING FROM A LETTER WRITTEN FROM DR. RICHARD DOYLE, HEAD OF THE AUTONOMY TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM.
LISTEN TO THIS, “WE ARE HOLDING IN JANUARY, 1997, SYMPOSIUM ON THE TOPIC OF INTELLIGENCE
AUTONOMOUS SYSTEM, INTELLIGENCE AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS.”
THAT’S EXACTLY HOW IT WAS.>>BUT IT HASN’T REALLY DEVELOPED ARTIFICIAL
INTELLIGENCE ON THE TIMETABLE THAT WAS SUGGESTED BY 2001. WE SEEM TO BE ABOUT AS FAR AWAY TODAY,
DON’T YOU THINK, FROM HALL, AS WE WERE THEN, OR NOT?
>>YES, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ABOUT 20 YEARS IN THE FUTURE.
WHEN I SAW YOU IN 1958, YOU WERE SPEAKING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS IN URBANA.
DID THAT VISIT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH FRIENDS YOU HAD THERE, AND DID IT LEAD TO HALL BEING
BORN IN URBANA?>>VERY MUCH SO.
COLLEGE PROFESSOR WAS GEORGE McVIE WENT TO UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AND PLACING HALL’S
BIRTHDAY THERE WAS REALLY A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE WHO IS DEAD NOW FOR MANY YEARS.
HE WAS LEADING COSMOLOGIST, AS WELL AS MATHEMATICIAN. ALL COINCIDENCE, SUPER COMPUTER CENTER NOW
IS AT URBANA. WHETHER THAT’S A COINCIDENCE, I DON’T KNOW!
(LAUGHING).>>TODAY WE LIVE IN A TIME WHEN THE CYBER CULTURE
HAS CHANGED OUR LIVES SO DRAMATICALLY, COULD YOU HAVE FORESEEN THAT AT THE TIME YOU WERE
WRITING ABOUT HALL 9,000? DID YOU THINK COMPUTERS OF THE POWER FOR EXAMPLE,
OF THE ONE ON MY DESK TOP OR YOUR DESK TOP WOULD BE IN THE HANDS OF PRIVATE CITIZENS
BY 1996, ’97?>>NO, I DON’T THINK ANYBODY DID.
THE CHIP REVOLUTION IS THE MOST REMARKABLE IN THE HUMAN HISTORY.
NO ONE COULD EVER HAVE DREAMED THAT SOMETHING THE SIZE OF A HOUSE LIKE THE FIRST COMPUTERS
WOULD BE COMPRESSED INTO A THING ABOUT THE SIZE OF YOUR THUMBNAIL.
THAT IS TOTALLY UNEXPECTED, AND IT CHANGED SOCIETY OR WILL CHANGE SOCIETY BEYOND RECOGNITION.
I AM RATHER WORRIED ABOUT SOME OF THE DEVELOPMENTS THAT MAY HAPPEN.
RECENTLY I HAD AN ESSAY IN ASIA WEEK MAGAZINE. I WAS PRESENTED A NEW WORD, THE COMING OF
CYBERCISM, OR WHO WILL CHANGE THE LIGHT BULBS. WHEN THEY ARE ALL PLUGGED INTO ENTERTAINMENT,
WHO IS GOING TO RUN THE WORLD?>>DO YOU THINK THAT THERE IS ANY SCIENTIFIC
INVENTION OR DISCOVERY THAT THE MAN, OR WOMAN WOULD BE SO ALARMED THEY WOULD FEEL NECESSARY
TO SUPPRESS IT, OR WOULD ALL KNOWLEDGE BE USEFUL AND WORTH COMMUNICATING IN ONE WAY
OR ANOTHER?>>THERE IS ONE INVENTION WHICH I HAVE DISCUSSED
I THINK MANY YEARS AGO, AND THAT IS A TIME PROBE.
IF WE COULD EVER INVENT SOMETHING TO REVEAL THE PAST, TO SEE ANYTHING THAT EVER HAPPENED.
WHEN YOU THINK OF THE IMPLICATION OF THAT THERE, PRETTY APPALLING, AND HUMAN CIVILIZATION
SURVIVE SUCH A THING? I JUST DON’T KNOW.
I DON’T THINK IT IS POSSIBLE, BUT I CAN’T REAL IT OUT.
IF A TIME PROBE WAS ‑‑ COULD BE CREATED, ALL THE MYSTERIES, ALL THE SECRETS THAT EVER
HAPPENED ALL WILL BE REVEALED. TOTAL TRANSPARENCY.
THAT’S THE MOST TERRIFYING INVENTION I CAN THINK OF.
>>IF YOU WERE TO INVENT THE TIME PROBE, YOU WOULD WANT TO SEAL UP YOUR NOTES OR EVEN BURN
THEM!>>(LAUGHING).
>>ONE OF THE PROBLEMS, OF COURSE, WOULD BE THAT IF YOU DID HAVE A TIME PROBE, THERE WOULD
BE SO MUCH TIME TO PROBE THAT YOU WOULD NEVER LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO DO IT.
>>BY THE LIKE THE WEB. (LAUGHING) ‑‑
>>A BIT LIKE THE WEB. YOU HAVE WRITTEN SCIENCE FICTION STORIES AND
MOVE ELSE DO YOU THINK THERE IS ONE WRITTEN THAT WOULD BE A GREAT MOVIE AND YOU HAVEN’T
BEEN ABLE TO CONVINCE A PRODUCER OF THAT? WHAT WOULD BE YOUR FAVORITE UNFILMED PROJECT
TO FILM?>>THAT’S EASY ONE TO ANSWER.
MY BEST NOVEL IS SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH. MIKE OLDFIELD, SWEET BASE ON IT, AND HE HAS
ALREADY SOLD OVER A HUNDRED THOUSAND COPIES. SONGS, WAS, IN FACT, YEAH, I THINK MICHAEL
PHILLIPS OPTIONED IT AT ONE TIME. THE OPTION HAS LAPSED.
MEANWHILE, I HAVE GOT SEVERAL OF MY STORIES ON OPTION.
MY METEOR IMPACT STORY, HAMMER OF GOD, STEPHEN SPIELBERG JUST RENEWED THE OPTION ON THAT.
I HOPE THAT WILL GO AHEAD. FALLEN MOON DUST, CHILDHOOD’S END HAS BEEN
SITTING AT UNIVERSAL FOR 40 YEARS. I AM A BIT UPSET BECAUSE THE OPEN BEING OF
“INDEPENDENCE DAY” IDENTICAL WITH CHILDHOOD’S END.
>>YOU SENT ME AN E‑MAIL SAYING THE ODDLY ENDING OF” INDEPENDENCE” DAY WAS ANTICIPATORY
PLAGIARISM BECAUSE THEY STOLE THE ENDING OF YOUR NOVEL BEFORE IT WAS PUBLISHED.
>>BEFORE THEY EVEN GOT AROUND THINKING ABOUT IT.
>>IT IS SYNCHRONICITY, I SUPPOSE.>>IN FACT, COME TO THINK OF IT, IT WAS VIRUS
THAT KILLED THE INNOVATING MARTIANS.>>2001 IS CERTAINLY THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION
MOVIE EVER MADE. IT WAS VOTED ONE OF THE GREATEST TEN FILMS
OF ALL TIME, IN THAT POLL THAT HAS TAKEN EVERY TEN YEARS, FILM CRITICS, PRODUCERS, ARCHIVISTS,
BY SIGHT AND SOUND IN LONDON, TOP TEN FILMS OF ALL TIME.
SO MANY SIGH TENSE FICTIONS HAVE NOT FOLLOWED THAT LEAD, SINCE 2001, WITH THE SAME KIND
OF VISION OR AMBITION IN THE SCIENCE FICTION GENRE.
>>OF COURSE NOT. 2001, SCIENTIFIC FILMS ABOUT A DECADE UNTIL
THE TECHNOLOGY CAUGHT UP WITH IT, AND THEN WE HAD “STAR WARS” AND SO FORTH WHICH ARE
SPACE WESTERNS. GREAT FUN.
I ENJOY THEM. YOU ARE PERHAPS RIGHT IN SAYING NO ONE HAS
EVER ATTEMPTED TO FOLLOW THE LEAD CREATED BY 2001.
>>THE WHOLE THIRD ACT OF 2001 IS SUCH A VISIONARY LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN.
THE FEELING THAT THE ASTRONAUT HAS ARRIVED AT A PLACE TOTALLY BEYOND IMAGINING, AND ALTHOUGH
HIS PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT SEEMS TO BE A ROOM. THE ROOM APPARENTLY HAS BEEN CREATED BY SOME
OTHER RACE FOR ITS OWN PURPOSES. THAT’S THE KIND OF ENDING THAT TODAY, A STUDIO
WOULDN’T ALLOW. THE STUDIOS TODAY WOULD SAY THE AUDIENCE WILL
BE CONFUSED. THEY WON’T UNDERSTAND IT.
IT DOESN’T HAVE A SATISFACTORY RESOLUTION. HOW DID YOU AND KUBRICK GET AWAY WITH A FILM
SO PROVOCATIVE AND UNCONVENTIONAL.>>AGAIN, YOU MISS CREDIT ENTIRELY, STANLEY
GETS ALL THE CREDIT FOR THAT. I GAVE HIM IDEAS AND INPUTS, AND CREDIT GOES
TO STANLEY IN AMAZING SPECIAL EFFECTS TEAM LEAD BY DOUGLAS TROMBOLL AND WALLY BEAVERS.
>>THE NOTION OF PUTTING HIM IN THE BEDROOM. YOU MUST HAVE CONVICTED TO THAT?
>>AGAIN, I CAN’T REMEMBER EXACT DETAILS. THERE WAS FEEDBACK IN BOTH DIRECTIONS.
I WOULD WRITE SOMETHING, GIVE IT TO STANLEY, AND HE WOULD SAY THAT IS SPLENDID, BUT, BUT,
AND REWRITING IT. I WOULD REWRITE THE PIECE AFTER I WOULD SEE
STANLEY’S VERSION OF IT. IT WAS FEEDBACK IN BOTH DIRECTIONS.
>>THE STAR CHILD, LAST SHOT IN THE FILM, AS THE STAR CHILD OR AT LEAST 2001 FANS NOW CALL
IT THE STAR CHILD. I DON’T KNOW IF THAT WAS REALLY WHAT YOU CALLED
IT, BUT THE STAR CHILD TURNS AND LOOKS AT AUDIENCE AS IF TO PUT THE BALL BACK IN OUR
COURT TO ASK US WHAT WE THINK OUR DESTINY IS, AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT QUESTION WAS
AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ANSWER IS? WHAT IS THE STAR CHILD IS, AND HOW CAN WE
RESPOND?>>
>>I WOULD SAY THAT THE IMPLICATION IS THAT THE FUTURE IS WIDE OPEN.
IT IS UP TO US WHAT WE DO ABOUT IT. OUR DESTINY AT LEAST TO SOME EXTENT UNDER
OUR OWN CONTROL. OF COURSE, AT THE TIME, A LOT OF PEOPLE DIDN’T
GET IT. ONE OF THE REMARKS I REMEMBER HEARING AFTER
THE PREMIER IT WAS FROM A SENIOR MGM EXECUTIVE SAYING DISPARINGLY, WELL, THAT’S THE END OF
STANLEY KURBICK.>>THE INFORMATION AT THE END OF 3001, INCLUDES
YOUR SPECULATIONS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF INSTANT UNIVERSAL ACCELERATION WHICH WOULD
ALLOW SOMEONE TO MOVE VERY QUICKLY TO ANOTHER PLACE WITHOUT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT THE G‑FORCES.
YOU SEEM TO FEEL THAT THAT MIGHT BE THEORETICALLY POSSIBLE.
>>WE KNEW ‑‑ GRAVITY FIELD DOES JUST THIS, IF YOU WERE FALLING IN THE GRAVITY FIELD
OF A BLACK DWARF OR NEUTRON STAR, YOU COULD BE ACCELERATING AT A MILLION G, AND YOU WOULDN’T
FEEL ANYTHING UNTIL YOU GOT SO CLOSE THE FORCES TORE YOU TO PEACES.
NATURE HAS PROVIDED A SPACE DRIVE IN A WAY. IF WE CAN EVER CONTROL GRAVITY, AND THERE
IS SOME HINTS THIS MIGHT BE POSSIBLE, THEN WE WOULD HAVE A SPACE DRIVE.
>>WHEN YOU STARTED AS A SCIENCE FICTION WRITER, THE GENRE WAS NOT VERY RESPECTABLE.
THERE WERE SOME GOOD MAGAZINES, JOHN CAMPBELL, ASTOUNDING, WAS TRYING TO DO HIGH LEVEL STUFF.
MANY MAGAZINES, PULPS, WERE THROWING WONDER STORIES AND AMAZING STORIES.
SCIENCE FICTION IS GENRE, WITH RESEARCH PROJECT, WITH PH.D.’S, CONFERENCES, SYMPOSIUMS, WHAT
ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS GENRE WHICH YOU CERTAINLY ARE ONE OF
THE SMALL HANDFUL OF GRAND MASTERS AND FOUNDING FATHERS OF?
>>WELL, SCIENCE FICTION WAS RESPECTABLE BEFORE IT GOT A LABEL.
I MEAN WELLS’ SCIENTIFIC ROMANS WHATEVER YOU LIKE TO CALL THEM, WERE QUITE HIGHLY REGARDED.
MOST MAINSTREAM WRITERS SEEM TO HAVE WRITTEN SOME SURPRISING NAMES, ROGER KIPLING, MAKING
A BIT OF A COMEBACK. HE WROTE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF AVIATION.
MELVILLE, VERY WELL‑KNOWN, BUT RUSE RANKIN PUT TOGETHER A COLLECTION OF SUCH STORIES.
SCIENCE FICTION, UNTIL HUGO GURNSBACK CAME ALONG, WE DON’T KNOW IF BLESS OR CURSE HUGO
FOR MAKING IT MAYBE A POPULAR, BUT LESS RESPECTABLE. I REMINDS ME OF ONE OF MY FRIENDS IN THE FIELD,
SCIENCE FICTION SHOULD GO BACK TO THE GUTTER WHERE IT BELONGS. IT WAS FUN WHILE WE WERE
IN THE GUTTER.>>YOUR SCIENCE FICTION HAS ALWAYS BEEN WRITTEN
WITH A REAL KIND OF INTERESTING COMBINATION OF HARD SCIENCE AND THEN SCIENCE SPECULATION
AND KIND OF VISIONARY APPROACH TO THE ROLE OF HUMAN BEINGS IN THE UNIVERSE.
SOME MODERN SCIENCE FICTIONISTS CRITICIZE FOR BEING TOO FANTASTIC, TOO FRANKLY ORIENTED
IN THE FANTASY GENRE OR TWO INTERIOR AND NOT SCIENTIFIC ENOUGH.
DO YOU THINK THAT’S A LEGITIMATE CRITICISM OR IS IT JUST A DISTRACTION THIS.
>>UP AGAINST THE OLD, WHAT IS SCIENCE FICTION, WHAT IS FANTASY?
A VERY FUZZY BORDER BETWEEN THE TWO. I HAVE ATTEMPTED TO DEFINE IT, SCIENCE FICTION
IS SOMETHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN, OR YOU HOPE IT WON’T, AND FANTASY IS SOMETHING
THAT COULDN’T POSSIBLY HAPPEN, OFTEN YOU WISH IT COULD.
>>I THINK YOU ARE CERTAINLY DESERVING OF A CONGRATULATIONS FOR HAVING GIVEN US HALL 9,000
SO WE CAN CELEBRATE HALL’S BIRTHDAY.>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
>>NICE TALKING TO YOU, ROGER.>>BYE‑BYE.
>>BYE‑BYE.>>
SO, FROM ONE OF THE MOST FUTURISTIC WRITERS OF ALL TIME, WE LEARNED A NEW WORD TODAY,
CYBERCISM. DO YOU THINK IT WILL CATCH ON THIS WE HOPE
YOU WILL ENJOY THESE MOMENTS CAPTURED WITHIN THE FRAMES OF THE CAMERA LENS. ROGER EBERT
WILL BE FOREVER REMEMBERED POETIC FILM CRITIC OF THE FILMS HE SO LOVED.
TO VIEW THE INTERVIEWS IN ENTIRETY VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT WILL.ILLINOIS.EDU/EBERT.
EVERY TIME I THINK OF ROGER EBERT, I MUST UNDOUBTEDLY GIVE HIM THE THUMBS UP.
>>�

6 thoughts on “Ebert Remembered, from WILL-TV on April 18, 2013

  1. Roger Ebert failed at writing screenplays, all were cheap smut. Yet he knocked other's work. He couldn't even dress let alone pick my movies. But since he was on TV, lonely shut ins loved him

  2. I really can't stand this interviewer. He is always trying to laugh really quick as if he knows what Ebert is saying before he says it or he tries to finish Ebert's sentences. Or he remembers everything that Ebert recalls. He is totally out of his league.

    You can see it in some of his questions. Like about how movies on TV are too violent. Ebert is just like "ya, so what?". Anyone that has knowledge of Ebert would know he is for free speech and against censorship and puts the blame on parents, not the filmmakers.

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