THE 101 BANANAS
INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED FILM STUDIES

“Cinema is not the reflection of reality, but the reality of the reflection.”
       —Jean-Luc Godard

“Movies are the art form most like man’s imagination.”
       —Francis Ford Coppola

“Great movies are rarely perfect movies.”
       —Pauline Kael

“....When I was a little younger, there was another journey I wanted to make. It was a religious one; I wanted to be a priest. However, I soon realized that my real vocation, my real calling, was the movies. I didn’t really see a conflict between the church and the movies, the sacred and the profane. Obviously, there are major differences, but I could also see great similarities between a church and a movie house. Both are places for people to come together and share a common experience. And I believe there’s a spirituality in films, even if it’s not one which can supplant faith. I find that over the years many films address themselves to the spiritual side of man’s nature, from Griffith’s film “Intolerance” to John Ford’s “The Grapes of Wrath” to Hitchcock’s “Vertigo“ to Kubrick’s “2001,” and so many more. It’s as if movies answered an ancient quest for the common unconscious that fulfilled a spiritual need that people have to share a common memory."
       —Martin Scorsese, from the 1995 British Film Institute documentary “A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies”



THE ACADEMY AWARDS, 1927-2014
A reference listing of past Academy Awards (“Oscars”) given for Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Foreign Film.

REFLECTIONS AFTER 25 YEARS AT THE MOVIES — Roger Ebert
A wonderful look back at 25 years of reviewing movies as he ponders the meaning of it all. (Ebert is one of the few movie critics worth paying attention to, the others being Pauline Kael, Judith Crist, Janet Maslin, Stanley Kaufmann, James Berardinelli, Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel.)

THE 10 GREATEST FILMS OF ALL TIME — Roger Ebert
His choices for the greatest movies, and why he chose them.

GREATEST MOVIES / FAVORITE MOVIES — Zimmerman Skyrat
Looking for a good movie to watch? Move over, Roger Ebert. You might find something here; my list of the greatest movies ever made, and my much longer list of favorite movies.

GREAT MOVIE MOMENTS — Zimmerman Skyrat
A selection of favorite “Great Movie Moments in Film History;” memorable moments from movies that stay with you forever.

ANAMORPHIC DVDs — Bill Hunt
“Pan & Scan,” “Letterboxed,” “Anamorphic,” and other terms are explained, and why some DVD players (owned by people who never read instructions) make everyone look so thin.

2-3 PULLDOWN — Jim Taylor
A technical but interesting and essential explanation of how your DVD player shows a film shot at the normal 24 frames per second on your television’s 60hz display (60 fields, or 30 frames, per second).

MY DEFENSE OF FILM CRITICISM — James Kendrick
The task of reviewing a movie is not as simple as many people probably think it is. A good review involves much more than watching the movie, jotting down the plot outline, and giving it a ‘star’ rating.

CRITICS’ VOICES BECOME A WHISPER — Patrick Goldstein
The loss of influence of old-style print media film critics can no longer be ignored. With the rise of the Internet and universal instant communication, other factors have come to have more influence on the public’s choice of movies. There is a good side—and a bad side—to this change.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION — Lee Siegel
Some short comments on the craft of acting, which is usually passed over in film reviews that concentrate on believability of plot, direction, special effects, etc.

OZU: THE MASTERPIECES YOU’VE MISSED — Rogert Ebert
Some comments on famed Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu and his unique style of shooting a scene.

FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT — Hal Erickson
A brief biography of the famed French film director.

TOUGH WITHOUT A GUN — Tom Slone
A book review of an excellent new biography of actor Humphrey Bogart.



 



REVIEWS

There are only a million movies out there, so there’s no way I could post reviews of one one-hundredth of them. Here is just a miscellaneous sampling of reviews that I add to now and then when I run across an interesting or insightful one. I’m gradually expanding this section with more reviews and will concentrate mostly on movies that are not very well known, but perhaps should be. These are not necessarily all great movies, and they are not necessarily only my favorites. They are here because I found the review itself interesting, for various reasons. Some of these are here because I loved the movie (most of them); some I didn’t like the movie but it was a great review that explains why I didn’t like it better than I could myself (Masked and Anonymous); some I personally liked the movie and disagree with the review but it was so funny that I had to post it (A Tale of Springtime); and some are my own reviews that I write on rare occasions whenever the fancy strikes me (Face/Off, Girl With a Pearl Earring, The Last Samurai, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg).
       —Zimmerman Skyrat


21 GRAMS — Peter Travers / J. Hoberman / Andrew O’Hehir

2046 — Michael Atkinson / Richard Corliss

BREATHLESS — Jana Kraus

CINEMA PARADISO — James Berardinelli / Glenn Erickson

CLOUD ATLAS — Maryann Johanson

CRIES AND WHISPERS — David Ng

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS — Roger Ebert

DEPARTURES — Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat

EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN — Marjorie Baumgarten

ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND — David Edelstein / James Bowman

FACE/OFF — Bill and Joel

GIRL ON THE BRIDGE — Michael Dequina / Max Messier

GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING — Zimmerman Skyrat

HENRY FOOL — Janet Maslin

THE KITE RUNNER — James Berardinelli

THE LAST SAMURAI — Zimmerman Skyrat

LOVERS OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE — John Nesbit

MAP OF THE HUMAN HEART — Hal Hinson

MASKED AND ANONYMOUS — Ron Rosenbaum

MELANCHOLIA — Bill Goodykoontz

MULHOLLAND DR. — Blake French / Roger Ebert

MY LAST FIVE GIRLFRIENDS — Christina Zawadiwsky

PERSONA — Howard Schumann / Acquarello / Tony Pellum

PLEASANTVILLE — Chris Bolton

SECONDS — Landon Palmer

THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES — Dasha Kotova / Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat

STEAL A PENCIL FOR ME — Nora Lee Mandel

A TALE OF SPRINGTIME — DB from CT 3

THIRTEEN CONVERSATIONS ABOUT ONE THING — A. O. Scott

THE TREE OF LIFE — Ian Nathan

THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG — Zimmerman Skyrat

UN COEUR EN HIVER — Jurgen Fauth

WHAT HAPPENED WAS... — Desson Howe / James Berardinelli / Vanilla-2

THE WORDS — Jason Buchanan

YESTERDAY WAS A LIE — Lawrence Cronin / groggo



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