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#479 March 5, 2024

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Matt writes: It was on February 28th, 2014, that RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert gave me the green light to publicly announce that I had been hired to join her team. My initial job title was Assistant Editor at Ebert Publishing, a role designed to assist in the publication of new books compiling the work of the site’s namesake and my lifelong hero, Roger Ebert. Over the decade that followed, my duties gradually shifted toward editorial duties for the site itself, where I had the privilege of contributing reviews, interviews and various features. I covered film festivals and events in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Indianapolis, Bend (in Oregon), Toronto, Karlovy Vary and Reykjavík, while securing a seat in the press room of the Academy Awards three years in a row.

At Ebertfest, I had the immense honor of moderating post-screening Q&As with some of my favorite people in modern cinema including Thora Birch, Derek DelGaudio, Rick Goldsmith, Kogonada, Ben Lear, Morgan Neville, Frank Oz, Rebecca Parrish, Mykelti Williamson and Terry Zwigoff. I also returned twice to the festival’s venue in Champaign, Illinois, to cover, and occasionally participate in, the sorely missed Pens to Lens Gala in which films written by students ranging from kindergarten age to twelfth grade were brought to life by local filmmakers. Throughout it all, I was fortunate enough to have the unceasing support of my fellow editors—Chaz Ebert, Publisher-in-Chief; Brian Tallerico, Matt Zoller Seitz, Nell Minow, Robert Daniels and Nick Allen—as well as the Vice President of Development of The Ebert Company, Sonia Evans, and the Project and Office Manager, Daniel Jackson, who has become like a brother to me.

Thus, on the precipice of my tenth anniversary at the site, it seems like a fitting full circle moment to bid this extraordinary chapter of my life farewell. Other projects that were birthed directly from the work I was able to publish as a result of this site are now demanding of my full attention, and I must ensure that they will cross the finish line. I am leaving at the end of this month overwhelmed with gratitude not only for every opportunity I was granted because of this site and its unequaled team, but because of everything that it has made possible for me in the years to come. Having the opportunity to champion cinematic work that I believe in on this platform has been and will forever be one of the greatest joys of my life, and I am humbled to have played a part in helping extend Roger’s legacy into the decade following his passing.

Click here to read my complete farewell article.

Trailers

Shirley (2024). Written and directed by John Ridley. Starring Regina King, Lance Reddick, Terrence Howard. Synopsis: Shirley Chisholm makes a trailblazing run for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination after becoming the first Black woman elected to Congress. Debuts on Netflix on March 22nd, 2024.

DogMan (2024). Written and directed by Luc Besson. Starring Caleb Landry Jones, Jojo T. Gibbs, Christopher Denham. Synopsis: A boy, bruised by life, finds his salvation through the love of his dogs. Debuts in the US on April 5th, 2024.

Daddio (2024). Written and directed by Christy Hall. Starring Dakota Johnson, Sean Penn, Marcos A. Gonzalez. Synopsis: A woman taking a cab ride from JFK engages in a conversation with the taxi driver about the important relationships in their lives. Debuts in the US on May 23rd, 2024.

Irena’s Vow (2024). Directed by Louise Archambault. Written by Dan Gordon. Starring Sophie Nélisse, Dougray Scott, Andrzej Seweryn. Synopsis: Follows the life of a Polish nurse Irene Gut Opdyke who was awarded the Righteous Among the Nations medal for showing remarkable courage in her attempt to save Polish Jews during World War II. Debuts in the US on April 15th, 2024.

The Watchers (2024). Written and directed by Ishana Shyamalan (based on the novel by A.M. Shine). Starring Dakota Fanning, Georgina Campbell, Olwen Fouéré. Synopsis: A young artist gets stranded in an extensive, immaculate forest in western Ireland, where, after finding shelter, she becomes trapped alongside three strangers, stalked by mysterious creatures each night. Debuts in the US on June 7th, 2024.

Boy Kills World (2024). Directed by Moritz Mohr. Written by Tyler Burton Smith and Arend Remmers. Starring Bill Skarsgård, Famke Janssen, Jessica Rothe. Synopsis: A dystopian fever dream action film that follows Boy, a deaf person with a vibrant imagination. When his family is murdered, he is trained by a mysterious shaman to repress his childish imagination and become an instrument of death. Debuts in the US on April 26th, 2024.

Horizon: An American Saga (2024). Directed by Kevin Costner. Written by Kevin Costner and Jon Baird. Starring Kevin Costner, Sienna Miller, Michael Angarano. Synopsis: Chronicles a multi-faceted, 15-year span of pre-and post-Civil War expansion and settlement of the American west. Debuts in the US on June 28th, 2024.

God Save Texas (2024). Directed by Richard Linklater, Iliana Sosa and Alex Stapleton. Synopsis: Tales of Texas told through the lenses of three directors, chronicling the state’s past, present and future. Now streaming on Max.

Apples Never Fall (2024). Created by Melanie Marnich. Starring Annette Bening, Sam Neill, Jake Lacy. Synopsis: The Delaney family seems happy but Joy disappears, forcing her husband and four adult children to reassess their family history. Debuts on Peacock on March 14th, 2024.

Scoop (2024). Directed by Philip Martin. Written by Peter Moffat and Geoff Bussetil. Starring Gillian Anderson, Keeley Hawes, Rufus Sewell. Synopsis: How the BBC obtained the bombshell interview with Prince Andrew about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Debuts on Netflix on April 5th, 2024.

Prey (2024). Written and directed by Mukunda Michael Dewil. Starring Emile Hirsch, Mena Suvari, Ryan Phillippe. Synopsis: A young couple is compelled to leave their Christian missionary station in the Kalahari Desert after being threatened with death by an extremist militant gang. After crashing their aircraft they must battle man and beast for their lives. US release date is TBA.

Asphalt City (2024). Directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire. Written by Ben Mac Brown and Ryan King (based on the novel by Shannon Burke). Starring Sean Penn, Tye Sheridan, Gbenga Akinnagbe. Synopsis: Ollie Cross is a young paramedic assigned to the NYC night shift with an uncompromising and seasoned partner Gene Rutkovsky. Each 911 call is often dangerous and uncertain, putting their lives on the line every day to help others. Debuts in the US on March 29th, 2024.

The Gentlemen (2024). Created by Guy Ritchie. Starring Theo James, Kaya Scodelario, Daniel Ings. Synopsis: Eddie Halstead inherits a his family estate, initially unaware its home to a drug empire run by a syndicate that has no plans to vacate. Debuts on Netflix on March 7th, 2024.

The Regime (2024). Created by Will Tracy. Starring Kate Winslet, Andrea Riseborough, Hugh Grant. Synopsis: An unnamed Central European nation is unraveling behind the palace walls. Now streaming on Max.

The New Boy (2024). Written and directed by Warwick Thornton. Starring Cate Blanchett, Aswan Reid, Deborah Mailman. Synopsis: A nine-year-old Aboriginal Australian orphan boy arrives in the dead of night at a remote monastery run by a renegade nun. US release date is TBA.

Challengers (2024). Directed by Luca Guadagnino. Written by Justin Kuritzkes. Starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, Mike Faist. Synopsis: Tashi, a former tennis prodigy turned coach is married to a champion on a losing streak. Her strategy for her husband’s redemption takes a surprising turn when he must face off against his former best friend and Tashi’s former boyfriend. Debuts in the US on April 26th, 2024.

Civil War (2024). Written and directed by Alex Garland. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, Karl Glusman. Synopsis: An adrenaline-fueled thrill ride through a near-future fractured America balanced on the razor’s edge. Debuts in the US on April 12th, 2024.

Borderlands (2024). Directed by Eli Roth. Written by Eli Roth and Joe Crombie. Starring Cate Blanchett, Ariana Greenblatt, Gina Gershon. Synopsis: The popular video game set on the abandoned fictional planet of Pandora where people search for a mysterious relic. Debuts in the US on August 9th, 2024.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet on “Amélie”

Matt writes: Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet recently spoke with our contributor Tim Grierson about his celebrated 2001 film, “Amélie,” which is now playing in theaters in a sparkling new restoration. Click here to read their full conversation.

Remembering Harold Ramis

Matt writes: RogerEbert.com publisher Chaz Ebert commemorates the tenth anniversary of filmmaker Harold Ramis’ passing by compiling various insights about his work written by Roger, along with additional quotes from Bill Murray, Stephen Tobolowsky, Barack Obama and others. Read the full article here.

Free Movies

The Negro Soldier (1944). Directed by Stuart Heisler. Synopsis: Documentary focusing on the contributions to the American war effort of African-American soldiers. 

Watch “The Negro Soldier”

The Incredible Petrified World (1959). Directed by Jerry Warren. Written by John W. Steiner. Starring John Carradine, Robert Clarke, Phyllis Coates. Synopsis: When the cable breaks on their diving bell four people find themselves trapped in a hidden underwater world.

Watch “The Incredible Petrified World”

Paper Man (1947). Directed by Walter Grauman. Written by James D. Buchanan and Ronald Austin. Starring Dean Stockwell, Stefanie Powers, James Stacy. Synopsis: A prank that starts with a group of college students creating a fictitious person so they can get a credit card develops into a plot that takes a murderous turn.

Watch “Paper Man”

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