Friday, April 5, 2013
ROGER EBERT: THE BALCONY IS CLOSED
One day after the 46th anniversary of his first day at the Chicago Sun Times, Roger Ebert lost his battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. Growing up I religiously watched Siskel and Ebert on TV, and I think it was from them that I learned how to view films with a critical eye. This fueled my love of films, and exposed me to more adventurous film experiences. If it wasn't for them I might have grown up thinking the world of film only existed in mall multiplexes.
My film adventures eventually led me to the world of Russ Meyer. His weird and wild movies are as crazy and exaggerated as the physiques of his leading ladies. My favorite of Russ' films is Beyond The Valley of The Dolls. You should see this film if you haven't. It's an insane cartoon of a film (even though it isn't animated) and it's a look at the world of hippies and rock and roll as channeled through Russ Meyer. Not only Russ, but Roger Ebert. Ebert wrote this insane thing.
I wish the film was on youtube to embed, but it isn't. What I found instead was a video from a 1990 screening of Beyond The Valley of the Dolls that featured a panel consisting of the cast, along with Roger Ebert and Russ Meyer. It's worth watching if only for Ebert's explanation of how Z Man became a woman at the beginning of the third part.
But seriously, watch Beyond The Valley of The Dolls. We'll talk.