BOOTLEG FILES 731: “Sneak Previews” (PBS series starring Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No perceived reissue value.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.
In 1975, the Chicago public television station WTTW debuted a monthly show with the somewhat awkward title “Opening Soon at a Theater Near You.” The show featured two of Chicago’s most prominent film critics, Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune and Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, in a half-hour discussion regarding the merits and flaws of films in release. Clips from the films in question gave audiences a sampling of what they could expect on the big screen.
“I’ll see you at the movies.” – Roger Ebert’s Final Written Words.
It’s as I said in my review for “Starting Out in the Evening”: Come obscurity, irrelevance, success, or fame, a writer still has to write, regardless. In Roger Ebert’s case it was, come disease, sickness, and life altering illness, a writer still has to write. And Roger Ebert, no matter what he faced in his life, had to write. In the end, whether you agreed with him, hated his ability to raise controversy, or just had a relative indifference toward him, very few movie critics changed the world of cinema and the landscape of writing as he did. It’s with a heavy heart that I write about the passing of my favorite movie critic of all time, as Roger was a man who seemed to almost know he was dying.
Fuck off Michael Bay, there’s someone better in town who has the potential to be an in-demand director, and his name is Alex Ferrari. I was first introduced to Alex when Cinema Crazed was in the early stages of accepting screeners for independent filmmakers. Alex sent along “Broken,” and we were interested to see what he had in store for us. And much to our surprise, “Broken” was absolutely great. Ferrari went onto acclaim for “Broken,” a film about a young girl kidnapped by a small group of hit men who assure her she’s not who she thinks she is. Later, Ferrari went on to send more of his features to us, and we were hooked. “Cyn” only proved that Ferrari has the bonafide chops to display good old fashioned film entertainment, without any of the clichés, and sheer idiocy big budget directors often drop into.
Ferrari directs films that look shockingly high budget, even though most of his films only have a budget of a little over a thousand bucks, and is one of the many indie directors providing a slow and steady revival of the Grind House genre, and he’s not stopping at mere low budget action fare. The man has big plans, and he’s getting there and bringing his fan base with him.