Thumbnails 4/5/22


Thumbnails is a summary of short excerpts to introduce you to articles from other websites that we have found interesting and exciting. We provide links to the original sources so you can read them in full.—Chaz Ebert


“Mystery is Better Than the Truth: Lucian Georgescu and Barry Gifford in ‘The Phantom Father'”: I had the pleasure of speaking with the filmmaker and author of the unforgettable road trip that gave birth to their remarkable film 2011, now released via FilmBox, for White City Cinemathe site of the producer of “Roy’s World: Barry Gifford’s Chicago”, Michael Smith.

“’The award-winning films I had seen coming out of Romania at that time were very gritty and depicted the appalling living conditions of the characters,” Gifford said. “What Lucian had in mind was very different, and so his film became almost Fellini-like. It was fantastic, and that’s what I like about his vision of the film. It was completely different from the films made by his peers. Alas, this is the precise reason why Georgescu felt that his film was released at the wrong time, when the cinema-loving public was mainly focused on new Romanian cinema. After its March 2012 premiere at the Transylvania International Film Festival, Georgescu was appalled – being a former critic himself – by the fierce criticism from local writers. Since then, it has been reappraised and praised by many viewers internationally, although the director’s first ray of hope came in the form of one particular viewer. “After one of the screenings, I was approached by a lady who was an important player outside the world of cinema,” Georgescu recalls. “She said, ‘I want to thank you for the happiness you brought me today, and for this beautiful, weird, weird, romantic movie you made.’ I was like, ‘She loves this movie. It means that if there is one, there could be more.””


“‘The Girl From Plainville’ is a frustrating look at the reality of ‘suicide by text’ cases”: An insightful essay by Candice Frederick published on The Huffington Post.

“It’s the latest series that goes out of its way to convince its audience that there’s more to the offending white woman than the headlines suggest. And to be fair, in this case, it’s kinda true. As “The Girl From Plainville” shows, Michelle (Elle Fanning), like Conrad (Coltan Ryan), has had her own history of mental illness, including depression, which has been conveniently understated in media coverage as well. than throughout her trial, she is socially awkward and doesn’t really have any friends (the two she refers to are the ones who leaked information about her damaging texts with Conrad to law enforcement). There’s even a moment in the Hulu series, from showrunners Liz Hannah and Patrick Macmanus, when Michelle’s parents (played by Cara Bruono and Kai Lennox) are concerned that she’s going back to her old ways. long before Conrad died, and she denies it. As Michelle becomes involved with Conrad, she initially seems comforting and understanding when he tells her about his suicidal thoughts and how he dropped out of therapy. Yet the series shows how this turns into a two-year co-dependency between minors with varying levels of emotional and mental stability.


“My Night in the World of Bridgerton:” Our Editor-in-Chief Nell Minow reports on “The Queen’s Ball: The Bridgerton Experience” in Washington, DC, for Average.

As we spend more time staring at screens, it’s no surprise that we yearn for analog interactions with the very worlds we entered through those screens. Also in Washington, there’s now an immersive “Friends” installation, where you can have your photo taken at the iconic locations and see replicas of Rachel’s hairstyles. But ‘Friends’ takes us back to New York in the 90s. ‘Bridgerton’ is more like a fairy tale with jewels, horse-drawn carriages, balls and people with titles and piles of money. The immersive experience starts with some time to walk around and get Instagram-friendly photos in a variety of settings. My favorite was the one that resulted in an instant portrait of you in a digital version of a classic oil painting. But I also enjoyed the one where I got to sit on the queen’s red velvet sofa, with an attendant in an electric wig and livery who used my camera to take the picture. Some of the gorgeous dresses from the show were on display, and we each received a copy of Lady Whistledown’s diary to read about the latest scandals.


“‘The Automat’ Warms the Soul Like a Great Cup of Joe”: Lisa Hurwitz and Michael Levine’s documentary is praised by the great critic and artist Jeff York at The blow of establishment.

“At first glance, the subject of a once-great food franchise from a bygone era might seem like an odd choice for a theatrical documentary, but ‘The Automat’ is entirely worthy of such attention. Automata were commissary-style restaurants popularized in the early 20th century where a penny could get you a cup of Joe or a ham sandwich or a slice of apple pie, all supplied by self-service kiosks. At one time, the Horn and Hardart company owned 40 in New York City alone, and such a cultural touchstone is why filmmakers Lisa Hurwitz and Michael Levine were drawn to the subject. Their film is nostalgic, sure, but it’s also a gentle nudge for society to embrace the sense of connection these “restaurants” once offered, a welcoming place inhabited by rich and poor alike. Wisely, director Hurwitz and writer Levine have done their homework, and their documentary is packed with photographs, film and testimonials about the automatons that entrepreneurs Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart founded in 1902.


“Bill Hader created a killer character to deal with life, and you can too”: according to No film schoolIt’s Jason Hellerman.

Bill Hader’s character “Barry” is one of the most nuanced and brutal modern protagonists. It’s no wonder the idea of ​​an anxious hitman turned actor came from somewhere inside Hader. It came from coming of age to see the world where people are more like the characters of Freedmen than in other films, and also to deal with his own anxiety as a person. Hader used to ask many questions of famous movie directors who frequented the SNL set. He wanted to know the how and why of their work. Now Hader is pondering these big questions for his own work. And for his own psyche. “Barry” was born out of Hader’s anxiety. As he says in his Hollywood journalist writes, “Anxiety always fights those voices in your head that say, ‘Here’s all the bad stuff that’s gonna happen. Oddly, I have more trouble with day-to-day things as opposed to running a TV show.

Picture of the day

AT reel worldJordan Ruimy presents the full results of his latest critics’ poll ranking “The 100 Greatest Movies of the 1970s,” topped by Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.”

Video of the day

In this special episode of “Ebert & Roeper”, critics take a look at innovative “bells and whistles” called DVD extras.

Matt Fagerholm
Matt Fagerholm

Matt Fagerholm is associate editor at and a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association.

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