This 1940 movie is one of the great entertainments. It lifts up the heart. An early Technicolor movie, it employs colors gladly and with boldness, using costumes to introduce a rainbow. It has adventure, romance, song, a Miklos Rozsa score that one critic said is “a symphony accompanied by a movie.” It had several directors; as producer, Alexander Korda leaped from one horse to another in midstream. But it maintains a consistent spirit, and that spirit is one of headlong joy in storytelling.
Films have grown so aggressive and jittery that it takes patience to calm down into one like “The River.” Its most dramatic moment takes place offscreen. Renoir is not interested in emotional manipulation but in regarding lives as they are lived. Not everyone we like need be successful, and not everyone we dislike need fail. All will be sorted out in the end — or perhaps not, which is also the way time passes and lives resolve themselves.
This article was written by Ebert in 1992. He talks about movies, actors and directors that he has liked over these 25 years. He also talks about why he has been a movie critic for 25 years.
I look at silent movies sometimes, and do not feel I am looking at old films, I feel I am looking at a Now that has been captured. Time in a bottle. When I first looked at silent films, the performers seemed quaint and dated. Now they seem more contemporary than the people in 1980s films. The main thing wrong with a movie that is ten years old is that it isn’t 30 years old. After the hair styles and the costumes stop being dated and start being history, we can tell if the movie itself is timeless.
I absolutely love the imagery in Guillermo Del Torro’s movies. Here is a needull talking about his trilogy.
Like so many great artists, it doesn’t feel like del Toro is being adequately appreciated in his time. There’s a reason he was the opening night artist for Roger Ebert’s Overlooked Film Festival this year (with his masterful and tragically under-seen “Crimson Peak”). And yet, when I watch these films, along with almost all of his films, I have a distinct sense of timelessness. There is no doubt in my mind that people will be watching, analyzing and discussing “Pan’s Labyrinth” decades from now. It gives one that feeling only great art can provide—that it’s playing with themes and ideas that have been around for generations, but that it will also outlive us all.