Top of the Morning, March 12, 2014
This year's Ebertfest will spotlight a pair of 25-year-old movies: "Do The Right Thing" and "Born on the Fourth of July." We asked News-Gazette film critic CHUCK KOPLINSKI for three others from 1989 that deserve a spot at the Virginia Theatre in April:
"Driving Miss Daisy"
Spike Lee was outspoken in his criticism of Morgan Freeman's performance, referring to it as a caricature of a racial stereotype, as well as the film itself. Bringing this movie would be great counterprogramming to "Do the Right Thing," and could spark an interesting dialogue about how race has been and is portrayed on film. Also, this would be an opportunity to see how well the movie has aged, while the possibility of getting Morgan Freeman to come to Ebertfest would be the icing on the cake.
"Sex, Lies and Videotape"
The success of this film sent shockwaves through Hollywood after this low-budget feature and its director took the top prizes at that year's Cannes Film Festival. The message that was sent and very much received was that rogue filmmakers could do what the big studios did much better and much cheaper. The moral questions the film poses are actually more pertinent today what with the widespread use of video technology and the fall of so many personal boundaries.
James Cameron's sci-fi epic was a groundbreaking work during its initial release, as the director invented his own film cameras for the project. The movie follows a group of scientists exploring the deepest parts of the ocean, suspecting that something alien is lurking beneath. Largely forgotten because of the success of Cameron's "Terminator 2," "Titanic" and "Avatar," this would be a prime opportunity to see this visual epic on the big screen, especially if a 70 mm print could be tracked down.