1. "A letter to Werner Herzog: In praise of rapturous truth": Roger Ebert, straight from the heart. Jim Emerson replies and posits the question: "What ecstatic truths have you seen through your window?."
[" Dear Werner, You have done me the astonishing honor of dedicating your new film, "Encounters at the End of the World," to me. Since I have admired your work beyond measure for the almost 40 years since we first met, I do not need to explain how much this kindness means to me. When I saw the film at the Toronto Film Festival and wrote to thank you, I said I wondered if it would be a conflict of interest for me to review the film, even though of course you have made a film I could not possibly dislike. I said I thought perhaps the solution was to simply write you a letter. But I will review the film, my friend, when it arrives in theaters on its way to airing on the Discovery Channel. I will review it, and I will challenge anyone to describe my praise as inaccurate. I will review it because I love great films and must share my enthusiasm."]
2. "The Glover Model": The Reeler's Ben Gold on the madness and genius of Crispin Glover. Related: our own Editor-in-Chief's NYPress profile of Glover from 2002.
["You could easily confuse Crispin Glover with one of the many eccentric characters he is best known for. Tall, thin and dressed in black, his manner catches you off guard: serious at first, then slowly revealing his joviality, a smile always on the verge of cracking through his angular face—more George McFly than Willard, for sure. He speaks carefully and deliberately about his latest directorial effort, It Is Fine. EVERYTHING IS FINE!, articulating every syllable and rarely using contractions. It's all calculated; a pretense, perhaps, but an essential one. It's the persona he's created to sell his films—and himself."]
3. "No Country note": K. Bowen of Anti-dis-arts-and-entertainmentism on a fascinating coincidence surrounding the Coen Brothers' latest.
["I admire (although not worship) the Coen Brothers-Cormac McCarthy collaboration No Country for Old Men. While watching the movie, something unusual struck me. A weird coincidence. Or perhaps a non-coincidence. In fact, that is what's interesting about it."]
4. Now complete: The Queer Film Blog-a-thon, organized by Damion of Queering the Apparatus. (Hattip: GreenCine Daily.)
["I am of the opinion that gay film, in many ways, still seeks to operate within the margins of the system ... queer film, on the other hand, does not cooperate. In fact, it wants to pervert the system."]
5. House contributor N.P. Thompson reviews Southland Tales. As does Michael Koresky at Reverse Shot.
["Once upon a time, writer-director Richard Kelly gave us the fine and sensitive Donnie Darko , a work that succeeded not only by virtue of Jake Gyllenhaal's bravura turn in the title role, but because Kelly created believable, empathetic characters, no small accomplishment in a sci-fi thriller. What's more, Kelly managed to build eeriness and foreboding with minimal violence. Not so in Southland Tales , his sophomore (and sophomoric) effort, a movie that places Kelly squarely in the pantheon—the pantheon of Ed Wood."]
Quote of the Day: Nathan Lane
""Look, I'm 40, I'm single, and I work in musical theater--you do the math!""
Image of the Day (click to enlarge): Christopher Isherwood (Last Drawings) by Don Bachardy.
Clip of the Day: Weatherman vs. cockroach (guess who wins)
"Links for the Day": Each morning, the House editors post a series of weblinks that we think will spark discussion. Comments encouraged.