One of the coolest things about Roger Ebert is his annual "Ebertfest," once known as Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival. Basically he selects a bunch of films that he loves that he feels didn't get enough notice and does his best to bring more notice to them. This includes recent films, as well as silent-era films, and even films shot in overlooked formats, like 70mm (he showed Tron once). I'm sure many of us would love to program his or her own film festival, and for the fun of it, I'm going to do my own fantasy "overlooked" film festival right here and now, but hopefully with a slightly new wrinkle.

Overlooked Genre: The Western

On this day, I would show Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), which I chose as the best film of 2007 and one of the ten best films of the decade. It made a paltry $3.9 million in the United States, but it's gloriously shot, contains one of Brad Pitt's finest performances (and Casey Affleck's finest), and is the smartest movie about celebrity made in the "Reality TV" era. It deserves to be seen on the big screen. For the second feature, I'd go back to one of my all-time favorites, Monte Hellman's "existential" The Shooting (1966), with Warren Oates, Jack Nicholson and Mille Perkins, about a mysterious trek across the desert.
categories Cinematical