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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: August 7, 2008

(Photo by Victor Skrebneski, from

Siskel & Ebert, and The Bird and The Bee, after the jump. ...

A reader was asking when the last "At the Movies" of the Ebert-Roeper/Siskel-Ebert era will air -- it's the weekend of Aug. 16-17 -- and that sent me trolling through the lovely archive of old "At the Movies" reviews that you can find here. ...

The archive goes back more than 20 years, into the Gene Siskel period, and is searchable by title, actor or director; it also lets you browse by year. It reminded me how very, very much I used to enjoy those impassioned duels between Gene and Roger (I found myself trying to think of movies that would have caused great disagreement), but also how thoughtful the program was about movies and how we react to them. Lovely stuff. You could say it became an example of the cult of personality; I prefer to think that watching Gene and Roger (sorry, but I never had the same enthusiasm for Roger and Roeper) was a visual equivalent of reading a critic day after day, getting to know his specific likes and dislikes (and blind spots) and so assessing his enthusiasm and distaste in that context. And I just plain liked the show.

By the way, Roger offered some recollections of the show in his online journal here. Don't miss the part about appearing with Johnny Carson.

Music stuck in my head lately has included Jenny Lewis (also of Rilo Kiley) and Inara George (also of The Bird and The Bee). I keep thinking I should write something longer about them, and about the artful way they use words(including the way the f-bomb is employed in TB&TB's "boyfriend" song,) but I'm a little short of deep thoughts right now. So just give them a listen. And, to that end, here's a YouTube video to TB&TB's cover of "How Deep Is Your Love."

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