By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

THE MUSIC BOX THEATRE TO “OUTGUESS EBERT”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Chicago, IL, 2/20/12 — Last Friday the Music Box Theatre, via its social networks, threw down the gauntlet and challenged Roger Ebert, one of the greatest living film critics, to a battle of Oscar guesses.  After a period of what we can only assume was deep and thoughtful consideration, Mr. Ebert publicly accepted our‘foolish’ challenge.

On February 8th, as part of his annual “Outguess Ebert” contest, Mr. Ebert announced his predictions for the 2012 Academy Awards, which take place this Sunday.  The Music Box (and its fans) believe we know better.

From Mr. Ebert’s website: “In self-defense, I will point out that the deadline for my predictions was Feb. 7, with the Oscars more than two weeks away, on Feb. 26. Predicting so far in advance is a handicap, and as a result, you have an excellent chance of outguessing me. Still, this annual contest is fun and provides me with an opportunity to show how badly I can do.”

The Music Box Theatre will solicit the opinions of their over 13,000 Facebook fans and nearly 8,000 Twitter Followers in six categories to help make predictions to outguess Ebert.

So, while the winners of Mr. Ebert’s challenge could win an all-expense paid free trip to L.A. for a film premiere, the gentleman’s bet between the Music Box Staff and Ebert is simple… if the Music Box Theatre wins, Mr. Ebert will offer up signed copies of his books to give away to Music Box patrons… but if we lose, and dark prevails, Mr. Ebert will get to pick a film of his choosing to screen publicly at the Music Box Theatre.

That’s right, if Roger wins, he gets the Music Box for a night.

Here’s how it will work: From Monday, February 20th through Friday, February 24th the Music Box will post a Facebook poll each day, asking the assistance of their fans in making a decision in five categories:  Foreign Language Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, & Best Picture—at the end of the workday, the Music Box staff will make a prediction and award prizes to those who participated!

On Sunday night either the Music Box or Mr. Ebert will emerge victorious.  Tune in to the Music Box Theatre Facebook and Twitter feeds for all the fun!

https://www.facebook.com/musicboxchicago
http://twitter.com/musicboxtheatre

People are encouraged to sign up for the official “Outguess Ebert” contest here:

http://suntimes.upickem.net/upickem/contest/questions.asp?contestid=50026

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“Let me put this bluntly, in language even a busy blogger can understand: Criticism — and its humble cousin, reviewing — is not a democratic activity. It is, or should be, an elite enterprise, ideally undertaken by individuals who bring something to the party beyond their hasty, instinctive opinions of a book (or any other cultural object). It is work that requires disciplined taste, historical and theoretical knowledge and a fairly deep sense of the author’s (or filmmaker’s or painter’s) entire body of work, among other qualities.”
~ Richard Schickel

“When Barry Jenkins introduced Moonlight, he said he hoped we see ourselves in the characters. We’re thrown into neighborhood combat with 10-year-old Chiron in Miami’s Liberty City where the empty lots, abandoned buildings, sidewalks — the shortcuts and escape routes — are his total known world. We intake vividly, like a 10-year-old, the cruel, the generous, the strangeness of others, the crack-addled neglect in a home he can’t escape. Jenkins’ characters’ lives move on, get stunted, are dulled to stupefaction, end tragically, end in separation. Moonlight is Chiron’s world. It’s the current lower-middle class, working class, disenfranchised- and-alienated-class world. Intimacy is Jenkins’ accomplishment. But, what we’re intimate with is another consciousness so totally and truthfully created, that we’re looking outward and inward simultaneously. That’s why Jenkins’ work is profound. Chiron is us and we are him, asking ourselves, ‘Who am I? Where do I fit?'”
~ Michael Mann On Moonlight