Photo of Jack Black as assistant funeral director Bernie Tiede. I first posted this on July 24, 2012 at 7:35 p.m.  More to come.


Richard Linklater's body of work includes  Slacker (1991), Dazed and Confused  (1993), Before Sunrise (1995), Waking Life (2001),  The School of Rock (2003),  Fast Food Nation (2006), A Scanner Darkly (2006), and now Bernie (2011), currently showing at the Lyric.

This last stars Jack Black, in a very un-Jack Black-like role, which besides School of Rock have included parts in movies such as High Fidelity and Shallow Hal, not to mention Tenacious D.  Until now, he always has seemed to play some version of himself, so I was surprised to learn that while he was at UCLA, he was a member of Tim Robbins's acting troupe.

In Bernie, however, Black shows his chops, perhaps because he is playing a real-life character, Bernie Tiede, immortalized by Linklater's co-writer  Skip Hollandsworth in the Texas Monthly in 1998 in "Midnight in the Garden of East Texas."

 I'm looking forward to August, too.   The highlights include:

August 3 -  9
HysteriaRoger Ebert and Marshall Fine

August 9
Ted Talk:  TBA

August 11, 15
Citizen KaneEbert

August 17-23
Savages:  In Oliver Stone's new thriller, Laguna Beach pot growers face off against a Mexican drug cartel run by femme fatale Elena (Salma Hayek) with her henchman Lado (Benicio Del Toro) who have kidnapped the growers' shared girl friend.  And then there's a corrupt DEA agent Dennis (John Travolta),  Ebert writes,
Much of the fascination of "Savages" comes through Stone's treatment of the negotiations, which involve percentages, sliding scales over three years, an ultimate payout, and other financial details that drugs have in common with big business. It's spellbinding to watch the two sides trying to outthink each other. One of the big closing scenes involves a variation of the kind of hostage trade familiar from countless Western and gangster movies — only in Stone's hands, it turns out to be not so familiar at all.
August 24-30
Safety Not Guaranteed Ebert

August 31
Beasts of the Southern Wild