I am in shock right now.
Today film lost one of the most important writers of film criticism ever. Roger Ebert (70) passed away today after losing his long battle with cancer. Roger had been battling it for the last 11 years having gone through several rounds of treatment and surgeries, one in which removed part of his jaw. I remember when I first saw an image of him after that surgery and just how disturbing it was for me to see him that way. He didn’t look like my Ebert anymore, yet the smile both on his face and in his eyes indicated how much life he had left.
After he lost his voice he left TV. Again, another blow to me. While I did not watch his show as much at that time I would catch it on occasion and continued to enjoy what he had to say. I also frequented his website where you could read gems like this.
Ebert on The Village –
Eventually the secret of Those, etc., is revealed. To call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes. It’s a crummy secret, about one step up the ladder of narrative originality from It Was All a Dream. It’s so witless, in fact, that when we do discover the secret, we want to rewind the film so we don’t know the secret anymore.
And then keep on rewinding, and rewinding, until we’re back at the beginning, and can get up from our seats and walk backward out of the theater and go down the up escalator and watch the money spring from the cash register into our pockets.
He was an interesting man to say the least, especially when you would hear his views on things. He was close friends with Oprah Winfrey who he also dated at one time. He riled up the video game community when he declared that video games were not art. I remember how the interwebs imploded after that. I also remember the one review that made want to scream in his face. The film was terrible but I remember how much I disagreed with him and Gene at the time regarding RoboCop 2.
Yep… that’s right Robocop 2. He brought up how unbelievable it was for a 12 year old to be a drug dealer, violent thug and criminal warlord. I was 16 and thought it was the single dumbest thing he ever said. Over the years since, I realized how foolish I was about these thoughts. But that was Ebert: quick witted, funny and infuriating in his critiques of certain films.
Roger Ebert loved movies.
Except for those he hated.
That’s perfect for him. I always wanted to get a chance to meet him and discuss movies and feel shamed for my lack of knowledge next to him. He believed in cinema and made me love it too. Without Roger Ebert, I don’t believe that I would have the same love of movies that I do today.
This is truly a sad day for film. Roger Ebert will be missed not only for his work but for the quality of it.
Roger, I’ll remember you every time I go to the movies.
Roger Ebert (1942-2013)
And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!