11 comments on “Goodbye Roger Ebert

  1. I was upset to hear, even though I never met him and it wasn’t really a surprise, because of the news a couple of days before that he was cutting down his work because of the recurrence of the cancer. But still, it was really sad.

    I think it was partly because his writing was so conversational. It was like really talking with him. He was never just proclaiming cinematic truths from the top of a mountain somewhere. That’s why the TV show with Gene Siskel was so perfect for him. It gave him the other side of the converesation he always seemed to be having anyway.

    I always enjoyed his reviews, even when I thought he was completely wrong.

    I collected a few links to pieces about him on my blog. Your comment “Shoot, I haven’t written a new review lately, Ebert wouldn’t have slacked off in my shoes.” made me smile, since it reminded me of how Richard Roeper started his piece about Ebert: “Roger would have told me to stop fretting and start writing.”

    • Anthony, I read your post on Ebert, very well said. I also loved how I could disagree with his review of a film and still end up learning from it. However, more often than not, I was surprised at how much Ebert and I agreed on, usually many years apart.

      • It’s sort of too bad that he’s so associated wih the thumbs-up/thumbs-down thing, because that’s really the opposite of how he reviewed movies. Yesterday I happened to read the Wikipedia entry for Dr. T. and the Women (a minor Robert Altman movie) and at the end it linked to Ebert’s review. I clicked through to read it (I’d read it before, but didn’t remember what he’d said): http://tinyurl.com/ctgjbkc. It’s not a great movie (I’m an Altman fanatic, and it’s nowhere near my top ten list), but Ebert really thinks about it, bringing out specifics about the film and also more general points (including that Altman was “more interested in women than any other great director, with the exception of Ingmar Bergman” — which is a very provocative thought). He really gets into the acusations of sexism against the film. And this was just a routine review of a fairly non-exceptional film.

  2. You are right, he really did affect film communities everywhere, including our blogging community here. He was always the first stop for reviews for me as well.

    • So true, Ian. Can you imagine a world where people run film blogs (or whatever the future media mode is) and have never heard of Ebert’s work? I know it’s eventually inevitable, but it I doubt it will happen immediately, his reach was so far.

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