Tagged: roger ebert

Roger Ebert, 1942-2013

Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago. …

His colleagues admired him as a workhorse. Ebert reviewed as many as 285 movies a year, after he grew ill scheduling his cancer surgeries around the release of important pictures. He eagerly contributed to other sections of the papers — interviews with and obituaries of movie stars, even political columns on issues he cared strongly about on the editorial pages.

The Chicago Sun-Times announced Thursday afternoon that Roger Ebert, the paper’s legendary film critic, had died.

You should without a doubt read “A Leave of Presence,” his final blog post, published less than two days before he died. I will excerpt only the final line, which I admit is completely cheap (and you should still read the entire thing), because it is one hell of a final line:

So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.

Longform has put together a few key Ebert stories, and additional collections, reflections and reminiscences are sure to come. [UPDATE: Here’s the Longreads page with additional stories.]

* * *

Ebert truly was one of the all-time greats. He remains an inspiration for countless people, myself included, who cannot begin to express how much we learned from him and enjoyed what he did and how he did it. Many of us who never met him, and who only knew him through his words, cannot help but feel like we lost someone we knew.

“That is what death means”

“That is what death means. We exist in the minds of other people, in thousands of memory clusters, and one by one those clusters fade and disappear. Some years from now, at a funeral with a slide show, only one person will be able to say who we were. Then no one will know.”

Just in case you wanted something sunny to read on this Friday morning, here’s Roger Ebert writing thoughtfully about death and life and losing the people you know. It’s not uplifting! But it is worth reading.

The introduction to Roger Ebert’s memoir

My blog became my voice, my outlet, my “social media” in a way I couldn’t have dreamed of. Into it I poured my regrets, desires, and memories. Some days I became possessed. The comments were a form of feedback I’d never had before, and I gained a better and deeper understanding of my readers. I made “online friends,” a concept I’d scoffed at. Most people choose to write a blog. I needed to.

— From the introduction to Life Itself, Roger Ebert’s forthcoming memoir. It comes out on Sept. 13.

Roger Ebert predicted the future

We will have high-definition, wide-screen television sets and a push-button dialing system to order the movie you want at the time you want it. You’ll not go to a video store but instead order a movie on demand and then pay for it. Videocassette tapes as we know them now will be obsolete both for showing prerecorded movies and for recording movies. People will record films on 8mm and will play them back using laser-disk/CD technology. I also am very, very excited by the fact that before long, alternative films will penetrate the entire country. Today seventy-five percent of the gross from a typical art film in America comes from as few as six –six– different theaters in six different cities. Ninety percent of the American motion-picture marketplace never shows art films. With this revolution in delivery and distribution, anyone, in any size town or hamlet, will see the movies he or she wants to see.

— That’s Roger Ebert, speaking to Omni Magazine in 1987. Again: 1987. (Paleofuture via Patrick Goldstein)

Roger Ebert reviews two terrible movies, reminds you why he is great

Roger Ebert has reviewed this weekend’s two big releases, “Battle: Los Angeles” and “Red Riding Hood.” He has found them wanting.

Of “Red Riding Hood,” he writes:

“Red Riding Hood” has the added inconvenience of being dreadfully serious about a plot so preposterous, it demands to be filmed by Monty Python.

Of “Battle: Los Angeles,” he says:

Its manufacture is a reflection of appalling cynicism on the part of its makers, who don’t even try to make it more than senseless chaos. Here’s a science-fiction film that’s an insult to the words “science” and “fiction,” and the hyphen in between them. You want to cut it up to clean under your fingernails.

There’s a reason this man is a national treasure, people.

An acclaimed film editor on 3-D

Roger Ebert is convinced 3-D doesn’t work. To back up his case, he reprinted an e-mail from Walter Murch, the editor of “Apocalypse Now,” “Julia” and “The Godfather, Part III.” Murch basically says that our brains can’t comprehend 3-D, but his thoughts are worth reading if you wonder why this price-gauging method is also cinematically unsound.

Ebert’s Top 10 List Is In: “The Social Network” tops

The only top 10 list I really care about is in: Roger Ebert has listed his 10 best films of 2010, and they line up (for the most part) with the early view of the Best Picture race. “The Social Network” on top, followed by sturdy challenger “The King’s Speech” and dark horse “Black Swan.” (Okay, yes, you can replace “Black Swan” with “The Fighter” now, I think the buzz is cacophonous enough.) Here’s the whole thing.

A film “patiently assembled like a weapon”

“The American” allows George Clooney to play a man as starkly defined as a samurai. His fatal flaw, as it must be for any samurai, is love. Other than that, the American is perfect: Sealed, impervious and expert, with a focus so narrow it is defined only by his skills and his master…

It is so rare to see a film this carefully crafted, this patiently assembled like a weapon.

Ebert on “The American,” the first legitimate Must See Movie of the fall.