Blog Directory CineVerse: R.I.P. Rogert Ebert

R.I.P. Rogert Ebert

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Perhaps the greatest film critic of all time passed away today: Roger Ebert has succumbed to cancer at age 70.

While I did not often agree with Ebert's opinions on certain movies or the star ratings he would give particular films, what I greatly respected about the man was the thorough degree to which he dissected every movie he wrote about, the passion he had for his job, and the way he supported his stances with examples, research and cogent explanations. Unlike so many other movie reviewers out there who simply offered synopses of plots and trivial filler, Ebert write essay-length treatises on movies and progressed the art of film criticism with his sharp intellect, elaborate explorations and eloquent writing style.

I once had the opportunity to see Ebert and former TV show partner Gene Siskel live and up close. They were introducing a trade show presentation, and their bickering-brothers act--even if it was carefully rehearsed for our group--was absolutely hilarious. Not only did Ebert excel as a writer, but he had real gravitas as a TV personality.

I recall watching he and Gene in the early "Sneak Preview" era days on WTTW channel 11 and being enthralled by their encyclopedic knowledge of cinema, their stalwart convictions, and their innate ability to sift the bad from the good and call a spade a spade. I was actually proud that the nation's two most prominent film scribes came from Chicago.

I highly recommend virtually any of Ebert's film criticism books, especially "The Great Movies," "Your Movie Sucks," and "Awake in the Dark." And, while it will no longer feature any new Ebert reviews, boasts a treasure trove of outstanding essays, blog postings, and reviews.

Thumbs up to you, Roger. You will be sorely missed.

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