Apr 5, 2013

Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

Thoughts and selected articles on one of the most influential movie critics.

Roger Ebert died last night, one day after announcing that he will reduce his workload. I can't remember ever not knowing about Roger and Ebert - the phrase "two thumbs up" is so deeply ingrained in pop culture - and I've always appreciated Ebert's views on films even where I didn't agree with his pronouncements (such as liking Titanic). His reviews were - most of the time - enjoyable and informed by a deep humanitarianism and optimism, and his write-ups on bad films are just hilarious.

Over the past years, I've been following his struggle with cancer (my grandmother died of thyroid cancer twenty years ago this fall), and was amazed at how he just kept on going - especially with the cooking, even though he couldn't eat since the removal of his jaw.

As for the articles:

Chicago Sun-Times obit - the paper has been publishing his reviews for 46 years.

NYTimes

Slate has a sweet letter where Ebert personally (on a typewriter) responded to Slate film critic Dana Stevens' childhood (or teenage?) request for advice on how to break into the industry.

A. V. Club

"I do not fear death," an essay written by Ebert for Salon in 2011.

Ebert's official website has more articles, including a moving statement from his wife Chaz.

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