04 April 2013

Goodbye Mr. Ebert

“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.”—Roger Ebert

We all knew it was going to happen one day but when I saw the news this afternoon that Roger Ebert had passed away I felt a sudden wave of sadness. For many people of my generation Siskel and Ebert were the film critics. From them we learned to give a film a thumbs up or down, to argue passionately on behalf of a film or director that we felt strongly about, and that the films that last don't necessarily need, in Ebert's words, "lofty themes or Byzantine complexities." 

Tuesday Ebert posted what was to be his last blog post. Entitled “A Leave of Presence,” it announced that his cancer had returned and therefore he would be slowing down a bit but that he had plans for new projects. For a person who had gone through as much as he had with his health, Ebert was extremely productive writing books, numerous reviews, blog and Facebook posts. I especially enjoyed his Facebook posts. For a while he ran a daily contest where he would post a photo of an old Hollywood star and ask his fans to guess who it was. I was thrilled when twice I was the first to answer correctly (Robert Montgomery and Donald Meek).

Yes there are other film critics who I enjoy reading like Anthony Lane but with Ebert’s passing it feels like an era has come to a end. The balcony is now closed.  

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