A Love Letter to Roger Ebert

Rest in Peace Roger Ebert.
Roger Ebert could be looked at as simply just another film critic by some after a career spanning over 45 years. I looked at him as an art curator; a custodian and tour guide to the world of movies.  
There is no person on earth who inspired my brother and I to start writing this blog and posting our own reviews more than Roger Ebert. His career began as as a writer for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967. He was a part of a newer movement of film goers that were lovers of both the old Hollywood style and the newer foreign and independent filmmakers. He was a fresh and open-minded critic who had an amazing ability to cut through the film and see into the hearts of those who worked on it. He never just bashed a film because it was commercial nor did he just love a film because it was vanguard and low budget.  
He was an ambassador for the audience that let you know whether the film delivered a quality experience. I can speak from my own experiences reading his reviews and watching his “At The Movies” show with Gene Siskel that I rarely would get so excited to hear someone’s opinion on anything. I pre-ordered his Movie Home Companion every year from the book store, I was a subscriber to his Ebert Club online, and I had his website bookmarked in my web browser for daily viewing. He had a writing style that was intelligent and well though out yet accessible and easy to understand, and it earned him a Pulitzer Prize. He oozed love for the movies. They weren’t just films to him. They were reflections of our collective human imaginations and communications through art. He also was the best at writing negative reviews. They were not only hilarious and cutting but they served a purpose. He held producers, actors, writers, and directors accountable when they sullied the world of movies with trash. He took it as an insult to the audience when movie companies would dare deliver a crap film and ask for viewers hard earned money to see it. I will miss him dearly. I have been reading and watching his work for over 30 years. He has had a profound influence on my life and love for film that I will carry all my days. I hope one day to chat with him again.  
But, until then…..the balcony is closed.

3 responses to “A Love Letter to Roger Ebert

  1. Victor De Leon

    Beautifully said and beautifully written, Brian.

  2. This is a fondly written piece. I’m going to miss him. Especially his unique honesty when he reviewed the worst films, like ‘North’.

  3. Reblogged this on crossingfrontieres and commented:
    unlike brian, and many others on twitter, my own blog following and nytimes [perhaps more venues etc, but i’ve read of his passing only on these] i didn’t know roger ebert except on paper. or sometimes on some screen critiquing a movie. but death has a funny way of making you ‘know’ someone. or making you pay attention to them. death has a funny way of paying tribute or paying compliments to people. eulogies are done posthumously unfortunately, and i wish compliments/accomplishments were paid during one’s lifetime when they would’ve mattered, and not after when the person can no longer benefit or hear them. perhaps it didnt matter for ebert given his status of mega critic.
    but who doesnt like to hear nice words in a world so ready to criticize you for what you haven’t done or haven’t done well, and not what you DID do [that makes much differnce in the world]?

    ebert’s video : http://youtu.be/LSzP9YV3jbc made me wish that i’d known him or known more of him! if this video is any indication of whom the man was, then i give him 4 stars! and like a film, he cannot die; he can only live on and on!

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