Tag Archives: died

A Love Letter to Roger Ebert

Brian
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.

Elizabeth Taylor, the loss of an icon

Matt

There is no questioning that Elizabeth Tayolor, whose striking face captivated audiences everywhere, was a Hollywood icon. Taylor died Wednesday at the age of 79.

The two-time Academy Award-winning actress was just as famous for getting married as she was for her acting career. It’s truly unfortunate, because she was a true talent.

I hope she’ll be remembered for her philanthropic and charity work, particularly in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when she kept the frighteningly new disease in the spotlight and was part of a very important dialogue.

Her career was tarnished early on when people doubted her talent. Green can be an ugly color. Taylor gave no effort to make the camera love her.  Despite her critics, she worked with many of the most gifted filmmakers and writers, eventually winning two Academy Awards for best actress in “Who’s Affraid of Virginia Woolf” and “BUtterfield 8.” She earned a wealth of career honors—from the American Film Institute, the Kennedy Center, the Motion Picture Academy, and even the Queen of England, who gave Taylor a Dame of the British Empire title.

In 2003, Taylor announced her retirement and public appearances became rare. When she did venture out, she was often in a wheelchair. In 2006, Australian and U.K. tabs said Taylor was “at death’s door.” Her publicist labeled the reports false. A month later, the National Enquirer said Taylor was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This time, Taylor herself labeled the report false.

Though retired from Hollywood, Taylor refused to retire from her activist work. “There’s still so much more to do,” she told the Associated Press in 2005. “I can’t sit back and be complacent, and none of us should be. I get around now in a wheelchair, but I get around.”

Indeed, she was active to the end. I hope that’s what she’s remembered for. The poparazzi was always glued to her. But who could blame them?

The Associated press contributed to this report, as did E! Online News