Monday, April 8, 2013


When Roger Ebert passed away last Thursday, I don't think I quite anticipated the extent of emotional outpouring that resulted. Obviously the presence of social media these days does have a way of magnifying things, and Ebert was the possibly most well-known film critic ever, but the wide-reaching grief at the news of his death drove home one point: he meant a heck of lot to a lot of people. Neither Donald Richie nor Andrew Sarris, similarly respected giants in film writing who died in the past year, received this much attention.
Ebert was the rare critic who could cut through all the oft-perceived academic high-brow-ness of film writing and make it accessible to everyone. His conversational style, his unmistakable voice (both in writing and speaking) - which I can still hear, and will miss hearing - was often imitated but never bettered. He could preach movies, but not dumb it down, and as someone who reviews films, this is one thing I try to do, and I can tell you, it's not as easy as Ebert makes it seem to be.

Here's a collection of heartfelt online tributes to the man:

What Did Roger Ebert Mean To You? - AV Club Q&A
Roger Ebert was a Superman - Thompson on Hollywood
A Mentor to the End - Variety's Scott Foundas
Roger Ebert Through The Years - clips
Remembering the Roger I Knew - Suntimes blogger Jim Emerson on his colleague
Roger Ebert, my mentor - Monica Eng, Chicago Tribune reporter

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