On April 4th, 2013, one of the all-time great film critics died. Roger Ebert, the beloved reviewer from the Chicago Sun Times, died at the age of 70 from cancer. Ebert’s passing saddens me greatly. I never grew up watching Siskel and Ebert, but I knew from a very young age that Roger Ebert’s opinions should be taken seriously when it came to movies and film. He was the definition of a critic. Anybody who has spent any time on my blog knows that I have opinions that for some reason I share and that I want to be a journalist.
I started becoming a bit more of a cinephile once I graduated high school and entered college. I just have this love for film and I think that Roger had a lot to do with that. I started reading some of his older reviews and of movies that I saw that I liked or disliked. I also started reading some of his blog posts on various other topics. What I really liked about Roger is that he was hysterical. His reviews were often very well written and had this humor to them that a lot of reviewers don’t have. He had this wit and vast knowledge of film. I also liked his blogs because Ebert, unlike so many other celebrities of his caliber would actually respond to his fans comments. Ebert was the classiest of the class. While I think of all his reviews, it is horrifying for me to think that he won’t be there when the next great movies come out. He won’t get to review the next classic that people will still be talking about fifty, even one hundred, years from now.
Ebert has had a wonderful life. Ebert stared his career young and after receiving his degree from the University of Chicago, started writing in 1967 for the Chicago Sun Times. One paper. For almost fifty years. He started a show for the local television station in 1975. Three years later, he was joined by Gene Siskel and the show went national until Siskel’s death. He later was part of Roeper and Ebert which lasted for ten years. He and Siskel trademarked the term “Thumbs Up.”
Cherished by millions, he battled cancer bravely for over a decade. For the past seven years, Ebert had lost the ability to speak. Ebert then shifted his presence to his website rogerebert.com where I started following him in 2011. Ebert was also a smart man, predicting in 2004, that Barack Obama would be a very important person for the country in the years to follow. Called that one, Rog.
Ebert had an outstanding career. Over seven thousand reviews, countless hours spent watching movies, and a legacy that will live on as long as they will be making movies. I would like to end with two quotes. One from Ebert, one from Apple.
“If a movie is really working, you forget for two hours your Social Security number and where your car is parked. You are having a vicarious experience. You are identifying, in one way or another, with the people on the screen.” ~Roger Ebert~
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the ones crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.-Apple
Thanks for everything Roger. You will be never be gone.