04 April 2013


Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic and writer Roger Ebert died today, after a long, painful, and courageous battle with cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands.  He was 70 years old.

Roger reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years, and on TV for 31 years.  During the latter, he famously co-hosted movie review programs with Gene Siskel, who died in 1999.  Their erudite, insightful, passionate, and often argumentative commentary was the most intelligent discussion of film around.

Here is the Sun-Times excellent retrospective on Roger's career.  Here is his essay, "I Do Not Fear Death".  Here is a collection of "The Five Best Things Roger Ebert Said About Politics".  Here is a concise remembrance from NPR.  Here is the PBS Newshour's video coverage.  And here are three unauthorized outtakes from Gene and Roger in the 1980s, doing what they did best ~ arguing fiercely (the profanity and most of the sarcasm never made it on air), laughing deeply, the only two guys in the room who understood the layers of reference and subtext and innuendo.  Gene and Roger rarely socialized together, but as a team on air they were matchless.  When they praised or mauled a film (never giving away too much plot), I always knew if I wanted to see it or not ~ even when they disagreed whether to give it thumbs up or thumbs down.

I'm too sad to spend more time on a tribute or remembrance.  The Sun-Times piece is a fine one, and I recommend it.

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