Thursday, April 11, 2013

Remembering Roger Ebert

After a long battle with cancer, film critic Roger Ebert died at the age of 70. He, with his rival, then co-host and eventually best friend, Gene Siskel, redefined film criticism, making it accessible to every day people. For several decades, we combed the paper wanting to know whether the movie we wanted to see got 'two thumbs up.'
For years, I wrote movie reviews for my website I am in the process of redefining that site as a blog about movies and TV. I too share a passion for film and writing. With a degree in journalism, Roger Ebert was a role model, someone to look up to. Prior to he and Siskel, film reviewers were more high-brow ... almost too good for the average moviegoer. Ebert helped bring film criticism to the masses. He loved 'film' but he loved 'movies' too.

Several things impressed me about Roger Ebert. First, he was a man who loved what he did and he built a life around something that he loved to do. Even after almost half of his face was removed and he had lost the ability to talk, eat or drink, he still wrote. He wrote and he also tweeted and became very proficient in social media.

He didn't just love movies. He was a student of movies. He watched them and the actors and directors and writers. He familiarized himself with their body of work. Many times, we didn't just get his opinion but we got a little bit of an education as well.

He left a positive mark on those closest to him. He was happily married for 20 years, he worked with and mentored an number of writers and influenced even more (myself included).

The world is a better place because he was in it. And at the end of the day, is there any better compliment that that you can give?

No comments: