Sunday, April 7, 2013

Roger's roundup

Here, here, and here are some thoughtful and classy tributes to the late Roger Ebert. Well deserved, too.

I started reading his movie criticism some years ago. It was something of a revelation. TV made stars of him and of Gene Siskel, but in some ways didn't serve them well. The "two thumbs up" (or down, or variations thereof) which is their most remembered legacy was basically a pre-Internet tl;dr. Two friends talking is a good format, but the shows they did after leaving PBS had to deal with commercial breaks, which left their conversations choppy and incomplete.

And there was much to talk about, much to say. Ebert's reviews and essays show a man in love with film, yes, but not to the exclusion of all other things. He drew from older films, literature, history, and his own personal memories. And often he wove them into a beautiful tapestry. "Life's Rich Pageant", as REM might put it.


susan said...

Roger Ebert was definitely an excellent and unique movie reviewer. The PBS shows he made with Gene Siskel were always very entertaining. We used to like to guess which one would say what about a particular film back in the days when we watched more first runs ourselves. He will be missed.

btw: I loved the story he told about himself sitting with Mike Royko listening to the hockey game.

Ben said...

That is a great story. I remember, although I'm not sure how I got on this, reading a collection of Royko's columns when I was in high school. That definitely sounds like him.