Roger Ebert 1943-2013

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Hearing about Roger Ebert's passing yesterday brought back memories. Some very vivid, others very melancholic. I remembered a time when movie criticism meant something and the notion of Friday coming up meant new reviews by Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun Times. His passing will be felt. No one wrote like him. No one loved movies as much as he did. No one convinced me more to watch a movie as he did. He was the epitome of what film criticism should be about, coming from the old school and integrating himself with the new school -with his world famous, highly intelligent blog- but never losing touch of himself or his ideals.

He never let the nasty, relentless cancer he was battling for close to 10 years get to him. It took his jaw and it took away his speech, but it never took away his breathless words. Words that seemed to come out so effortlessly and with such rigor and passion that you almost hated him out of jealousy for the way he could make you or any other film writer look, like a second-tier fool. We all knew this day would come and so did he, but we didn't want to think about it, we didn't want to believe in a film world without him. Now it has come and it feels like the end of an era. The end of a time when a review could mean something and could change the way your perceived everything around you.

Roger Ebert IS the last breed of film criticism, in a world now filled with wannabes masqueraded as bloggers and high brow types. He lived a long fruitful life that I'm sure he was quite appreciative of. We all know of his unadorned love for his wife Chaz - their marriage looked to be  the example of what a reationship should be like. We all know of his love for not just the movies, but writing. And boy did he write well, no film critic wrote as well as Roger. His explanations and notions of a movie were beautifully written and every review he wrote had a passion that defied everything you might have thought about a movie. He made you rethink it all and want to watch the movie again. THAT is really what a film critic is supposed to do. I will miss Roger Ebert tremendously and as life goes on I will go back to his reviews and remember a time when film criticism meant something. The balcony has been closed.

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