04 April 2013

Roger Ebert

He was, in short, the very best kind of middlebrow, an earnest enthusiast who took his work seriously. - Terry Teachout

I came late to Ebert's writing. In high school, I read his essay on swearing in movies - Bogie saying "fuck" after losing Ingrid - but that was it. The popular dismissal was a major factor as well. (His opinions of David Lynch's movies didn't help, either.) I was too busy reading John Simon, taking his recommendations, and watching other art films. Then reading more on film and its creators. I even bought a copy of The Great Movies and Awake In The Dark. I wasn't drawn to the man until Twitter, however. His interest in politics intrigued me then encouraged me. Here was a dimension to the man that I hadn't known existed. I read his reviews more and more. Then I read his memoir Life, Itself and it changed me. I was very impressed by his humility and curiosity. A new respect grew in me. I read his reviews for fun more often as I enjoyed his style and outlook. His evaluations were quite different to every other review that I consulted. It became a pleasure to take part in what he offered to the world. He's offered so much. Now his work awaits the rest of us too slow to sit beside him. He waited - now we can only say thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Great heartfelt analysis. I share lots of your experiences in not paying attention to Ebert til recently and finding him a constructive, enthusiastic critic -- even if my opinions differed from his.
    A really good writer and observer of human behavior. I miss him already.



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