"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

He Lost it at the Movies

Rest in Peace, Roger Ebert.

Here is Chris Jones’ Esquire story on Ebert. 

And here is a great story Ebert once wrote about drinking in Chicago. 

Categories:  1: Featured  Arts and Culture  Obituaries

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1 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:09 pm

My tastes always ran closer to Siskel's but there's no doubt that Exert was a big part of my formative years of movie watching ...


2 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:17 pm

Ebert's great 1970 Esquire piece on Lee Marvin:


3 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:24 pm

Ebert had a genius for making things accessible - he championed many highbrow films, but he never stopped loving genre movies, either, and he wrote about both with the same care, skill and tone. He was the gateway for me to many great films and filmmakers of the past (and then-present).

4 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:32 pm

Their show, first on PBS, and then in syndication, was a big deal for any of us growing up in the '80s. I never loved Ebert as a film writer, I actually liked his non-movie writing of the past 6 or 7 years more, but he seemed like an admirable guy. And his love of movies was contagious.

6 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:38 pm

[4] You contrarian pain in the ass. Anyway, I did love his film criticism, even when I disagreed.

7 RagingTartabull   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:39 pm

This sucks.

8 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:42 pm

6) Well, I don't want to be a phony and say how much I loved his writing when I never have. It's not like I drummed up that opinion to irritate you. But that doesn't take away what he accomplished or how much he meant to a lot of other people. Just my opinion.

9 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:44 pm

[8] I know that buddy. Just ribbing ya. Playing Siskel to your Ebert, so to speak.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:47 pm

10) Well-played. Siskel would approve. Those two guys ripping each other on talk shows or on Howard Stern used to be hilarious.

11 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:49 pm
12 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:49 pm

[10] I'm still not entirely convinced you didn't drum up that opinion just to irritate me, though. I deserve it.

And yeah, on Carson especially, like when they dissed a Chevy Chase movie with Chase sitting on the sofa next to them.

13 RagingTartabull   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:50 pm

He once said "Every movie deserves its day in court" and I couldn't agree more. I happened to love his writing, even when I completely disagreed with it. He knew you didn't judge Predator the same way you judge The Last Temptation of Christ, a lesson way too many critics (coughMANOHLADHARGIS-DAVIDEDELSTEINcough)have forgotten.

I can honestly say watching At The Movies opened up a lot of doors for me in terms of film. This was the '90's, so things like Tarantino, the Coens, all the Miramax stuff, I found through them.

14 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:52 pm

He was such a fan of Scorsese from the get go (WHO'S THAT KNOCKING ON MY DOOR?) that you could sense his excitement when GOODFELLAS put Scorsese right back on top in 1990.

15 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:54 pm

12) I might enjoy busting your chops but would never do it on the occasion of someone passing away.

16 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:57 pm

[15] Alex, I do appreciate your sensitivity, but if you don't break my chops, I worry we're not friends anymore. Bust away with impunity!

17 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 3:59 pm

[15] And you know that I was joking in [12] I hope. I'm not THAT self-absorbed!

18 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 4, 2013 4:01 pm

16) You da man, man. No, Ebert was the MAN. And his writing about his illness was impressive because it made you appreciate life and love and what the hell is more valuable than that?

19 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 4, 2013 4:02 pm

Like him or not, I admire his passion for films and the art of filmmaking, something I relate to as it's my livelihood and a passion of my own since childhood, which he and Siskel were certainly part of. This hurts me more than I believe it should, which if nothing else says to me he spoke and wrote to my passion more than anything else.

My favorite moment of them both is actually from an episode of The Critic when they guest starred as themselves; being occasional targets of that show it was mighty gracious of them, and symbolic throughout in many ways. Also, he's reviewed and commented on many films you'd never believe he'd seen, never mind have anything to say about; his strong support of The Spook Who Sat By The Door when it first appeared and after it disappeared really gave me a better appreciation of him. He'll be definitely missed here.

20 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 4:03 pm

[18] I loved that piece he wrote a few years ago when he'd lost his jaw and his ability to speak and the effect it had on his writing. I'd find the url, but all his stuff is so swamped right now. It was beautiful stuff.

21 Bluenatic   ~  Apr 4, 2013 4:22 pm

Ebert's hilarious review of Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050811/REVIEWS/50725001

22 RagingTartabull   ~  Apr 4, 2013 4:55 pm

if you haven't seen the Siskel and Ebert review of North, just...set aside a few minutes.


23 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 4:58 pm
24 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Apr 4, 2013 6:22 pm

[22][23] Awesome.

25 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 7:44 pm

Alex, guessing you heard that Stan Isaacs passed away, too.

Not a good week for newspapermen.


26 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 4, 2013 7:48 pm

25) Indeed I did. I had some dealings with him. Nice, funny guy. I'll have a tribute up tomorrow. And guest post on Ebert, too.

27 Matt Blankman   ~  Apr 4, 2013 8:02 pm

Our man Marty weighs in:

“The death of Roger Ebert is an incalculable loss for movie culture and for film criticism. And it’s a loss for me personally. Roger was always supportive, he was always right there for me when I needed it most, when it really counted – at the very beginning, when every word of encouragement was precious; and then again, when I was at the lowest ebb of my career, there he was, just as encouraging, just as warmly supportive. There was a professional distance between us, but then I could talk to him much more freely than I could to other critics. Really, Roger was my friend. It’s that simple.

Few people I’ve known in my life loved or cared as much about movies. I know that’s what kept him going in those last years – his life-or-death passion for movies, and his wonderful wife, Chaz.

We all knew that this moment was coming, but that doesn’t make the loss any less wrenching. I’ll miss him — my dear friend, Roger Ebert.”

--- Martin Scorsese, April 4, 2013

28 RagingTartabull   ~  Apr 4, 2013 8:28 pm

Well said by Marty. I don't know about anyone else, but I feel like I HAVE to go to the movies this weekend. Granted, that's most weekends with me, but still.

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