Analysis: A great film critic passes away
Great is an under statement here. Roger Ebert was the face of film criticism. He died April, 04 2013 in Chicago. He was 70. I have followed Roger’s reviews and posts for a long time now, probably the majority of my life. I got into film criticism when I was eleven and I started watching reruns of Siskel & Ebert. At the time Roger was reviewing films with Richard Roeper.
I kept watching these review shows, till the point I stopped seeing Roger Ebert. He suffered from various health problems, among them was cancer from 2002. It got to the point where he had to speak through an electronic voice modulator. This didn’t stop him from writing reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times.
I continued to read his reviews. Rotten Tomatoes would give me my general consensus on if a film was good or bad, and the only two critic who’s reviews I’d read regularly were Leonard Maltin’s and Roger Ebert’s. Nothing compared to Roger’s writing. If I wanted to just read about a performance from an actor in his review, it wouldn’t happen. The words would jump off the page and I’d read the whole review.
Roger Ebert was the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for his film criticisms, and rightfully so. I didn’t admire his film criticisms because I agreed with his viewpoint more often. There were plenty of films I disagreed with Roger about. Kick-Ass being a recent one and even more recent was Les Miserables my favorite film of 2012 that he didn’t bother reviewing, but expressed dislike for in blog posts.
My biggest disagreement with Ebert was when he made a point in saying that Video Games were not art, primarily because the audience had a freedom of choice within the art. I will always disagree with him about these films and strongly disagree with him about this statement, but my admiration and respect for the late film critic has never declined.
The greatest quality about Roger Ebert and his film analyses, that holds higher than any living film critic today, is that he had a strong love for the art form. He was a man who stood up for the little films and broke down and analyzed the big ones. His commentary of Citizen Kane, being a must-listen.
Film is an art I have always had great admiration for. I got a degree in the art and now work for an international cable network under NBC and Universal. I write about movies on the side because I love them, always have almost in an unnatural way. With Siskel and Ebert and the many great film critics out there who truly love and respect the art, I never felt alone in feeling this way.
I write this now because Roger Ebert had a role in my life that helped inspire and motivate me to become the man I am today. He doesn’t know me, he never knew I existed, but still he impacted my life. Rest in peace Roger Ebert, and if there is a Heaven out there, I’m certain its a place that still has new Siskel & Ebert episodes every week.