Roger Ebert, the long time movie critic has died at the age of 70 after his battle with cancer. Ebert had previously battled cancer in his thyroid and salivary glands, losing the ability to speak and eat on his own. Ebert co-hosted the weekly TV series ‘At the Movies’ with Gene Siskel, his fellow Chicago based movie critic, who himself had passed away in 1999. The man was brilliant in the critique of movies and I can remember watching ‘At the Movies’ all of the time to hear both Siskel and Ebert’s opinions and critiques. However, as much as he was knowledgeable about movies, his liberal politics was quite something different. But that is another story for another day. As stated at Ann Althouse, on Tuesday, Mr. Ebert blogged that he had suffered a recurrence of cancer following a hip fracture suffered in December, and would be taking ‘a leave of presence.’ Who would have known that is all would have ended so quickly?
To both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, thank you both for your fine movie critiques over the years and we will see you both, ‘At the Movies’.
Roger Ebert: June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013, RIP
For a film with a daring director, a talented cast, a captivating plot or, ideally, all three, there could be no better advocate than Roger Ebert, who passionately celebrated and promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers.
“No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.”
Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago.
“We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away,” said his wife, Chaz Ebert. “No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.”
Siskel & Ebert on Film Criticism and Political Correctness
GENE SISKEL: You have to summon up the courage to say what you honestly feel. And it’s not easy. There’s a whole new world called political correctness that’s going on, and that is death to a critic to participate in that.
EBERT: Political correctness is the fascism of the ‘90s. It’s kind of this rigid feeling that you have to keep your ideas and your ways of looking at things within very narrow boundaries, or you’ll offend someone. Certainly one of the purposes of journalism is to challenge just that kind of thinking. And certainly one of the purposes of criticism is to break boundaries; it’s also one of the purposes of art. So that if a young journalist, 18, 19, 20, 21, an undergraduate tries to write politically correctly, what they’re really doing is ventriloquism.