Roger Ebert, R.I.P.

Kyle Cupp

Kyle Cupp

Kyle Cupp is a former regular here at Ordinary Times who lives in a small rural town about two hours southwest of Portland, Oregon with his wife, kids, and dog. He enjoys studying and writing about the world of employment, which is good because that's his job. You can find him on Twitter.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar North says:

    Rest in peace. He was always my go to film critic and his writing, in particular his writing more recently on the internet, was scintillating.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Roger Ebert was a critic who I found I agreed with more than 19 times out of 20. And more to the point, he had a passion about good cinema. It didn’t have to be high art, but it did have to be good and he cared if it was good. He found a spot in the culture where as a reviewer, he could become an advocate as well, and I think movies became better — even if only a little bit — because somewhere along the way, someone would bear in mind that Ebert would be watching this and telling a whole lot of other people what he thought, and that mattered. Certainly as movies became more and more expensive, I found myself relying more heavily on his advice.

    Good night, good man, and bravo.Report

  3. Avatar Will Truman says:

    What I always loved about Ebert was that he was such a clear writer, I was rarely lead astray by his reviews. Not that I always agreed with him. Not even close. But he could write a devastating review of a movie and I would correctly draw from it that it was something that I would enjoy even though he did not. Or vice-versa. I chalk it up to not only his writing ability, but that he was such a genuine reviewer. He’d just put it all on the table.

    And after I saw a movie, I’d look him up to see what he would have to say about it, because even apart from the general purpose of a review, he so often had interesting things to say.

    He is truly one of the few irreplaceable people in media.Report

  4. Avatar Bob2 says:

    Here’s one of my favorite pieces of writing by Ebert.
    From his memoir:

    In recent years, he spent a lot of time responding to commenters on his blog, and posting a lot more about life in general and what he thought about it. When I was younger, I only knew him through his reviews, but reading his posts from the last few years, I felt I really got to know what a kind and empathetic person he truly was. I know he didn’t believe in the afterlife, but I’m glad I got to tell him on his blog while he was alive that he meant something.Report

  5. Avatar Michelle says:

    I loved watching Siskel & Ebert debate films. My tastes were generally closer to Siskel’s but seeing the two spar when they disagreed about a film was both fun and informative. The show was never the same and never as good after Siskel died.

    Ebert faced his illness with courage and grace. May he rest in peace.Report

  6. Avatar DRS says:

    A great number of younger movie critics are all over the media this week talking about how generous he was with his time, encouragement and assistance, recommending them for jobs at the start of their career. That says something about him.

    But I think John Scalzi at Whatever makes an important point:

    “Ebert loved film, but what I think he loved most of all was the fact that it entertained him so. He loved being entertained, and he loved telling people, in language which was direct and to the point (he worked for the Sun-Times, the blue collar paper in town) what about the films was so entertaining. What he taught me about film criticism is that film criticism isn’t about showing off what you know about film, it was about sharing what made you love film.”Report

  7. Avatar Pinky says:

    From his review of the movie Clifford:

    “It’s not bad in any usual way. It’s bad in a new way all its own. There is something extraterrestrial about it, as if it’s based on the sense of humor of an alien race with a completely different relationship to the physical universe.”

    That’s my favorite review ever. It’s got to be the least constructive criticism I’ve ever heard. You know, thanks for pointing out that my movie is incomprehensible to not only humans, but beings that have the same relationship to the universe as humans. Next time I make a movie I’ll ask myself if it’s really comprehensible to beings in our time-space continuum.Report