Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In Memoriam: Thank you for the journey, Roger Ebert

Each week, my routine was the same. After watching the latest offering from Hollywood on the big screen, I composed my thoughts and analysis and wrote my review. Then, I read what Roger Ebert thought about the movie.

This final step was important to me — week in and week out. If Ebert loved a movie I disliked, why was that? He always provided great commentary and gave me reasons to admire a certain film more or dislike it more. He has always been an important validator for me. It’s like we had a conversation about a movie each week.

And now I’m on my own.

I was devastated to hear about the loss of Ebert. He taught us all about movies and life. The New York Times called him “A Critic for the Common Man.”

He was the consummate writer, journalist, film critic and human being.

Ebert just celebrated his 46th year as film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. I always admired Ebert’s ability to draw on his life experiences when reviewing a film.

The first line of his 2011 memoir, “Life Itself,” reads, “I was born inside the movie of my life.” And while the movie has now ended, Ebert’s archive will give future generations of filmgoers a chance to read his incredible, award-winning oeuvre, which includes more than 7,200 reviews.

Ebert published a final blog post April 2, writing that his cancer had returned but he was still watching movies and would continue writing. His final words in the post: “So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.”

Thank you, Roger, for allowing us to be on the journey with you. You’ll never be forgotten. And we will see you at the movies.

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