Saturday, April 20, 2013

Roger

No, not Roger Water.  Roger Ebert.  Its taken me quite a while to think of something worthy to say about this cool geek that I have followed for so long. 

Quick aside: This is my favourite picture of him.

This guy is hard to forget.  Over the past weeks, I was constantly reminded of his passing every time I sought a reliable review for a new movie.  Sadly, I can no longer lean on his reliable take on movies.  This loss however got me thinking.  When compile all of the reading I have done in my lifetime from any author (including my favourite Kurt Vonnegut) the volume pales in comparison to the output from Roger that I consumed.  That really hit me.  I've read more Ebert than any other writer.  The accumulation of all of his reviews will likely never be surpassed, as no other writer (that interests me) has ever been more prolific.  For that I owe him, and for that I have to admit that he must have influenced my writing in some significant way. 

What made Roger so endearing to me was that his take on film came from what got him truly excited  He found redeeming qualities in otherwise bad movies.  He put as much credit into the pure entertainment of a movie as he did into the artistic value that it provided.  What else impresses me?  Well, he was an eternal child at heart and when disease stole so much from him he did not roll over and fade into cinematic history.  Instead the years of his fading health became the most prolific period of his output.  He embrassed technology (particularly Twitter) and always stayed dedicated to the responsibility (or prime directive) to share all things that he found passion in. 

I have to ask what set him apart from all the other critics.  In my opinion it was the fact that he sincerely respected all of its players.  Actors, directors, producers, cinematograhers et al.  These people sensed his respect and as a result worked to try and impress him with their artisitic output.  I am sure that his was the first review that most referenced when reaching out to see how they were doing.  He was the true barometer of film,  From many other critrics you sensed that they resented and sometimes loathed those in the industry that had success.  This came through in their reviews.  As a result entertainers lost respect or dismissed them while the viewers grew tired and resorted to the critics that gave them truthful unbiased opinions.  Perhaps Roger was not a critic, and instead he was celebrator or champion of the art of film. 



I could go on all day, instead, I have included a link of a collection of comments and written statements from fans and people from the movies.  Enjoy. link

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