This Day in Death

4.4.13: Film Critic Roger Ebert – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 5:14 pm April 5, 2013


ROGER_EBERTYou know, in ancient Roman times, thumbs up actually meant that the judged person was to be put to death, while thumbs down meant they had performed well and deserved to live. I guess meanings change over time, like when your girlfriend says she’s leaving you but it’s obvious that she means you should break into her new boyfriend’s house and threaten him with a tire iron. Message received, baby.


Film critic Roger Ebert is dead today, only two days after declaring that he would be putting his writing duties on hold to address his resurgent thyroid cancer. Genuine tragedy, or odious conspiracy by Rob Reiner to sneak a North sequel in while nobody’s watching the gate? Ugh. If there’s a North reference that doesn’t fall flat I haven’t found it yet. Let’s… let’s just do the block quote thing already. I’ll have something better to end on.

It would not be a stretch to say that Mr. Ebert was the best-known film reviewer of his generation, and one of the most trusted. The force and grace of his opinions propelled film criticism into the mainstream of American culture. Not only did he advise moviegoers about what to see, but also how to think about what they saw.

I like to believe we’ve started thinking more critically about our viewing options since Ebert’s success, and it’s really shifted the landscape for the better. Sometimes my friends and I will walk out of an Adam Sandler movie and debate for hours if Kevin James farting on Rob Schneider was a metaphor for the oppression of the working class in America and, if so, was it too subtle? I know, I know; Happy Madison Productions would rather we just focus on the transcendent narrative prowess and rich characterizations that are their hallmark, but you simply can’t prepare a feast for the senses and tut-tut us beggars for gorging a bit! Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go pick up the 1996 Chateau La Mondotte Saint Emilion I’ve purchased for tonight’s 2 Fast 2 Furious viewing party. To film!

Source: The NY Times

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