Thank you, Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert has died. It’s a particularly somber moment for me because the Siskel & Ebert television show was one of the two essential triggers for my love of movies (along with my college History of Film class).

I first set up my massive 1982 VCR to record his and Siskel’s Sneak Previews. In the early 2000s, Ebert’s was the first blog that I checked every day. The reason that I signed up for Twitter was to follow Roger Ebert.

Roger Ebert was first a great film critic, period. He was also the most effective popularizer of movie criticism. Most importantly, especially for me starting in the late 1970s, he was the leading evangelist for independent and foreign cinema in the US. Without Siskel & Ebert, I wouldn’t have known to seek out a French film like La cage aux folles or the debut features of indie directors John Sayles (Return of the Secaucus Seven) and Spike Lee (She’s Gotta Have It).

In taking a “leave of presence” yesterday, Roger Ebert wrote, “On this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.”


And for a more light-hearted tribute: Roger Ebert’s Favorite Lines from His Movie Reviews.


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