Several people, none of whom have any ties to the film industry, reached out to me today to see how I was holding up in the wake of the news that Roger Ebert had passed away at age 70. These people don’t know that Ebert was a personal hero, or how special it was the lone time I met him, or how much his passion for movies and success in expressing it has paved the way for many of us who earn a living in a similar manner. They just know that I’m a movie person. To movie people, Roger Ebert was special. We’re not likely to see another like him again. So as fans and fellow movie lovers take to social media, blogs and traditional media outlets, all of which bear the mark of Ebert’s indelible voice, we take a moment here on Movie News After Dark to point out some of the best words written about a man whose words have inspired so many.
- “No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.” – One of the things that struck me most when meeting Ebert was his relationship with his wife, Chaz. They were a team. Her words written to the Chicago Sun Times are heartbreaking and heartwarming as she recounts Roger’s final moments.
- A man who meant a lot to us – Many of the closest to Ebert, and those who have written so eloquently about him, are the members of the Chicago film critics corps, who saw movies alongside him for years. One such man is AV Club editor Scott Tobias, whose touching obit is the first thing you should read.
- Roger Ebert hails human existence as ‘a triumph’ – The Onion, in their own satirical way, nails it.
- “Go to all the good movies you can.” – In a letter received from Roger Ebert at the age of 13, Slate’s Dana Stevens received some of the best advice one could get from a living legend.
- His genius was never making you feel stupid – HuffPo’s Mike Ryan writes about one of Ebert’s best qualities, his ability to communicate his thoughts about a movie to anyone without ever making anyone feel like their tastes were stupid. He was a critic for the people. And it didn’t matter what you liked, you always wanted to tune in.
- My weekend in Champaign – HitFix’s Drew McWeeney writes a previously unprinted tale of spending time in Illinois with Roger Ebert. It’s a great story.
- Thank You Roger Ebert – Last but certainly not least, Matt Singer writes about his hero.
- 10 videos to remember Roger Ebert by – One thing Ebert left us was a great deal of recorded work — be it in print, online and on video. As Vulture shows us with its list of videos best used for remembering the man, he will live on as a champion of film and film criticism long after he’s gone.