--Ebert wrote in his 2011 memoir, "Life Itself."
public eye. Ebert was the people critic. Not a faceless newspaper article, or a
voice in the air of advertising, he was a fan. He was with you, right there in
the theatre seat watching the movie with you. After it was finished, he spoke
his mind, compelled you to speak yours, and then strengthened his foot hold in
his opinion, and defended it, then implored you to defend yours. Opinion is
what makes art unique, different, and is what brings the raw material out of
the shadows of the minds of young people, like myself, and creates a brand new
world of art that may have never existed hadn’t not been for your personal
opinion, and what you feel the way art should be.
I rummaged thru the stings of the World Wide Web and couldn’t find the quote that I had read in an MSN article by Ebert. Forgive my paraphrasing, but he spoke of movies as the new art form of the times. And many people look at movies as mere entertainment tools. They may be that, but to some, like myself, it is a way of life. It is a painting in motion, it is a look into the mind of a writer, and it is the look
into the soul of a person with a story to tell. Film is truly the modern day of
art, and Ebert treated it that way. If he had seen a film that metaphorically
looked like the roof of the Sistine Chapel, he praised it, and spread the word
to others so that they may gaze at its cinematic wonderment. If he saw a film
that was a quick, rushed, cheap piece of refrigerator art, he called it out for
what it was, and defended himself for it. What I believe made Ebert so unique
was that he didn’t just look at the Sistine’s or Fridge arts of the top film
competitors, he often looked to the bottom of the pile of cinematographers, and
saw their potential for what it was. Often helping them crawl their way to the
top of the pile where they may have had no chance of doing so.
A man truly after my own
heart, Robert Ebert lived, breathed, and ate criticism. Every film trailer we
see and deem “thumbs up, or down”, every game we play and judge cool or not,
every sports team, writer, singer, or person of leadership, we will forever
critique what they do. So in a sense, we all have a little bit of Roger Ebert in
Rest in peace Mr. Ebert,
thank you for your words of wisdom, your unique way of seeing the world, and
most importantly, your opinion.
“See you at the movies…”