Roger Ebert (1942-2013): He saved us the aisle seat



Roger Ebert has passed away after more than a decade-long battle with cancer.

The venerable film critic was a Pulitzer Prize winning writer and for many people, the movie critic most recognized as popularizing film criticism among casual movie fans.

Ebert first gained fame as co-host to partner Gene Siskel on the PBS television show ‘At the Movies’ before the show became syndicated due to its popularity. Ebert at the time was also a columnist covering film for the Chicago Sun Times newspaper as the syndicated show entered the movie lover’s zeitgeist.

Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel caught ‘lightning in a bottle’ with their preferred method of rating films. ‘Two Thumbs Up’ became a hit among movie fans, as it made the duo’s endorsements of films easy to understand.

Roger Ebert had recently celebrated his forty sixth year of film reviewing and will be fondly remembered as a pioneer in film criticism.

Throughout his courageous battle with cancer, Ebert remained an innovator within the industry. He evolved as media technology and news did by implementing the internet and it’s many methods of news delivery into his reporting. Of the over 31,000 Tweets to his more than 800,000 loyal subscribers, Ebert covered not only mainstream and independent films, but also delivered breaking industry news, and offered cultural observations regarding the ‘state of films’ and current trends; allowing his followers to ‘peek behind the curtain’ of Hollywood.

Roger Ebert was as much an ambassador of the power of film as he was a critic of its successes and shortcomings. Ebert always wrote with a sense of style, warmth, and wit combined with his unique expertise and insights that may never be equaled. To date, Rober Ebert is the only film critic ever to have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to the medium.

As a generation or more of movie fans respectfully grieve his passing, this movie reviewer will thank him for an inspirational career that inspired me to write about what I love.

Thank you, Roger Ebert. ‘The balcony is closed.’


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