Roger Ebert: The Essential Man
Just came across this Esquire article on Roger Ebert and how his life is now, or how it was as of early last year. Watching Siskel & Ebert At The Movies back in the day, I must admit, Ebert was never my guy. Some of his thumbs-up choices mystified me and so I looked to Siskel as the voice of reason. After Gene Siskel died, I stopped watching the show; Richard Roeper seemed even less selective than Ebert so couldn’t fill the void. (Movie reviewers are my first line of defense against bad films, so I’m pretty picky about whose tastes I’ll trust uncritically. Alternately, when I’m determined to watch a movie I’m pretty sure will be bad, I’ll avoid reading reviews so I won’t be talked out of the idea.)
I’ve recently re-discovered Roger Ebert through his writing. I’m not sure whether I’ve mellowed or he’s changed, or perhaps it’s simply the difference between his spoken and written voices, but I kinda like the guy now. Knowing him only from television, I’d never read any of his reviews, didn’t investigate the resume that earned him a spot in that balcony. The article linked above is chock-full of stuff I didn’t know; in addition, it’s a vivid and humanizing portrait.