This news article was originally published on TopicalTodd.com 4/13/2013
Beloved film critic, Roger Ebert passed away today after losing his battle with cancer at 70 years old. His national presence on television and his Pulitzer Prize-winning reviews and essays helped set the standard and importance of modern film criticism.
Ebert was best known for his trademark “Thumbs-Up” review that he coined with his fellow critic Gene Siskel on their television review show “At The Movies,” which began on Chicago Public Television in 1975. The show eventually branched out to national syndication on ABC for more than two decades with Richard Roper coming on as a co-host after Gene Siskel’s passing. Ebert was eventually forced to leave the show – though remain as a producer – as he underwent surgery and the show would go through multiple host changes, eventually being canceled in 2010. The show was clearly a passion project for Ebert as he went on to produce a short-lived new version of the show on the Chicago PBS affiliate, WTTW.
While his television presence reached the country, his work for the Chicago Sun-Times, and later his website, is home to his most important contributions. On the page, Ebert brilliantly found the balance of commenting on a films quality while still addressing larger themes and trends that would often be found in an essay. His review of Django Unchained spends as much – if not more – time focusing on the film’s place in Quentin Tarantino’s filmography as he explains why he thought it worked so well as an entertaining, stand alone movies.
Regardless if you knew Ebert as a TV personality, a writer or both to say his presence will be missed is a gross understatement. I definitely urge you to check out some his reviews for your favorite movies on his website RogerEbert.com and check out some “At The Movies” clips online. In the meantime, enjoy his discussion with Siskel on film criticism.