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April 3, 2013 3:17 PM   Subscribe

Roger Ebert has announced that he has had a recurrence of cancer and will be taking a partial hiatus from reviewing while he undergoes treatment. Ebert, who lost the ability to speak and eat to cancer in 2006, filed a career-record 306 reviews in 2012. The news comes as Ebert plans to revamp his website and is considering a Kickstarter campaign to bring back his iconic show At the Movies. A documentary about Ebert directed by Steve James and executive produced by Martin Scorsese is currently in production.
posted by alexoscar (212 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fuck Cancer.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:18 PM on April 3, 2013 [16 favorites]


Seriously. Can we have a Fuckcancer tag?
posted by oneironaut at 3:21 PM on April 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


God damn it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:21 PM on April 3, 2013


Strange to hear this.
I already thought he was on hiatus since my newspaper has started carrying crap reviewers in place of Ebert.

Christy Lemire, in particular, really seems to hate movies.
posted by madajb at 3:28 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a comment from this thread which I go back to now and again, and it sums up my feelings pretty well: "Roger Ebert makes me want to be a better person."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:30 PM on April 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


A recurrence?! Jesus. I really, really hope this announcement isn't (à la Steve Jobs) just another way of saying "I will be dead in a few months." I mean, it doesn't sound like it, but Jesus, the man can barely move...
posted by Melismata at 3:30 PM on April 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


And Iain Banks today too... nasty.

Funny I was just looking at Ebert's site - I was shocked to learn he didn't like the original "Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe".

But he's a great guy and hopefully the treatment will help.
posted by emmet at 3:31 PM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


GODDAMN fuck cancer already.

Also, I want to see this film.....I try not to go on about being a Chicago boy, but reading the documentary link, and seeing the words "City/Mike Royko/Studs Terkel/O'Roarkes/Scoreses/Steve James/Sun Times" all together makes me proud of my hometown and the stuff it makes.
posted by C.A.S. at 3:34 PM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Damn that sucks. I do love that his "leave of presence" seems to involve doing way more stuff than I accomplish with my healthy body.
posted by octothorpe at 3:40 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.
Attaboy. It's not the cancer, it's what you do in spite of the cancer. Ebert (like Valerie Harper) shows that you can simultaneously face your mortality and live your remaining life with great love, vibrancy, and spirit. Good for him. I hope he's still around a long time, but mostly I am just happy he's living the best he can for as long as he's got, however much time that may be.
posted by scody at 3:45 PM on April 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


Ebert has turned into something of an elder statesmen of journalism in the grand Chicago sense. His name deserves to be listed among the all-time great newsmen. Like every sane and decent person in the world, I wish him a full, swift recovery - both because its the right thing to do and because I selfishly want more of his writing.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:58 PM on April 3, 2013 [19 favorites]


He's a wise and wonderful guy. Bone mets = seriously not good. Dammit.
posted by leslies at 4:12 PM on April 3, 2013


He could write about what he was considering having for breakfast, and I suspect it would be as enlightening and humane and readable as most things one has the opportunity to read.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:21 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


So glad we spent 4Trillion+ in Iraq instead of fucking cancer.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 4:23 PM on April 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


Ebert is an amazing person and film critic.

The other day, I popped in my blu-ray of Dark City and discovered that Ebert had recorded a new commentary track for the Director's Cut! I had only expected the commentary that he did originally for the DVD and did not expect a new one, made 10 years after the first one. It was a wonderful surprise. And true to form, though with a bit of slurred speech, the updated track was just a great and insightful as the original one.

I'm sure I am not alone in regarding Ebert as a role model and even a personal hero. My best wishes to him.
posted by Bokmakierie at 4:25 PM on April 3, 2013


And Iain Banks today too... nasty.

It's like some damned banner day for cancer. Which means it sucks for the rest of us.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:00 PM on April 3, 2013


Fuck. Ebert has the same kind of cancer as my mother (supposedly a "good" kind of cancer to have). Hers has recurred once already, though her surgeries have left her in far better shape, physically, than Ebert. And I just--I just can't even. Ugh. Fuck cancer.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:09 PM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I hope he gets to watch some fucking great movies while he is in the hospital.
posted by onlyconnect at 5:09 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't like today.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:23 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, hell. I've been a fan ever since the Siskel & Ebert days. I've been reading his columns on the Sun-Times site since his health problems started, and you know, I think he reads all the comments and responds to quite a few. He's one of the good guys. I'm sad he is going through this.
posted by jenh526 at 5:29 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


my mom died from cancer when I was 14 and she was 35. I know it sucks when someone you admire is dying because you mourn the things they'll never do but you can also feel gratitude that they were here as long as they were.
posted by sineater at 5:30 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:37 PM on April 3, 2013


He's the only critic I ever read, and I always do before seeing any movie. Not that I don't make my own decision to spend my money or not, but I have great respect for him and his opinions. And he's always seemed like a great guy. Damn shame he's having to go through all this.
posted by justgary at 7:12 PM on April 3, 2013


It's impressive that he has such an indomitable spirit. He just keeps chugging along, no matter what happens.
posted by Birchpear at 7:19 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't mean to sound ghoulish, but based on the personal essays he has posted in the last couple of years, I am very interested to hear his thoughts as this progresses:
At this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it's like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.

Good luck, Roger. Whether my college roommate had an authentic signed photo or a forgery, you have always struck me as the kind of guy who would sign a picture for a fan. God bless you & Chaz.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:24 PM on April 3, 2013


He took the time to come speak to a small film studies class I was taking in the early 90s. I remember him being a well spoken, nice guy who was extremely knowledgeable about movies. I understood then that he was much more than just a guy who argued with another guy about movies on the tube.

I think his reviewing has gotten softer over the years, but this is to be expected. He deserves a prominent place in the history of film.
posted by nowhere man at 7:27 PM on April 3, 2013


Cancer sucks.


That is all.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:14 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I was young and even more ignorant than I am now, I watched Siskel and Ebert fairly religiously; it was one of the shows the whole family tended to catch. And I never kept their names straight in my head, mostly because, being a young male, I didn't particularly care.

But I knew, sure as socks, that if the fat guy liked a movie, I would probably like it, too. I knew the skinny guy could be safely ignored. I only cared about the thumb on the right side of the screen. And I was very rarely let down by that guideline.

Nowadays, of course, he's turned into a real person to me, and his illness has bothered me a great deal. I've come to recognize, at least a little bit, the sheer depth of his expertise. But, you know what? There are worse ways to be remembered than being the guy on TV whose opinion you could trust.

I'm almost inclined to forgive him his opinion about computer games not being art. Almost.
posted by Malor at 8:44 PM on April 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ebert's commentary track on Orson Welles' Citizen Kane enhanced my appreciation for that film about five times over. I was heartbroken when I heard about his loss of speech, but time has shown that his voice is as strong as ever in writing. He's always been such a thoughtful, accessible, and unselfimportant critic, in addition to a seemingly kind and genuine soul. I wish him well.
posted by Pfardentrott at 11:01 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh no! :,(

Folks who have spent time in Ebert's home town of Urbana, IL may know about EbertFest, a film festival curated by Roger Ebert now in its 15th year. Ebert (and Ebert alone) selects the movies, introduces the festival with opening remarks, and hosts discussions with filmmakers after the films. He's had to cut back on his speaking in recent years, but he's still a formidable -- and inspiring -- presence [Thompson McClellan's photos from the 2011 & 2012 festival]. It's an absolutely extraordinary festival anywhere, and something totally unique for a community the size of Champaign-Urbana. It speaks volumes, I think, that someone who is so famous would be continuously involved and committed to enriching a small "market."

This year's EbertFest runs 17-21 April. If you can go, go. In retrospect I wish I'd gone to many more EbertFest screenings back when I was at UIUC.
posted by Westringia F. at 12:07 AM on April 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really, really hope this announcement isn't (à la Steve Jobs) just another way of saying "I will be dead in a few months."


It has metastasized to his bones, prepare yourself.


Fuck cancer.
posted by SuzySmith at 12:39 AM on April 4, 2013


I give cancer zero stars and two thumbs down.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:52 AM on April 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Westringia F.: "This year's EbertFest runs 17-21 April. If you can go, go. In retrospect I wish I'd gone to many more EbertFest screenings back when I was at UIUC."

I've been to the last three and will be there this year (which is hopefully not the last). Great lineup of movies; I'm really excited to see Escape from Tomorrow and Bernie, among others.
posted by octothorpe at 5:41 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yep, we're headed back to Ebertfest again this year (hey, octothorpe!) after a fantastic, surprising first trip last year. We thought it'd be sort of a neat thing to do, but we were completely unprepared to become part of a community. It only took us a couple of days to feel like old-timers.

So when we heard the news yesterday, my heart sank. Chaz has said that Roger does everything he can to be at Ebertfest for even part of the time (he missed a day or two), but I'm not sure if he'll make it this year. (And my heart sinks even further to think of the double meaning of those words.)

That was one reason we went in the first place: because we weren't sure if we'd get another chance. It's a testament to him that he has such a great presence without an audible voice.

But even if he doesn't end up going to Ebertfest this year, I dearly hope that Chaz makes it. She was probably the biggest reason that the festival felt like a bunch of friends sitting around munching snacks together, instead of some sort of velvet-rope lecture series.

So yeah. If you can go, GO.
posted by Madamina at 5:53 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Crap.

For those of you that only know Ebert as a film critic, read his blog and other stuff as well. He's a very decent human being, and he writes extremely well. His writing output grew immensely after he lost his jawbone to cancer years ago, and at the same time his ability to speak.
posted by Harald74 at 6:38 AM on April 4, 2013


A recurrence?! Jesus. I really, really hope this announcement isn't (à la Steve Jobs) just another way of saying "I will be dead in a few months." I mean, it doesn't sound like it, but Jesus, the man can barely move...

I read the blog post and immediately thought of Jack Layton's break, and discovery of the reoccurence...
fuck.
posted by Theta States at 7:24 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


If anyone has actualized the sentiment embodied by all the shouts of "Fuck Cancer", it's Ebert.
posted by dry white toast at 7:55 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had some cancer and got some organs removed last summer. Winter's passed, spring's here, I've had some good exams, and I was just beginning to feel like I could sometimes look forward instead of buckle down. Well, I'm terrified to my bones. To Roger Ebert's bones.
posted by houseofdanie at 8:05 AM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would like to take a moment to remind everyone that Mr. Ebert showed Joe Vs The Volcano at Ebertfest, and for that alone he deserves our love and respect.
posted by Theta States at 9:33 AM on April 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Suntimes is saying on twitter that Roger has passed away.
posted by sparkletone at 12:34 PM on April 4, 2013




WHAT? Just saw a tweet from @suntimes that Ebert has passed away????
posted by Theta States at 12:34 PM on April 4, 2013


A recurrence?! Jesus. I really, really hope this announcement isn't (à la Steve Jobs) just another way of saying "I will be dead in a few months." I mean, it doesn't sound like it, but Jesus, the man can barely move...

I guess it was.

.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:35 PM on April 4, 2013


.

awww fuck fuck fuck
posted by Theta States at 12:35 PM on April 4, 2013


(this wasn't supposed to be a memorial thread...)
posted by Theta States at 12:36 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


God damn it.

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posted by brundlefly at 12:38 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Cash4Lead at 12:39 PM on April 4, 2013


Oh, shit.

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posted by Faint of Butt at 12:40 PM on April 4, 2013




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posted by Nimmie Amee at 12:40 PM on April 4, 2013


I am in denial. I heard the news of his "leave of presence" and so knew he was sick again, but I literally cannot believe he is gone. A . seems so inadequate.
posted by donajo at 12:40 PM on April 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:41 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Joey Michaels at 12:42 PM on April 4, 2013


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Dammit.
posted by kariebookish at 12:42 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by mykescipark at 12:43 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Room 641-A at 12:43 PM on April 4, 2013


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I am saddened by the loss of this great man. I am comforted knowing how much kindness and love he has already left us in his words and in his work.
posted by quadrilaterals at 12:43 PM on April 4, 2013


Sun-Times announcement
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:43 PM on April 4, 2013


Damn.
posted by The Deej at 12:44 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by yeoz at 12:44 PM on April 4, 2013


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I feel devastated. I also feel grateful for what he gave, in words and in deeds, during his lifetime.
posted by houseofdanie at 12:44 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by malocchio at 12:44 PM on April 4, 2013


fuck.
posted by sideshow at 12:44 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't tell you how often I've quoted Roger Ebert, not just in talking about specific movies, but in talking about life. Huge loss. I was afraid this was coming sooner rather than later.
posted by The Deej at 12:45 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by saffry at 12:45 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by starman at 12:46 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Legomancer at 12:46 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Pfardentrott at 12:46 PM on April 4, 2013


It is the end of an era. Roger Ebert was a movie reviewer in a class by himself.
posted by bukvich at 12:46 PM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by mochapickle at 12:47 PM on April 4, 2013


Man, he was a great influence on why I became a film nerd.
posted by loriginedumonde at 12:47 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by zombieflanders at 12:48 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by rmannion at 12:48 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by CharlesV42 at 12:48 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by DreamerFi at 12:48 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by samhyland at 12:48 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by ambrosia at 12:49 PM on April 4, 2013


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FADE TO BLACK

posted by mazola at 12:49 PM on April 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Two thumbs down. A class act to the end.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:49 PM on April 4, 2013


I'm so glad I got to meet him in person once. We talked about evolution.

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posted by nev at 12:49 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by mrbula at 12:49 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:50 PM on April 4, 2013


His best tweets
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:50 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


GodDAMN, I really, really didn't mean to call that one!!!!!

*sob*

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posted by Melismata at 12:50 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by .kobayashi. at 12:51 PM on April 4, 2013


I said it yesterday for Iain Banks. I'll say it again: FUCK CANCER.
posted by Fizz at 12:51 PM on April 4, 2013


Like the man himself wrote three years ago, we're all dying in increments.
posted by tapeguy at 12:51 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by jdherg at 12:52 PM on April 4, 2013


Ah, such a shame. But we have the work, and that will live. I didn't think of him for years, just remembered him as the At the Movies guy, then recently delved into a lot of his criticism and writing. A great and talented man.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:53 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by librarina at 12:54 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by TwoWordReview at 12:54 PM on April 4, 2013


Oh no. This just sucks.

I just hope that when it comes to it, I can face my fate with half as much humor, resilience and courage as he did.

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posted by octothorpe at 12:54 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]




Holy shit. I just heard. I really thought he could manage a little more time based on what he wrote, but -- Jesus.
posted by maudlin at 12:57 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by starzero at 12:58 PM on April 4, 2013


Awful to hear this.

His obit is missing a line right now, which makes for a juxtaposition I think he would have enjoyed:

"Ebert died Thursday, according to a family friend. He was 70 years old.
Even still, he kept writing and remained as active as he could be. "
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:58 PM on April 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


This makes me cry. It shouldn't. I don't know him, really, and he didn't know me. He lived a decent lifespan with some major wins. But for the same reason that I cry over the deaths of other people I don't know, it's because I felt like he still had so much to share this time around.

I'm just glad the pain is over for him and hope that his loved ones heal well from this loss.

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posted by batmonkey at 12:58 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


So sad....
posted by matildaben at 12:58 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:59 PM on April 4, 2013


. .
posted by trunk muffins at 12:59 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by scody at 1:00 PM on April 4, 2013


batmonkey: "This makes me cry. It shouldn't. I don't know him, really, and he didn't know me. He lived a decent lifespan with some major wins. But for the same reason that I cry over the deaths of other people I don't know, it's because I felt like he still had so much to share this time around."

I generally don't cry over the deaths of people I don't know, but this has got me pretty choked up.
posted by brundlefly at 1:00 PM on April 4, 2013


hnnnnggggggggg.....
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:01 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:01 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by curse at 1:02 PM on April 4, 2013


👍👍
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:02 PM on April 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 1:02 PM on April 4, 2013


A beautiful man. I remember there were some candid vids of him and Siskel busting each other's balls. Ebert's making fun of Siskel's writing style. It's Siskel ordering at McDonald's:

"And for dessert, I'll have the following...."
posted by Trochanter at 1:03 PM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by leslies at 1:03 PM on April 4, 2013


I'm crying. Sitting at my desk at work. I don't care.

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posted by tommasz at 1:03 PM on April 4, 2013


While his running time was a little shorter than we would have liked, we have to give Roger Ebert two thumbs up.

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posted by pianoblack at 1:03 PM on April 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


I hope I can squeeze as much into my life as Mr. Ebert did.

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posted by dry white toast at 1:03 PM on April 4, 2013


I think this weekend I need to re-watch Synechdoche NY, and hopefully I can find the re-release of Citizen KAne with Ebert's commentary.
posted by Theta States at 1:04 PM on April 4, 2013


Chiming back in.... Ebert's grace, fearlessness, creativity, curiosity, and energy all inspired me while I was going through (far less grueling) cancer treatment a few years ago, and continues to inspire me as a model for living after cancer. He's absolutely one of the reasons I decided to start writing again. Thank you, Roger, and two thumbs way up to a life well lived.
posted by scody at 1:04 PM on April 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


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posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:04 PM on April 4, 2013


I took a class he taught years ago in which he would take movies apart shot by shot. We did 'To Have and Have Not' with Bogart and Bacall, Altman's Three Women and a Bergman. It was a complete joy. He was as warm and real in person as you might imagine.

He will be missed.
posted by readery at 1:05 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:06 PM on April 4, 2013


Roger Ebert has been my inspiration and idol since I was 10 years old and read Roger Ebert's Movie Home Companion every day, every page, like it was a Bible. Even when he gave Garfield 2 three stars, he was still among the smartest, the wittiest, and the most humane writers working in any medium, ever. RIP.
posted by Kybard at 1:06 PM on April 4, 2013


Just saw the NYT. I gasped. He's been a part of my life for so long.

RIP.

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posted by jokeefe at 1:06 PM on April 4, 2013


RIP my friend.

Fuck cancer.
posted by Think_Long at 1:07 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


In retrospect, I wonder if he wrote that blog entry a while ago, when he was healthier, and someone else posted it when they realized that the end could be near.

*sob*

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posted by Melismata at 1:08 PM on April 4, 2013


From the Trib: A film critic with the soul of a poet
posted by scody at 1:08 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Doktor Zed at 1:08 PM on April 4, 2013


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What a shitty week.
posted by Sayuri. at 1:08 PM on April 4, 2013


Oh my god.

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posted by Iridic at 1:08 PM on April 4, 2013


Even after his announcement earlier this week, I am gobsmacked by this. I thought there would be more time....

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posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 1:08 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


.

Fuck cancer.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:09 PM on April 4, 2013


I don't know what to say. We've just lost an incredible writer and a great cultural critic. And after yesterday's announcement, it seems so sudden.

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posted by fremen at 1:09 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by milestogo at 1:10 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by IvoShandor at 1:10 PM on April 4, 2013


Oh no. Damn it.

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posted by homunculus at 1:10 PM on April 4, 2013


I am positively gutted; he was my critic, my touchstone for so many movies.

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posted by NiteMayr at 1:10 PM on April 4, 2013


Roger's writings were the reason I discovered that movies transcend entertainment and be, themselves, great.

I was lucky enough to work with him on the recent Ebert Presents At the Movies reboot. On the first day, I was nervous to meet him, though he quickly defused that by offering me a sandwich platter – unable to speak – and flashing a smile and thumbs up.

Despite his illness, I can't believe he's gone. He was so diligent and dedicated to his craft, struggled with life and prevailed, and was the sharpest and clearest-eyed man I've ever met.

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posted by suprenant at 1:10 PM on April 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


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posted by ouke at 1:11 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Fig at 1:11 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:12 PM on April 4, 2013


I'll have to make dinner in The Pot in his honor.

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posted by ocherdraco at 1:12 PM on April 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


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posted by zix at 1:12 PM on April 4, 2013


:( No.... This is not news I expected. Yesterday's post had me in the "next ten years" phase for Roger..

FUCK CANCER. FUCK IT.
posted by AloneOssifer at 1:12 PM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


☆☆☆☆
posted by kirkaracha at 1:13 PM on April 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


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posted by Andrhia at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2013


A great critic, great essayist, great communicator, and -- track record to the contrary -- the best New Yorker cartoon captionist of all.

Safe journey, sir, and thank you.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2013


Well, fuck fuck fuck.

Last year, at Ebertfest:
He had the softest hands I have ever touched.
I told him how I'd read that he and Chaz went for walks around the lily pond in Lincoln Park, and that I never knew it existed until we took our engagement photos.
He had Chaz read his speeches, but he "interpreted" them with gestures and expressions that fit supremely in time with her words.
He ordered Steak 'n' Shake for all of his VIP visitors because even if he couldn't eat or smell it, he wanted to be damn sure that they did.
He got so much enjoyment out of the people around him.
He wasn't hidden away. He was right there.
He and Chaz were as beautifully in sync as I'd imagined.

And he never DID see the Sound of Music, did he?
posted by Madamina at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2013 [14 favorites]


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posted by Lyn Never at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2013


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And yeah, fuck cancer.
posted by marxchivist at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2013


Not died, but gone to join Gene in the balcony.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


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posted by azarbayejani at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2013


Ouch.

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posted by asra at 1:15 PM on April 4, 2013


As the credits roll, I'll just say that Mr. Ebert was the single most important reason in how I came to appreciate and enjoy the movies. I regret that I never got to thank him for that.
posted by pjern at 1:16 PM on April 4, 2013


(No, dammit, my "." isn't enough for this man: He was the best of the "Paulettes" in print, he and Gene Siskel opened up television to real movie-reviewing, he adapted to the new frontiers of the web, blogging and Twittering like someone a fraction of his age, and he fought back against cancer with such vitality that this obituary seems like a late April Fool's Day hoax. Seven decades wasn't enough to see what he'd do next.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:16 PM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 1:16 PM on April 4, 2013


Bloody hell.

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posted by paperpete at 1:16 PM on April 4, 2013


He made the most of a shitty hand. His example was such a gift to the rest of us. RIP, Roger.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:17 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by litleozy at 1:17 PM on April 4, 2013


R.I.P. The balcony is closed.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:17 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fuck cancer.

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posted by Axle at 1:17 PM on April 4, 2013


My Twitter feed at the moment is nearly as full of Ebert as it was when he was posting at his height. As it should be.

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posted by rewil at 1:17 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by WidgetAlley at 1:17 PM on April 4, 2013


I hope somewhere he and Gene are sitting in the balcony together discussing their favorite films.

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posted by BrianJ at 1:17 PM on April 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


The world just keeps getting smaller and less interesting.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:18 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thumbs up to you, Roger. May your balcony always stay open, and I hope you and Gene get to finally find one movie you can both agree on.

I have two things to add to the multitudes of tributes to come:

1. I loved the original opening to the Siskel & Ebert show. I remember thinking it was so cool to think that these guys were NEWSPAPERMEN. Yes, they talked (okay, argued) about the movies, but they were newspapermen first and foremost. I loved that.

WATCH: The original opening to At the Movies


2. Ebert may be best known for the movie reviews he did, but to me, I admire him most for his writing. His blog and his essays were erudite, intellectual, and downright beautiful.

If you have a chance, I encourage you to read one of his last essays. It was written for Salon and entitled, "I Do Not Fear Death."
posted by zooropa at 1:18 PM on April 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


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posted by nuala at 1:18 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Kevin Street at 1:18 PM on April 4, 2013



posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:18 PM on April 4, 2013




Respect and gratitude.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:18 PM on April 4, 2013




One of my favourite pieces of his writing wasn't about movies, but about a hotel in London.

A life well lived, and he shared it with the rest of us.

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posted by daveje at 1:19 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


The post made me go check out some of his reviews again (his are the only ones I ever read in full) and I was just thinking about following his twitter. And then I come back to the thread and dammit.
posted by like_neon at 1:20 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Danf at 1:20 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by hal9k at 1:20 PM on April 4, 2013


Is someone working on a proper obit post? There have been like 5 deleted ones so far.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:20 PM on April 4, 2013


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And thumbs up for the man himself.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:21 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:21 PM on April 4, 2013


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Two thumbs up to a great writer, critic, and fellow film lover.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:21 PM on April 4, 2013


It's not often our household has an actual moment of silence, but that's exactly what happened a few minutes ago: The Fella said "OH. Roger Ebert died." I said "OH. Oh. ohhh."

And then we fell quiet for a minute, maybe two. No speaking, no typing, no anything, before resuming our talk. "I just saw his announcement yesterday." "I know."

I often disagreed with the esteemed Mr. Ebert, especially about horror and thrillers, but I admire and respect both the work and the person.

Is it odd that the third thing I thought of --- after his family and friends, and his own suffering, now ended --- was "Oh dear, there will be no more rice-cooker recipes"? He was always such an entertaining, engaging, and human writer on any subject. He'll be missed.

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posted by Elsa at 1:21 PM on April 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


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posted by gkhan at 1:21 PM on April 4, 2013


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good man, who I always thought of as a friend, by which I mean, much of the pleasure was in disagreement, argument, conversation. So yeah, Roger, miss you, man, but you're still wrong about BRAZIL.
posted by philip-random at 1:21 PM on April 4, 2013


This is the obit post.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:21 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I need to buy a rice cooker now
posted by hellojed at 1:22 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by patrick54 at 1:22 PM on April 4, 2013


The rogerebert.suntimes.com domain has utterly crashed. If you're like me, and you want to go back over the lovely old fellow's words right now, your best bet is his wikiquote page.
posted by Iridic at 1:23 PM on April 4, 2013


Published just two days ago by him: "So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies."

"I'll see you at the movies." His last written words. Fucking spectacular.


We've lost a cultural giant, you guys. Ebert was as much a part of the moviegoing experience as the theater itself. There are more critics now than ever, and critic aggregate sites are incredibly powerful in both the movie and game industry now, but individual critics are almost meaningless. Except for Ebert. No matter how much you might disagree with him, his reviews were always worth consideration.

And Ebert wasn't only a critic. He truly had a master's knowledge of the craft. His Citizen Kane DVD commentary (link for those who wish to get it) taught me more about film than any review I've ever read.

(And, to top everything off, he loved Steak 'n Shake!)

Death is about to get a really shitty review. Godspeed, Mr. Ebert.
posted by magstheaxe at 1:23 PM on April 4, 2013 [12 favorites]


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posted by vibrotronica at 1:23 PM on April 4, 2013


How terribly sad. I'm trying not to cry. I didn't agree with him on everything, but I loved reading his writing and commentary. The world lost another one of the greats. Not a good week...
posted by gemmy at 1:24 PM on April 4, 2013


He was also wrong about Avatar. That was one shiny-ass turd.
posted by Madamina at 1:24 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Carillon at 1:24 PM on April 4, 2013


I am reminded of a quote by Larry Merchant after Emanuel Steward, an esteemed boxing trainer and tremendous human being, passed away last year: He loved the life he lived and he lived the life he loved.
posted by ambient2 at 1:26 PM on April 4, 2013


I have had several rather dilettante experiences with cancer. Going on this journey with him, watching how well he lived with all of the challenges he faced, somehow makes me less fearful, regardless of whether or not there is cancer in my future.
posted by Danf at 1:26 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by DingoMutt at 1:27 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by Feisty at 1:27 PM on April 4, 2013


New obit post here.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:28 PM on April 4, 2013


Obit Thread
posted by homunculus at 1:29 PM on April 4, 2013


His Citizen Kane DVD commentary (link for those who wish to get it) taught me more about film than any review I've ever read.

Are you sure that edition has his commentary? I think it might just be the 70th anniversary edition, no?
posted by Theta States at 1:29 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by dlugoczaj at 1:32 PM on April 4, 2013


Grab a kleenex. This will make you tear up.

VIDEO: Roger Ebert remembers Gene Siskel

EBERT: "Our rivalry was very real. But all the time we were becoming better and better friends. We were like brothers."

REPORTER: "Do you miss him?"

EBERT: "I miss him terribly every day."

posted by zooropa at 1:32 PM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


A true giant. We will not see his like again.

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posted by whuppy at 1:37 PM on April 4, 2013




Meanwhile: Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequester.

From the article:
“The drugs we’re going to lose money on we’re not going to administer right now.”
After an emergency meeting Tuesday, Vacirca’s clinics decided that they would no longer see one-third of their 16,000 Medicare patients.

posted by Theta States at 1:53 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by The Michael The at 1:55 PM on April 4, 2013


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Fuck.
posted by mosk at 3:14 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by klausness at 3:38 PM on April 4, 2013


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posted by kdar at 4:31 PM on April 4, 2013


I just can't come to terms with the thought of his voice being stilled.

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posted by coldhotel at 4:58 PM on April 4, 2013


Roger was such a wonderful man. I discovered this when I shared the auditorium with him in his exploration of the movie Dark City at the World Affairs Conference in Boulder, a remarkable and recurring event. (This was about 18 years ago, and Laserdisc was the appropriate medium for what he was doing: stopping and starting the movie whenever an audience member yelled out "Stop!" with a question or comment.) Ebert had attended the conference for a remarkable forty years.

Ebert was generous, knowing, witty and the kind of man anyone would love to have as a friend. Although his reviews were not always as visceral and controversial as Pauline Kael's, when you read one of his concise and clever reviews (even if they may have been a bit too generous to Hollywood fare as far as we film snobs may have preferred), you knew whether or not the film was worth seeing. And that is the mark of a thumbs-up critic.
posted by kozad at 5:11 PM on April 4, 2013


Damn. I am pretty sad tonight :( I had really come to look forward to read his blog, twitter and even his facebook updates. Cancer is ravaging my father and a friend, and now this.

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posted by UseyurBrain at 5:11 PM on April 4, 2013


I came home tonight after twelve internet-deprived hours to find this thread still open where I'd left it late last night. The thread had already slowed down a lot by the time I posted my comment^ about Ebertfest, and I'd been kicking myself for not having done it when the thread was more active.

Below my remark, the box said
177 new comments, show
Too many. Far, far too many. My face was already crumpling. I didn't want to click the link.

Please please please let this just be people arguing about a review or his Ebertfest picks. Please please please please...

:,(
posted by Westringia F. at 9:11 PM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by bonefish at 9:13 PM on April 4, 2013


I often disagreed with the esteemed Mr. Ebert, especially about horror and thrillers

In a sense, though, whether he liked a movie was the least important part of his reviews.

I have heard it said, and I have often repeated (including a few times on MetaFilter) that the difference between a mediocre critic and a great one is that the mediocre critic lets you know whether they liked the movie; the great critic lets you know whether you would like the movie.

A great critic like Ebert gives you the information in his review to know whether you are likely to enjoy the movie. He tells you not just whether he liked the movie; he tells you what was good and what was bad about it, and from that you can judge, based on that information plus your own knowledge of what kinds of things you like and don't like, and what flaws you can overlook and what flaws really bother you, whether you would like the movie. That's the important part of the review, for the reader, and that's what both Siskel and Ebert delivered so excellently.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:17 PM on April 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's in the obit thread, but sharing here too - a video from when he was in the screening audience for a film and some prissy guy (who happened to be caucasian) got up and lectured the (Asian-American) filmmakers about Not Offering Positive Asian-American Role Models or whatever - and Ebert got up next, and proceeded to rip the guy a new one for being so condescending.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:48 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


And a few other tributes:

A roundup of editorial cartoon tributes. Thumbs are a common theme (but this one is my favorite).

A special tribute at the New Yorker, featuring several of his cartoon caption contest entries.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:05 AM on April 10, 2013


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