“I hated this movie. Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it.”
FADE TO BLACK
What I expect to happen is that my body will fail, my mind will cease to function and that will be that. My genes will not live on, because I have had no children. I am comforted by Richard Dawkins’ theory of memes. Those are mental units: thoughts, ideas, gestures, notions, songs, beliefs, rhymes, ideals, teachings, sayings, phrases, clichés that move from mind to mind as genes move from body to body. After a lifetime of writing, teaching, broadcasting and telling too many jokes, I will leave behind more memes than many. They will all also eventually die, but so it goes.
"I need you out here," Russ Meyer told me on the phone in 1977. It was 6 a.m. He could not conceive that I might still be asleep. "Have you ever heard of the Sex Pistols?"
"No," I said.
"They're a rock band from England. They got a lot of publicity for saying 'fuck' on TV. Now they have some money and want me to direct their movie."
"The Sex Pistols?" I said.
"Their manager is a guy named Malcolm McLaren. He called me from London. He said their singers were big fans of 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.' They go to see it every weekend they're in London. It's playing at the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road."
No director except possibly for Stanley Kubrick was better informed than Russ about where his movies were playing. Kubrick used to call specific theaters to complain about light intensity. Russ used to call to complain about theft. ...
Michelle and I are saddened to hear about the passing of Roger Ebert. For a generation of Americans - and especially Chicagoans - Roger was the movies. When he didn't like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive - capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical. Even amidst his own battles with cancer, Roger was as productive as he was resilient - continuing to share his passion and perspective with the world. The movies won't be the same without Roger, and our thoughts and prayers are with Chaz and the rest of the Ebert family.
AVC: You've said you feel comfortable living on in memes. What contributions of yours to you foresee living on in that form?
RE: Well, not "comfortable," because I'd prefer living on as myself. But some of my often-repeated phrases may hang around for a while. "A film is not about what it is about, but about how it is about it." "No good film is depressing." "3-D is the waste of a perfectly good dimension."
It's a bit hard to remember how, but he was one of the first movie critics to have a substantial web presence, and he accepted email from anyone, and even personally replied to some of them.
"One American critic was so angry she chased me to the exit to inform me, 'This film is a call to racial violence!' I thought not. I thought it was a call to empathy, which of all human qualities is the one this past century seemed most to need."
- Ebert on Do The Right Thing
"Pearl Harbor" is a two-hour movie squeezed into three hours, about how on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese staged a surprise attack on an American love triangle.
Roger wrote the way we all want to think, the way we all wish we WERE: Open-hearted, open-minded and with open arms. He was funny, he was mean, he was wistful, he was moving, he was everything ... his writing felt like LIFE. Writing about Roger in death feels like a cheat, a confession of inferiority: The only person I want to read about Roger's death is Roger.
" "Mad Dog Time'' is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time. Oh, I've seen bad movies before. But they usually made me care about how bad they were. Watching "Mad Dog Time'' is like waiting for the bus in a city where you're not sure they have a bus line."
His Web essays have a sharp, bright but autumnal quality to them; the leaves were still on the trees but the colors were changing and the snap was in the air. It seemed to me Ebert wrote them with the joy of living while there is still life left. I loved these essays but they also made me sad. I knew as a reader they couldn’t last. And of course they didn’t.
Dear Club Members,
A notice was recently sent out regarding Funeral arrangement for the Grand Poobah.
I neglected to include the time, so here it is again, but updated.
Note: I can just hear Roger now, reminding me to always double-check - and smiling at the irony of it, given how often he used to forget things. :-)
Funeral services for Roger Ebert will be held Monday, April 8, 2013, at 10:00 am the Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N. State St., in Chicago. The service will be open to friends and fans, though seating will be limited. Open seats are first come, first served.
In lieu of flowers, send donations to The Ebert Foundation, c/o Northern Trust, 50 S. LaSalle St., Chicago, 60603. The foundation is a nonprofit that supports arts and education programs.
Editor and Club Secretary of the Ebert Club
Dear Club Members,
As most of you know, Roger was planning to move to a new site. One built especially for him - a custom job. Then fate stepped in and as a result, people were sent scrambling and there's only 24 hrs in a day. In simple terms, there's a few glitches still left to iron out with the formatting, inside the new Ebert Club. It's technical.
When it's ready, you will receive another announcement containing the link and where to find it.
As for when, hopefully April 9, WED.
Unless I get a sudden email the minute I send this notice out, telling me it's ready to go now. Forcing me to send you a new notice telling you to forget the last one. :-)
Thank-you for your patience.
Club Secretary and Recreational Director
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