What to Read Next

An Ode To Ebert

5 April 2013

For anyone remotely interested in the working or learning of movies outside Bollywood, the name of Roger Ebert will evoke memories of one of the finest film critics of all time.

Ebert, who wrote film reviews for the Chicago Sun Times for 40 years, has passed away at the age of 70. For those who read him, the loss is incomparable and for his fans, Ebert’s passing away is a moment of grave introspection.

Ebert was no ordinary critic. His reviews were syndicated across 200 papers, his books are considered bibles on film criticism and his prolific social media presence made him a darling of the new generation. Ebert was the first film critic to receive a Pulitzer Prize way back in 1975 and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.

In more than one way, he did to films what Oprah Winfrey did to books. His influence was enough to make or break a film. Ebert had many fans across two generations for whom he wrote, including US President Barack Obama who said in a statement, “For a generation of Americans — 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.”

It was his writing and understanding of movies that acted as a magnetic pull for readers. Ebert retained a childlike curiosity and fascination for movies and the way they unfolded, a Peter Pan of the films. He has described his reviewing style – quirky, dry humoured and sometimes sarcastic – as a result of his journalistic background. Ebert did not have any specialized knowledge of film and his insights, uncorrupted by a hierarchical learning system, instantly caught the attention of the masses when he began writing reviews for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Soon, Ebert had learnt so much about films that he ended up writing a screenplay for a film that became Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, a B-grade 70s film that was widely panned but was a source of immense pride to the film critic.

He was an avid learner and grasped cultural complexities effectively. Reviewing films around the world, some of the Indian films that came under his scanner included Lagaan, Gangs Of Wasseypur, Patang, Taal and Udaan.

Since gaining currency as one of the foremost film critics of all time, Ebert also endeared himself to fans and gained new ones following his brave survival of cancer and spirit to keep working. He contracted thyroid cancer in 2002 and had an altered voice that gradually turned into loss of ability to speak as well as the ability to eat and drink.

That did not diminish his fierce criticism of the Motion Picture Association of America for their skewed ratings and general distaste for technological advances in special effects and 3D that he called “gimmicks”.

Many are now wondering how and who will fit his big boots. Credible and innocent voices are already getting hard to find in an industry that is dependent on favorable reviews to counter the millions of dollars that go into the making of a film.

Ebert’s formula of judging a film’s merit – that the intellect may confuse you, but the heart never will – is something that Hindi film masses have always been telling critics in India. But the disconnect between the critic and viewer continues to widen across the world every week. Ebert was the rare figure whose voice cut through the noise and reached the common man directly in an effective way.

As the world bids goodbye to Ebert, let us sit back and catch that one movie that he never failed to extol and had watched many times over as a mark of tribute to him – Citizen Kane.

You may also like:

Commonly Used Gun Slangs In India

Why You Should Watch The Original Chashme Buddoor

Film Review: Olympus Has Fallen deserves a watch

Get vitamins here. Change lives everywhere.

For kids like Rosemary, proper nutrition makes a big difference. See how you can help kids everywhere just by buying your vitamins at Walgreens.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

People In Heavy Credit Card Debt May Not Know This

If you owe more than $15,000, there is a way to pay off credit card debt that few people think of first. Read how it works.

Get vitamins here. Change lives everywhere.

Help kids in Honduras and all over the world get life changing vitamins just by buying yours at Walgreens.

Save Big on Top Brands at Sears Today

Save On Top Brands and Shop Everything From Appliances, Apparel, Lawn and Garden, Tools and more. 1 store Over 100 million items. It s all at Sears!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

Success is in Your Hands

A great career as a motorcycle technician is within reach. Click here to learn more.

Pursue a Degree in Business Administration Online!

Liberty University Online has what you need to earn a Business Administration degree from your own home. Get started today!

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

Get the Highest Caliber Home Protection Today

Built by the leading engineers in the country with revolutionary wireless technology... Engineered to make your home feel like a fortress...

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.