I have always loved film. It’s been the single art form that has given me the most joy throughout my life. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of going with my Dad and brother to see Star Wars when it first came out. And I remember the day that, after seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark, turning to my parents and telling them, “That’s what I want to do when I grow up.” “Be an archaeologist?” “No. Tell stories with a camera like that.”
I used to watch Siskel & Ebert leading up to the weekends in high school and college, with their opinion and commentary holding a great deal of weight as to which films I’d be seeing that weekend. Mind you, I didn’t always agree with them, but I always appreciated what they had to say. I could tell they were kindred spirits: lovers of the cinema.
I always enjoyed the fact that they would not only review the films everyone wanted to see, but smaller ones as well that, had they not mentioned them, this SW Ohio boy would have never been exposed to. So much of what I learned about filmmaking can be attributed to not only their analysis, but to seeking out and seeing films I would have never seen without them mentioning it on their show or in their columns.
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert will never be replaced. They are to film critics what Johnny Carson was to late night television.
Thank you, Mr. Ebert, for your passion and enthusiasm for the art of film. Thank you for your courage as you publicly fought cancer, raising awareness and providing encouragement to survivors and fellow cancer fighters with humor and bravery.
I imagine right now that Siskel & Ebert, finally reunited after 14 years, are currently preparing their reviews of the afterlife. Oh, to be able to see that episode.
Rest in peace.
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- sunshine-of-mine said:I grew up watching Siskel & Ebert, and to this day Ebert’s reviews were what both I and my husband would seek out when determining if we wanted to go see a film. This is a great post Ralph, thanks for putting it up.
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- merfology said:love this. so touching and well written! thanks for this
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- womaninterrupted said:Roger Ebert was the only critic whose reviews more often than not were right on point with my own feelings. Such a loss.
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