In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_abuse

Abuse of Weakness

An examination of power, greed, emotional manipulation and simple need that is gripping and powerful to behold even if you don't know the story behind…

Thumb_expendables_three_ver18

The Expendables 3

If you’re over 40, this is your “The Avengers.” As slavishly devoted to the old action films of Sly and company as any Marvel Universe…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Blog Archives
Primary_roger_chaz_gregory_nava

Championing Independent Film: Gregory Nava on Roger Ebert

Editor's Note: Filmmaker Gregory Nava wrote the following essay for inclusion in the program book for the 2014 Spirit Awards, where Roger was honored in March.


Roger Ebert loved independent films. He gave all us mavericks—the independents—filmmakers who had a different story to tell—an avenue to be seen and heard. Before there was a Sundance—before there was a Film Independent or an IFP—there was Roger.

I still remember him bounding up the aisle of the Biograph Theater in Chicago, hand extended to me saying: "Hello, my name is Roger Ebert and I loved your movie." And you could fill the Biograph Theater many times over with filmmakers who had the same experience—Spike Lee, Michael Moore, Martin Scorsese, Barbara Kopple, Errol Morris and the list goes on and on. He was the first to support us—when it wasn't the fashionable thing to do—and he helped open the floodgates that became independent filmmaking in America.

Roger did that because whatever role he was given in life he transcended it. In his role as a film critic it was always about something more than writing reviews—it was about finding new voices with different backgrounds and different points of view and encouraging movies that had understanding and empathy—to Roger, "the noblest thing a great movie can do."

When he was faced with a debilitating illness that took his voice from him, he transcended that too by becoming the number one blogger in America. He bravely put his face, altered by cancer, in front of the world on the cover of Esquire Magazine—giving hope and courage to everyone who is handicapped and ill.

And at the end, when he went to the hospital for the last time and his wife Chaz called family, friends and filmmakers to be by his bedside—I was honored to be there—Roger didn't ask for comfort. As always he was brilliant, scribbling witty notes. He took my hand just as he had done when we first met and he offered encouragement and support.

To the end he was giving. Roger deserves all the tributes and honors that are being showered upon him. I know, however, how he would truly want to be honored. He would want filmmakers to make better movies—compassionate movies—movies that "help us identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us."

You will be missed, Roger, but your spirit lives on.

Popular Blog Posts

Different rules apply

White privilege, lived.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Ferguson, Missouri: Third World America vs. Atlas Shrugged

An FFC looks at the horrible situation in Ferguson, MO and what it says about where we are and where we're going.

Retrieving the Grail: Robin Williams and "The Fisher King"

An examination and appreciation of one of Robin Williams' greatest films, "The Fisher King."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus