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



The multiple twists, double-crosses and leaps in logic are more likely to prompt giggles than gasps, despite the impressive production values and the earnest efforts…


Oasis: Supersonic

While Oasis: Supersonic is never boring, especially for fans, it’s also not quite deep enough to justify its narrow focus, especially at its overlong running…

Other Reviews
Review Archives

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…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Cannes: Roger Ebert honored with American Pavilion panel and "500 thumbs up" on the beach

CANNES, FRANCE — Roger Ebert was honored with a panel at the American Pavilion in Cannes this afternoon, held at a terrace officially known as the Roger Ebert Conference Center. The panelists included Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times, and Eric Kohn of Indiewire.  

The moderator, Columbia University's Annette Insdorf, who used to host the festival's awards ceremony on American TV with Ebert, began by invoking the late critic's generosity. "He was what my father would have called a mensch," she said. Much of the discussion included tales of encounters with Ebert at Cannes and other festivals.

"So many of my memories of Roger are from here," Ebert's longtime friend Turan said. "I can feel his presence very strongly."

Phillips recalled BlackBerry struggles during his first trip to Cannes, in 2006, when Ebert showed him the ropes and introduced him to the right contacts. "Suddenly the whole trip went very smoothly, just because Roger took the time," he said. And this, he added, was to help "an alleged competitor of the Sun-Times."

Topics included Ebert's place in American film criticism, his conversational prose style, his influence on championing smaller movies, and the way he introduced readers and viewers to new types of films. Kohn remembered Ebert's advice on how to deal with nasty commenters ("Fuck it. Keep on keepin' on"), and Insdorf quoted from a celebrated passage from Ebert's memoir, "Life Itself," about the importance of being kind to others. Chicago-raised filmmaker Tanya Wexler ("Hysteria") echoed that sentiment during the Q&A at the end, commenting about Ebert's optimism as a critic. "Like it, love it, or hate it," she said, "you knew he loved movies, and he would find what he could to love in them."

Before questions were taken, Insdorf acknowledged the presence of Chaz Ebert, who spoke briefly. "Roger said that the cinema expands your imagination," she said. "And when it's done well, what it will do is allow the individual to be transported beyond linear boundaries and to take you to a world that you hadn't seen before and allow you inside and outside to become a better person."

Those in attendance were then to walk on over to the beach, where Ebert was given a "500 thumbs up" salute.

Popular Blog Posts

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

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

No Longer an Inconceivable Future: The Vision of Alfonso Cuarón's "Children of Men"

FFC Seongyong Cho on watching 2006's dystopian thriller "Children of Men" ten years later.

Hooray for Hillary: Commander-in-Chief

An article about Hillary Clinton's historic nomination as the first female presidential candidate and the most qualif...

How 2016 Became the Year of Adventurous, Original Horror Films

2016 has been a very good year for horror movies.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus