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

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_6svpck54r9k0mz9xcfzswrxcin

Winter Sleep

The running time of his new picture Winter Sleep, three hours and change, suggests weight, but at it happens, this movie struck me as both…

Thumb_oax1ohn3ltgrf3vlh5ff28w0yjn

Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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
Channel Archives
Primary_searchingforbobbyfischer-1993-1

My Favorite Roger: Mark Wilkening

Roger's review of "Searching for Bobby Fischer"

Why did I choose this review?

For a six month window in 1995, my seventh grade class became surprisingly enamored with chess, myself a bit more than my classmates. A Chess Life magazine subscription, chess clocks, and a VHS copy of "Searching For Bobby Fischer" soon followed. I probably watched the movie once a week during that time, memorizing the lines and sometimes just fast forwarding and re-watching the final tournament showdown over and over. I found Roger's review a few years later in high school after my chess enthusiasm had faded, and when I reached his closing sentence, "What makes us men is that we can think logically. What makes us human is that we sometimes choose not to.", I felt proud for having loved a movie to which a "serious critic" like Roger gave such high praise. But more importantly, this review led me down the path of a simple, yet profound idea for a teenager: Great art can be about more than its apparent subject matter. "Moby Dick" isn't just about the whale, "Hoop Dreams" isn't just about basketball, and "Searching For Bobby Fischer" isn't just about chess. Introductory art analysis, yes, but for a 15-year-old kid just discovering his love of movies, this was an invitation to sit at the adult table for the first time.


Mark Wilkening is a commercial audio mixer that lives and works in Chicago. He still plays chess occasionally, but hasn't won a match since 1995.

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...

The Ten Best Films of 2014

The ten best films of 2014, as chosen by the film critics of RogerEbert.com.

10 Underrated Female Performances of 2014

Ten underrated female performances from 2014 worthy of Oscar consideration.

More on That Later: The Truth About “Serial”

Some thoughts on the hit podcast "Serial".

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus