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

Should I change trajectory and go into film?

From Corbin:

I am writing you for advice. At 21, I have reached the point where society demands that I perpetuate the status quo and decide what to do with myself. I’m not asking you to evaluate particular aspects of my “life plan”, help me advance my career, or anything of that nature. I was hoping you would be able to provide some perspective. As someone who has far more life experience and whose opinion I respect, you were the obvious choice for the outlet of my existential crisis (not to mention, your affinity for Thoreau). In respect of your time, I will be very brief.

Throughout college I have been markedly pre-professional in my studies. As I prepare to graduate in a year, I am admittedly surprised to find myself dissatisfied with the outlook of my post-collegiate trajectory. I believe I can certainly continue down the professional assembly line and lead a valuable and contributory life. However, at every stage I continue to question my decisions and quietly aspire for a more artistic lifestyle (i.e. film production). Of course, this pursuit is impractical, risky, uncertain, and requires a certain amount of self-assuredness and, well, guts. This is all very cliché, and I know it. Additionally, my “dilemma” is largely due to an incredibly privileged situation (college educated, socioeconomic stability, etc.) and a rather narcissistic point of view. Nonetheless, I can’t seem to calm my anxieties about how I will assign value to my life in the future, ideally in a life that I enjoy. Even this email has been an exercise in examining my personal values and priorities. Do you have any thoughts or insights to offer? I hope you are having a nice weekend. Thank you for your time.

Ebert: You seem to have a firm grasp of the realities. A conventional career will give you stable employment (in theory). A career in film offers poverty for sure, followed by the possibility of great personal and career satisfaction and of course financial success. A conventional career can offer the same. It all depends on what you bring to it.

Most people who choose to make films have a hell of a hard time of it. However, in this digital age the price of admission is lower. Look at a film named "Tiny Furniture." Never mind what you think of it; it cost less than $20,000. The key is: Do you have the ideas and abilities?

I can't say what you should do. But I must observe that your message reads as if you've already made up your mind.

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