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RIP Roger Ebert

I feel I need to apologize for the emptiness here the last few days, but yesterday I was sitting shiva to mourn the passing of renowned film critic, journalist for the Chicago Sun Times and author of numerous books on film, Roger Ebert. He died yesterday after his long struggle with cancer at 70. I remember staying up late to watch the show Sneak Previews with he and his critic friend and film critic for the Chicago Tribute, Gene Siskel. Their passionate debates over the films they were reviewing together on the show were sometimes comical and legendary. But they always seemed to have a respect for one another. It was through them and through Roger’s written reviews and books that I became acquainted with all the great foreign films that now have become my favorites too. I relied on what he wrote to give me insight into a film before I would see it and then after a saw a film, I would search out his review of it to see whether or not he saw the same things in it as I did. Sometimes, we didn’t always agree. But it was his love for film that inspired and touched me and instilled in me a love for film, as well as the desire to want to write about it.

Roger Ebert talks about the death of his friend, Gene Siskel on the Larry King Live show:

I don’t think I have words enough to express how much he meant to the world of film, to the language of film itself. The cinema world lost its greatest icon and ally. More importantly, I don’t think I have words enough to express how much he meant to me as a fellow writer and film lover. I don’t think anyone will be able to replace him or the wealth of knowledge he brought to his writing. I feel I lost one of my great teachers and I feel devastated by this loss.

Save me an aisle seat; won’t you, Roger?