The Balcony is Closed

Blowhard, Esq. writes:


RIP Roger Ebert, 1942-2013

About Blowhard, Esq.

Amateur, dilettante, wannabe.
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10 Responses to The Balcony is Closed

  1. Will S. says:

    And with him, passes the era of giants in movie reviews, since now, anyone with an internet connection can be a movie reviewer… There will never be another Ebert or Siskel, ever again.


  2. epiminondas says:

    I can’t say I’m going to miss him. Other than that, RIP.


  3. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    Shit. Didn’t he just retire like yesterday or something? Too bad.

    I’ve been somewhat mystified by the enormous reputation he’s attained in the last 20 or so years. He seems to be one of those guys whom lots and lots of smart people hold in very high esteem (though not necessarily all smart movie buff people). I occasionally liked his criticism, albeit in a minor way, and he was a good TV personality, but that’s about as far as it goes for me. I was sort of embarrassed for him in recent years when he did things like denounce Armond White because he had the gall to praise Paul W.S. Anderson (or whomever), or loudly proclaim that he had determined that video games did not qualify as art. But then maybe he’d earned the right to act like a fuddy duddy by that point.

    I’ll certainly miss having him around. I would sometimes refer people to his Great Movies series as a good just-getting-into-movies-in-a-serious-way primer.


    • Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

      Actually, since White specializes in denouncing other critics, maybe he deserved the treatment…


    • Sax von Stroheim says:

      I’m a big fan – not because I agreed with him much or even most of the time, but because I appreciated his combination of eye-level, man-on-the-street POV with a willingness to have new kinds of movie experiences. And I think there was a lot of humanity and wisdom-about-life in his reviews that was almost more important than his opinions on the films themselves. I also give him a lot of credit because unlike many “newspaper critics” (including, say, Gene Siskel), he really had an interest in older movies (i.e., he was a real cinephile).

      However, I think a big reason there was such love for him was for all of the stuff he did that was more-or-less behind the scenes. He was incredibly supportive to many younger film critics, for instance,


      • Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

        Yeah. Also: I think there are some people who become legends just by 1) sticking around for a long while, and 2) remaining generally well thought of. Tony Bennett is a good example.


  4. Sir Barken Hyena says:

    He had some great stories about working with Russ Meyers


    • Fabrizio del Wrongo says:


      One of the Ebert things I really loved: his commentary on the original DVD release of “Citizen Kane.” One of the great commentary tracks.


  5. Sgt. Joe Friday says:

    Two thumbs up. Here is L.A. for 30 years we had Gary Franklin: “On the Frankiln Scale of one to ten, ten being best, I give it a…”


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