On April 4, Hollywood forever lost a legend. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert passed away due to complications with cancer.
Ebert served as the film critic for the Sun-Times for over four decades. Ebert also hosted his own show titled “At the Movies” with Gene Siskel and Roger Roeper. Ebert created a legacy for himself as being one of the most popular and read film critic in all of the United States and possibly the world.
Millions of fans flocked to the Internet to express grief and sadness over the loss of their beloved critic. From everyday Americans to celebrities, people mourned over the death of Ebert.
Even President Barack Obama, a fellow Chicagoan, made time to comment on Ebert’s passing.
“Roger was the movies,” said Obama in a White House-issued statement. “When he didn’t like a film, he was honest; when he did, he was effusive — capturing the unique power of the movies to take us somewhere magical. The movies won’t be the same without Roger.”
Albion College faculty also had their opinions about the passing of Ebert.
“He was always very fair and thoughtful, and he watched a film carefully,” said Geoff Cocks, professor of history. “I’d say he was not quite as sharp when it came to some of the more ambitious artistic film makers, but all that being said, he obviously knew film really well and loved film and wrote very well.”
Ebert was one of the few journalists whose name became synonymous with the subject he covered. While the general public may have trouble naming a music critic or a television critic, Roger Ebert will forever be who people think of when they hear “film critic.”
Ebert will be remembered for decades. Despite being rendered unable to speak by a bout with cancer, Ebert still served as a liberal activist who contested intelligent-design theorists.
But above all else, Ebert was a journalist. Ebert’s reviews revolutionized the way journalists critique things. Ebert did more than simply rate a movie and talk about what made it good or bad. Ebert’s reviews focused more on discussion than numbers, forever changing journalism critiques from a system of stars to meaningful essays. Though sophisticated, his reviews still had the ability to capture the magic of the movies.
Two thumbs up to Roger Ebert, and rest in peace.
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