Roger Ebert was quite possibly the biggest film fan of all time. He spent his entire career watching, evaluating, analysing, interpreting and even writing films so that the rest of the world could better understand them. He also taught generations of film critics and bloggers how to articulate what makes a great film great.
Though he became the most powerful critic on the planet, he was said to be always entirely approachable, and in fact encouraged his readers, fans and critics (even critics can get famous enough to have critics) to get in contact with him. Following this he would be more than happy to reply/communicate/debate. That’s what makes a person like Ebert so incredible; not coveting knowledge and intellect, but wanting to share and explore it with others.
Master documentary maker Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Stevie) will soon release his film about Ebert called Life Itself. What’s most striking about the trailer is just how moving it teases the film to be. It is astonishing that even in the face of terminal illness Ebert refused to give up, and maintained his contact with the world at large through his writing.
The film is scheduled for release on July 4th. I would encourage anyone who is serious not just about film, but about understanding more about life and why we choose to pursue the things we do, to go and see it. Ebert was a genius of communication and the best in his field. We should always hold people like that up for the world to see.