Friday, April 5, 2013
Ever since yesterday when I learned of Roger Ebert's passing I have been thinking of what I wanted to say about him. I mean there are better written tributes going on all over the place. For better or worse, depending on your point of view, if you are interested in movies at all you have run into Roger Ebert. I think I could say without exaggeration that the two people who most influenced my love of movies were my Dad and Roger Ebert, and it's funny because they two seemed so entwined for so long. I remember Saturday nights, I forget if it was right before or right after The Muppet Show, my Dad would always catch whatever iteration of Siskel and Ebert was on, and he would write down on a yellow legal pad whatever movies they were talking about and he would two columns: one for Siskel and one for Ebert down the middle of the pad. And as they gave the thumbs up or thumbs down, he would write Yes or No. I wonder if he still has those legal pads anywhere? He really kept track of these things back in the day, much to my detriment sometimes so he actually knew about stuff and I would have to sneak things I know hew would disapprove of but that's for another time. I remember though that my Dad always trusted Ebert's opinion more, the well spoken, everyman critic that was the absolute best at conveying his love of film, both high and low. It was funny because I felt like my Dad thought Siskel (r.i.p.) was this uppity Ivy Leaguer and Ebert was waaaay more down to Earth, which was probably true. I know for a fact that in other ways they would have disagreed, especially on politics, but he always trusted him the most, just like a lot of us did.