Thursday, February 18, 2010

Roger Ebert: A Wonderful Story

Regulars here know how much I admire Roger Ebert, the movie critic. I never really followed him much on television when he and Gene Siskel would give movie reviews. About 10 years ago, I started attending Ebertfest, his festival of movies that he likes, in our town, and I was soon captivated by his charm, intelligence and knowledge about movies and movie making. I started taking vacation so I could attend all of the Ebertfest movies. I got six good years of Ebert, before he lost his lower jaw and his ability to speak. One of the highlights of my life is being part of a packed audience, listening to Ebert and Werner Herzog talk, after the showing of one of Herzog's movies, until 2 o'clock in the morning. No one was leaving, despite the late hour, because we were entranced by listening as two great minds chatted about their passions. Now, Esquire Magazine has a lengthy but great profile of Ebert, which you can read here. By all means, even if you don't like movies, take the time to read the article. Ebert's face is disfigured, he can't talk and he can't eat or drink, but he can still communicate, and does he ever. Ebert still considers himself a lucky man. And then, go read Roger Ebert's Journal in which he writes about his reaction to the Esquire article. Ebertfest 2010 is coming up in about another two months, and I have my pass, purchased on the first day of sales, because they're always sold out. Roger Ebert plans to be there again this year, inspiring us with his life as well as his words. I can't wait.

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