Thursday, April 04, 2013

Film Critic Roger Ebert Passes Away

Film critic Roger Ebert passed away. Obituaries are all over the Web, so I'll stick to a couple of brief anecdotes.

First, there was a time when I would check what thought about a new film and act accordingly. That is, do the opposite, which actually worked out more than it didn't. That wasn't just film; lots of critics hated the "popular" stuff.

Ebert was also indirectly responsible for me getting two columns published in the New York Daily News. Back in the late 80s/early 90s, the News had a Counterpunch (Talk Back to the Critics) column in the Sunday paper. Two of the columns I had published were rebuttals to his columns. (The News carried him for a time.) One took him to task for a non-review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the other was a defense of Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, in which Ebert found overt racial overtones, or some such nonsense.

In closing, I'm sure I preferred Ebert's TV show with Gene Siskel over individual columns. I enjoyed the clips back in the days when that was the only place you could find them, and you had two points of view to compare and contrast. And now both of them are gone.

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