The Conversation

Roger Ebert R.I.P.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, film critic Roger Ebert has died. Just two days ago he announced on his blog that he was taking a "leave of presence" because his cancer had returned.

Ebert suffered a hip fracture in December, and it recently led to the revelations about cancer, he said. The critic is receiving radiation treatment so he hasn't been able to go to as many movies as he usually does.

Ebert was 70 years old. The Chicago Tribune, where his fellow critic Gene Siskel worked, has already posted a remembrance.

Though I was not a fan of Ebert's politics, which sometimes seemed to dominate in recent years, I did often enjoy his reviews. In that sphere he firmly refused to let deadly seriousness overwhelm simple enjoyment. For instance, he wrote of the gloriously cheesy 1976 Japanese sci-fi film Infra-Man "When they stop making movies like Infra-Man, a little light will go out of the world." Just so.

This weekend I was talking to a friend about Dark City, a somewhat overlooked sci-fi film by Alex Proyas which I became a fan of after Ebert championed it. He later did a commentary track for the DVD in which he obsesses, in the best possible way, over every detail of the film.

Rest in peace.


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