From the Sun-Times obit:
Roger Ebert loved movies.
Except for those he hated.
For a film with a daring director, a talented cast, a captivating plot or, ideally, all three, there could be no better advocate than Roger Ebert, who passionately celebrated and promoted excellence in film while deflating the awful, the derivative, or the merely mediocre with an observant eye, a sharp wit and a depth of knowledge that delighted his millions of readers and viewers.
“No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.”
Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago. He had been in poor health over the past decade, battling cancers of the thyroid and salivary gland.
This is sad news. It's tough to overstate how significant Ebert was to film criticism and the movie industry in general over the last 40 years. He was also, by all accounts, a great guy who dealt bravely these past few years with cancer, the loss of his chin, and looming mortality.
The Sun-Times currently is running slow and overloaded with people. But when things clear up a bit, you can do no better than to go over and read his stuff. Regardless of whether it marks your first time or 3,305th. His reviews were bitingly funny, they were smart without pretension, and they always left you thinking. He was also really fucking good for a really, really long time.
[Roger Ebert at the Independent Spirit Awards image via Shutterstock]