‘Get a life,’ they say. Sometimes I feel as if I have gotten everybody else’s. I have a colleague who describes his job as ‘covering the national dream beat,’ because if you pay attention to the movies they will tell you what people desire and fear in their deepest secrets. At least, the good ones will. That’s why we go: hoping to be touched in those secret places. Movies are hardly ever about what they seem to be about. Look at a movie that a lot of people love, and you will find something profound, no matter how silly the film may seem.”
[With archrival and colleague Gene Siskel (left), Chicago Tribune’s movie critic. I bet they’re having contentious discussions of the movies wherever they are now!]
— From “Reflections After 25 Years at the Movies,” April 1992, as quoted in “15 Roger Ebert Passages That Epitomize His Writing” in nymag.com. Roger Ebert was part of the movie landscape I usually visited as an omniverous movie watcher. Unlike some friends, I didn’t read him regularly, but I did admire his way with words, and his pithy commentaries about movies, life and the human condition that he oh-so briliantly wrote about. They don’t make movie critics like him anymore.
[Image borrowed from his obit in the Boston Herald]