Saturday, April 06, 2013

Roger Ebert 1942-2013

I was shocked to hear the other day that well known Roger Ebert lost his battle with cancer.  He had been battling the disease for some time, and even in the face of adversity he became more vocal in his passion which was the cinema.

I can remember in my youth when he and Gene Siskel were on a certain UHF channel which was hard to get in.  Back in those days you played with the TV's rabbit ears and hoped for a good signal.  I was so happy when they made it onto PBS, where the signal was a lot better.  Listening to Ebert and Siskel was like discovering new country.  My own burgeoning interest in cinema grew as I reached my teenage years and their program furthered my own love for the cinema.  Movies weren't just for entertainment.  They were art, and they said something to all of us.   Eberts love for the cinema came from his show, and his writings.  He knew good cinema and he was the first to shout from the rooftops when a particular film was good.

Even when battling cancer he could not be silenced.  I admired him, and thought he was a kindred spirit.  Ebert's love was infectious, and I am still one of those individuals who carries a torch for great cinema, and Mr Ebert was one of those who fostered that love in me.  For that I am eternally thankful for him doing so.  He helped a young boy get over adolescents and see that there was a wider world out there.  That one could carry his passion into adulthood and make it a cornerstone of his life.  Through the cinema I have found so many other things to be enthralled about, but it is from my passion for cinema that these things came from.  Roger Ebert had a hand in that.  I'm sure he has touched others in the same way, and that's an accomplishment no one can ever take.

Thank you Roger for all that you did.  You will be missed, and we who have been so influenced by your passion will try and carry on.  The world is a bit dimmer, but you will always hold a special place in our collective hearts.  God speed Mr. Ebert, and thank once again.

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