Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Balcony Is Full Again!

I loved watching Siskel and Ebert on Sneak Previews in the 70's and 80's. I loved them when they left PBS to syndicate themselves and after Gene Siskel died in 1999, I continued to watch Roger Ebert with whatever guest host he would have on. There probably isn't a movie I've seen since oh about 1980 or so in which I didn't know what Roger thought about it. I looked for his review of the new Oz movie just yesterday but could not find one. It was a bit disturbing to not see him there. Then I read his cancer was back. And now he's dead. Movie going will never be the same for me now.

I loved Roger Ebert. I loved what he thought about movies. And I especially loved what he thought about politics. He was a lefty, probably more so than me. He wrote columns on guns and war and gay marriage and race relations along with his reviews of all sorts of movies. Roger pissed off right wingers so much many of the black hearted ones would say horrible things about him having no jaw due to cancer, or the fact he couldn't speak, or he was hard to look at, or wished him to die. Roger tweeted at them a while back "Dear TeePee Tweeters making fun of my cancer: You want ugly? For that, you have to look at a mind, not a face." Checkmate, teabaggers!

The number of films he kept me from wasting my time on is in the hundreds. Thanks, Roger, and the money I saved will be donated to whatever I read is his favorite charity.

I remember seeing great movies I would have never seen had it not been for Roger. My Dinner With Andre? Saw it. Pan's Labyrinth? Saw it. Being John Malkovich? Saw it. Confused the shit out of me, but it was original. The fact he named JFK the best movie of 1991 or so made me so happy. Oh yeah, the movie was crazy, but goddam it was a kickass political thriller.

I remember my friend Bonnie and I attending movies Gene or Roger liked that nobody else went to. We would be the only two people there and would joke we were Siskel and Ebert.

Roger is the only film critic to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. Well deserved I might add. I will miss his writing. I will miss him. Hope they have good movies wherever he is. And as ridiculous as it may sound, I hope Gene is arguing with him right now over why the hell Roger didn't like Donnie Darko or Leon The Professional. Yep, even Roger was wrong now and then. Very rarely.

Roger, you didn't know it, but you were my buddy. I will miss you man.

No comments: