22f7750d682d479dad86c18cdc3fa04f-9f9992b384d94b50b640d3493cd9065a-0It is difficult to imagine seeing a new film and not knowing what the great and now late Pulitzer Prize-winning Roger Ebert thought of it. Since my childhood, when I watched the late Gene Siskel banter back and forth with his co-host Ebert each week on the latest film releases on ‘Siskel & Ebert,’ Roger Ebert has remained a constant fixture in my world. I cannot recall how many times I have decided to watch (or not watch) a film solely based on Ebert’s review. What separated Ebert from the slew of other film critics was in how thoughtful, witty, and insightful he critiqued movies. He was clearly very passionate about the cinema and his enthusiasm for the medium shone through every one of his reviews. When Ebert trashed a movie, it wasn’t done out of some self-serving purpose to deride a popular movie that everyone else liked. Ebert seemed to view every crap film as a lost opportunity for the studio to have done something wonderful. On the other hand, when he loved a movie, his words could barely contain his exuberant support of the film and it was damn near impossible to not make a point to go see it immediately.

However, Ebert was not merely a commentator of today’s cinema. His passion extended to analyzing the history of film and he incorporated his vast knowledge of the cinema into not only his reviews, but also into books (many of which I own) and essays. When film criticism began to make its way onto the Internet with the likes of Aint It Cool News and others, Roger Ebert was one of the few critics who championed his profession’s shift to an online presence. Ebert seemed to embrace online film criticism even more than he had with print or television. He used rogerebert.com as a forum not just for his reviews, but also to feature his essays and musings on just about everything.

Undoubtedly, without Roger Ebert, I would not have created this blog that I have now been operating since 2009. The passion Ebert exhibited through his words and writings fed my own obsession with the movies and I realized that even if I never end up making movies, I can fulfill my desire by writing about them. Many people consider themselves lucky by being able to amass large fortunes and having the ability to have whatever money can buy. To me, Roger Ebert was one of the luckiest people alive for the simple fact that he was able to make a living by writing about movies! As sad as it is to witness the passing of one of the greats, I am also extremely thankful that the world was made a better place for having a Roger Ebert.

I will miss you.