The Balcony Is Closed

Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel

(photo via Boston Herald)

“Every great film should seem new every time you see it.”

I was really saddened to hear about the death of Roger Ebert yesterday. Not only was he a brilliant writer, but he was a fantastic person. He wrote and spoke about film in a way that made it accessible for everyone, and helped me foster a deep love for film. Whether he was reviewing an arthouse film, a blockbuster or a b horror movie he wrote honestly and  humorously. He never held back on what he thought, be it a movie review, a political cause, or just responding to someone’s comments on Twitter, he always spoke his mind and did so in a fashion that was a joy to read. My favorite reviews were often of movies he hated, these are a few of my favorites:

Valentines Day: “Valentine’s Day is being marketed as a Date Movie. I think it’s more of a First-Date Movie. If your date likes it, do not date that person again. And if you like it, there may not be a second date.” [February 2010]

Pirates of the Caribbean 4:”At least no movie has yet been inspired by ‘It’s a Small World.'” [May 2011]

Human Centipede: “I am required to award stars to movies I review. This time, I refuse to do it. The star rating system is unsuited to this film. Is the movie good? Is it bad? Does it matter? It is what it is and occupies a world where the stars don’t shine.” [May 2010]

Although when he loved a film, that was pretty great too:

Almost Famous: “Oh, what a lovely film. I was almost hugging myself while I watched it.” [September 2000]

You can read some of his best quotes here.

It is also worth taking the time to peruse his twitter account. The 140 character medium really suited him.