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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Roger Ebert Has Died

   
Author Topic: Roger Ebert Has Died
The White Whale
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[Frown] Link
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Elison R. Salazar
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Its unfortunate as he was really good at his job and an inspiration for many others. On the other hand I didn't see the profession really moving forward under his increasingly anachronistic shadow.
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Hobbes
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I was really sad to see that. I didn't always agree with his reviews (does anyone always agree with anyone?) but I could almost always tell from his reviews if I would like the movie. And they, along with his blog posts, were entertaining and insightful. It's a real loss.

quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
Its unfortunate as he was really good at his job and an inspiration for many others. On the other hand I didn't see the profession really moving forward under his increasingly anachronistic shadow.

What about reviewing movies do you feel should have changed that he was prohibiting?

Hobbes [Smile]

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Elison R. Salazar
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Its not movies per se, but his views that games don't qualify as art, how can someone be able to seriously say "I critique games for their artistic merit" seriously if people like him shut you down? I am speaking figuratively of course.
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Aros
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Unlike most other critics, he gave good reviews to movies that mainstream audiences would enjoy, when they weren't supposed to be "arthouse" flicks. He would view art movies within the context of other art movies, superhero movies with the context of other superhero movies, etc.

Great man. He'll be missed. Probably the only person who liked Prometheus other than myself.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
I was really sad to see that. I didn't always agree with his reviews (does anyone always agree with anyone?) but I could almost always tell from his reviews if I would like the movie. And they, along with his blog posts, were entertaining and insightful. It's a real loss.

This. Even when I disagreed with his verdict, he was so honest, insightful, and descriptive enough of the movie that I would always know if *I* would like it or not like it. I've been reading his reviews every week for many years now, and I'm going to miss that.
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Ginol_Enam
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I was scared when they started posting others' reviews of movies on his website that something had happened. Sure enough, just a couple of days ago he posted that he had cancer again.

What makes it more tragic is that the post was pretty optimistic for what it was - talking about his plans for the future and whatnot while also clearly working to establish a presence for his "brand" after his death. And today he passed much sooner than I think he was expecting.

Very sad.

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Lyrhawn
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Two thumbs down.
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Sa'eed
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I know this was coming for some time, but I'm still heartbroken. I've been religiously reading him since middle school and he's had quite an impact on me.
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Samprimary
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Ebert was as right about so many things as he was wrong about video games or the star wars prequels. Some of those things include the humanities, or even our base humanity. Or life itself. horray high praise right yeah i know

In fact, he wrote some fairly touching things about these things which I would prefer be chief in our memory, as opposed to thinking of him in terms of movies right now. He cheated death once and went on to write some of the things he should most be known for. By the end, he had a tangible sliver of the human condition accounted for in his quotes, to be added to the total sum of our self-awareness.

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Samprimary
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"The subject of "Synecdoche, New York" is nothing less than human life and how it works. Using a neurotic theater director from upstate New York, it encompasses every life and how it copes and fails. Think about it a little and, my god, it's about you. Whoever you are.

Here is how life is supposed to work. We come out of ourselves and unfold into the world. We try to realize our desires. We fold back into ourselves, and then we die. "Synecdoche, New York" follows a life that ages from about 40 to 80 on that scale. Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a theater director, with all of the hangups and self-pity, all the grandiosity and sniffles, all the arrogance and fear, typical of his job. In other words, he could be me. He could be you. The job, the name, the race, the gender, the environment, all change. The human remains pretty much the same.

Here is how it happens. We find something we want to do, if we are lucky, or something we need to do, if we are like most people. We use it as a way to obtain food, shelter, clothing, mates, comfort, a first folio of Shakespeare, model airplanes, American Girl dolls, a handful of rice, sex, solitude, a trip to Venice, Nikes, drinking water, plastic surgery, child care, dogs, medicine, education, cars, spiritual solace -- whatever we think we need. To do this, we enact the role we call "me," trying to brand ourselves as a person who can and should obtain these things.

In the process, we place the people in our lives into compartments and define how they should behave to our advantage. Because we cannot force them to follow our desires, we deal with projections of them created in our minds. But they will be contrary and have wills of their own. Eventually new projections of us are dealing with new projections of them. Sometimes versions of ourselves disagree. We succumb to temptation -- but, oh, father, what else was I gonna do? I feel like hell. I repent. I'll do it again."

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Kwea
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RIP
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Elison R. Salazar
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Did he like or dislike the prequels?
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Jeff C.
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He wrote a wonderful essay on writing that has stayed with me since I first found it. He was recovering from a surgery (I think) that made it so that he couldn't speak for about a month. As a result, he found that his only means of communication was writing. As a result, he found himself writing much more fluidly, articulating his thoughts with little hinderence. It's a really cool article. Unfortunately I can't remember where I found it.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
He was recovering from a surgery (I think) that made it so that he couldn't speak for about a month. As a result, he found that his only means of communication was writing.
About five years ago, Ebert lost basically the entire skeletal structure of the lower half of his head to cancer, and was rendered permanently unable to speak.
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umberhulk
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quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
Did he like or dislike the prequels?

I know he liked Revenge of the Sith. Which is awful.
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Derrell
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[Frown] R.I.P
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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
I didn't always agree with his reviews (does anyone always agree with anyone?) but I could almost always tell from his reviews if I would like the movie.
One of the beautiful things about Siskel and Ebert was that in their pairing they could disagree on whether a movie was good or bad, and then each of them would give their reasons, which allowed the audience to make up their own mind which one they agreed with.

Sometimes I got the impression that they had discussed the movie to decided which one of them would "like" it, and which one would "dislike" it, in order to give the most effective presentation so their audience decide for themselves.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
Did he like or dislike the prequels?

I know he liked Revenge of the Sith. Which is awful.
Revenge of the Sith wasn't awful. Except for one or two particularly awful parts, I thought it was a pretty solid movie. By far it was the best of the prequels.
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umberhulk
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spoils

- Hated the beginning. It shoves a lot action in your face, fast. Didn't like it as setup. Duku's death was hilarious in a bad way, in my opinion, and it kind of broke the fourth wall as a reaction to the fans.

- Padme (sp?) is annoying throughout the whole movie. Hated what they did with her character. She becomes a plot device, and the way she yells for Anikin was terrible. It's not as bad as what Card does to Petra (shadow puppets) but it was actually more annoying to me.

- Palpatine doesn't even try to disguise the fact that he's evil, and it's incredibly weird that Anikin still wants to fight for the good side, and thinks Palp wants to fight for the good side too. Palpatine tells Anikin to "finish him" in the very beginning in the movie. Palpatine isn't even appealing in having to be clever at all for turning Anikin. Palpatine tries to give himself away, but couldn't.

- Loved the android sith in the cartoon, but he was awful in the movie. They cripple him and it really robs the movie of what could have been a great character.

-Windu's death is pretty funny.

[ April 06, 2013, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: umberhulk ]

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
Its unfortunate as he was really good at his job and an inspiration for many others. On the other hand I didn't see the profession really moving forward under his increasingly anachronistic shadow.

What a horrible thing to say in reaction to this man's death. He only spent his entire life trying to edify and enlighten, and promote great works of art. I really don't say this kind of thing often but, really, show some respect.
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Rakeesh
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Eh, 'increasingly anachronistic' hardly seems horrible. But I will say that his video game bit was a very small part of his legacy, and didn't really hurt anything anyway since the outlook that video games can't be art was always going to slowly fade anyway.

Far more meaningful than whether or not he was mean to video games was what he exemplified about things like mortality and art and humanity.

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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
Its unfortunate as he was really good at his job and an inspiration for many others. On the other hand I didn't see the profession really moving forward under his increasingly anachronistic shadow.

What a horrible thing to say in reaction to this man's death. He only spent his entire life trying to edify and enlighten, and promote great works of art. I really don't say this kind of thing often but, really, show some respect.
At least I didn't say "good riddance" or hoped he "died painfully as possible".
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Hobbes
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Eh, 'increasingly anachronistic' hardly seems horrible. But I will say that his video game bit was a very small part of his legacy, and didn't really hurt anything anyway since the outlook that video games can't be art was always going to slowly fade anyway.

Far more meaningful than whether or not he was mean to video games was what he exemplified about things like mortality and art and humanity.

Yes.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
Did he like or dislike the prequels?

I know he liked Revenge of the Sith. Which is awful.
Revenge of the Sith wasn't awful. Except for one or two particularly awful parts, I thought it was a pretty solid movie. By far it was the best of the prequels.
Obligatory: the Revenge of the Sith comedy scenes

"In the prequels, there is a very clear line of distinction between the actor scenes, and the special effects scenes. ..."

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
Its unfortunate as he was really good at his job and an inspiration for many others. On the other hand I didn't see the profession really moving forward under his increasingly anachronistic shadow.

What a horrible thing to say in reaction to this man's death. He only spent his entire life trying to edify and enlighten, and promote great works of art. I really don't say this kind of thing often but, really, show some respect.
At least I didn't say "good riddance" or hoped he "died painfully as possible".
You essentially did say "good riddance." It just strikes me as a hell of a thing to say about someone, when he has just died, that his life was holding back progress in his profession.

And beyond that, it's a ridiculous idea that Roger Ebert was holding anyone back in the field of film criticism. If anything, the format that he *pioneered* empowered hundreds of critics during his career to follow in his footsteps. Ebert was one of the critics who brought serious, thoughtful film criticism to popular audiences for the first time- instead of leaving it sequestered in art-house publications, the realm of specialists and "artistes". There was not much belief from newspapers in the audience's ability to handle serious criticism before Ebert started being syndicated nationally.

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Rakeesh
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Naw, still don't seem like that was the same or essentially the same as 'good riddance'.

Look, Ebert's stance on video games and art and whether the two intersect *did* seem dated and a bit silly. That said, Elison's suggestion that Ebert was somehow impeding the field of entertainment review because of that stance, which was such a small part of his cultural presence overall, did seem even *more* silly, so perhaps because of that both of them fail to register as offensive to me. They get filed by my brain differently.

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Elison R. Salazar
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I may be biased but I agree with Rakeesh, its quite a wee bit of an overreaction to say what I said as being the same as "good riddance" as I do not feel any relief or enjoyment from the man's passing; I quite respect him and enjoyed his appearance on The Critic.

Whether he was holding anyone back is an arguable point that may or may not be silly but not really worth addressing.

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Orincoro
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Of course it's worth addressing. You brought it up in the same breath in which you lamented his passing. It seems that it was important enough for you to bring it up right away as a reaction to his death.

I'm not at all unbiased about this- I had a deep respect for him as a writer and a critic, and as a person. But the claim you made is very much arguable, and very much in need of being addressed. To assert that a man who all but invented the critic-as-media-personality niche is holding back the profession is just a tad out of perspective.

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Hobbes
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BB, while I agree that Orincoro's interpretation was a bit over-blown, perhaps you're up to admitting that your comment, particularly at this time and in this thread, was not appropriate? I appreciate that you were likely just looking for a silver lining; which can be an admirable effort. However, shortly after a man dies in a thread announcing that fact, it is more appropriate to either celebrate his life or if necessary, mourn his death. Finding reasons to be happy he's gone is simply put: not proper. Especially when the man (besides being intelligent, witty and insightful) had the generosity of Spirit that Roger Ebert did.

Hobbes [Smile]

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BlackBlade
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I suspect Salz hasn't forgiven Ebert for saying video games were not an art medium, and doubling down on it when there was a big backlash from gamers.
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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Of course it's worth addressing. You brought it up in the same breath in which you lamented his passing. It seems that it was important enough for you to bring it up right away as a reaction to his death.

I'm not at all unbiased about this- I had a deep respect for him as a writer and a critic, and as a person. But the claim you made is very much arguable, and very much in need of being addressed. To assert that a man who all but invented the critic-as-media-personality niche is holding back the profession is just a tad out of perspective.

I don't believe its worth addressing because your being hung up on a detail that no one really seems to think is actually worth being hung up about.

quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
BB, while I agree that Orincoro's interpretation was a bit over-blown, perhaps you're up to admitting that your comment, particularly at this time and in this thread, was not appropriate? I appreciate that you were likely just looking for a silver lining; which can be an admirable effort. However, shortly after a man dies in a thread announcing that fact, it is more appropriate to either celebrate his life or if necessary, mourn his death. Finding reasons to be happy he's gone is simply put: not proper. Especially when the man (besides being intelligent, witty and insightful) had the generosity of Spirit that Roger Ebert did.

Hobbes [Smile]

I disagree that I am "finding reasons to be happy he is gone", I am in fact not happy he is gone regardless of the 'silver lining', but instead observing what this means for the future.

Though I note in passing that Orincoro was hardly as willing to denounce the real expression of the sentiment of "good riddance" (as opposed to the imagined one here) when it happened to me in a different thread, so I'm not particularly amused.

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Hobbes
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I see you're not up to it. Ah well. Any chance we can turn the discussion back to Ebert at least, and away from... whatever this is?


It seemed like over the last few years, his blog posts got more and more introspective. Particularly towards the end (not that we knew it was that at the time) he made several posts that were his reflections on his life. Of course a lot of that got put together and expanded upon in his book. It seems very appropriate now, looking back.

One thing he never seemed to lose was his enthusiasm. For the movies, for life, for people. Heck, it almost made his reviewers worth less over the last ~5 years as he gave out more and more positive reviews. He seemed to always want to like a movie. A very admirable trait, especially in a profession that tends to gravitate towards scathing reviews and a general sense of aloofness. He and Siskel both had that same approach: they wanted to like a movie and they wanted to have a good time at the theater. It was irrelevant if that movie was an indie/arthouse film or an action blockbuster. If they had a good time they were thrilled to share that with everyone.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Elison R. Salazar
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Not up to what? Introspection and considering what the event means for the future is a natural part of the process of acknowledging the passing of someone as important to his field as Ebert, it is only logical to give its due consideration then wait some arbitrary 'waiting period'.

For me, its to consider what this means for the emerging trends of recognizing games as art comparable to film and literature in the wake of these circumstances.

I gave a refutation in my previous post can you please address it? Can you acknowledge that my post was not "finding reasons to be happy he is gone" which is almost as bad as Orincoro inventing that I said something "horrible".

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The Rabbit
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Salz, Consider the source.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I gave a refutation in my previous post can you please address it? Can you acknowledge that my post was not "finding reasons to be happy he is gone" which is almost as bad as Orincoro inventing that I said something "horrible".
He already did acknowledge that the 'horrible' remark was over-the-top. He's tried actually discussing your initial statement more than once. Which is more important? A public victory over Orincoro, or actually discussing the thread's topic?

quote:
For me, its to consider what this means for the emerging trends of recognizing games as art comparable to film and literature in the wake of these circumstances.

If that's what you want to consider, is there actually anyone stopping you from doing so? In any event, the idea that video games might be art is one that is steadily gaining traction and is more or less inevitably going to attain general acceptance as the industry grows and more and more people play video games. Ebert, as a non-gamer, probably just didn't have much experience with the kinds of games that could be considered as artistically worthwhile for storytelling or design. It's OK. The man didn't feel video games were art. No big deal!
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Elison R. Salazar:
quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
Of course it's worth addressing. You brought it up in the same breath in which you lamented his passing. It seems that it was important enough for you to bring it up right away as a reaction to his death.

I'm not at all unbiased about this- I had a deep respect for him as a writer and a critic, and as a person. But the claim you made is very much arguable, and very much in need of being addressed. To assert that a man who all but invented the critic-as-media-personality niche is holding back the profession is just a tad out of perspective.

I don't believe its worth addressing because your being hung up on a detail that no one really seems to think is actually worth being hung up about.

Except of course, for *me*. And since I'm the person you're talking to, and this is what I have a problem with, you can either address it, or not.

But you think I'm hung up on some small detail. I'm not. This is not a small detail, and this is what interests me- not any particular choice of words you used, but the substance of what you said. You're approaching this as if the only possible argument against what you said would be the wording you used. But I disagree with your whole premise. I guess "no one" really cares about that though.

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