Someone Great

 

Today it was announced that film critic Roger Ebert passed away at the age of 70 after years of battling thyroid cancer. I’ve never been one to be moved from the death of a famous figure but Ebert’s passing was particularly heartbreaking for me, especially since his writings were responsible for inspiring me to write about film and popular culture. There’s a quick story I have about him that I’ve been telling since the dawn of time but it’s always remained as one of favorite memories. Nine or so years ago, I had just seen The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for the first time and it left an indelible impression on me. So impassioned about the film (it also happens to be my favorite film) was I that I wrote Ebert an ardent email asking as to why he hadn’t placed it in his under his Great Movies section. My writing at the time was amateur at best but I felt so compelled to voice my opinion that I wrote a lengthy letter as to why I felt that it deserved a spot on that list. He had a disclaimer stating that it was rare if he responded to any emails, especially since he received so many on a daily basis. Regardless, I still sent it. And of course, there was never a response and I thought nothing of it, but was satisfied that I had at least made a case for it. Several weeks later as I was browsing his site, I saw that he had added the film to his Great Movies page. I was so bewildered that I started shouting and jumping around, scaring anyone in the vicinity at the time. There was never any mention of me or my letter in his essay, but it was such a surreal and serendipitous moment that it didn’t matter, even to this day. He may have never read it, but it’s a connection I have to him that I will always carry with me. A big void has been left after his passing but he has left behind such an important legacy, not just for me but for anyone that enjoys film. Roger Ebert, thank you for the inspiration and for the unbridled love you showed when writing about film. You will be sorely missed.

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~ by johnkarma on April 5, 2013.

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