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Final Thumbs Up

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Photo by Getty Images

The funeral was attended by family, friends, and fans.  The blogosphere and Twitterscape is still aglow with fond remembrances as we all say good-bye to the ultimate lover of movies and friend of Runco, Robert Ebert.

No one can argue that he was the nation’s most influential film critic, who worked across media, from newspaper to television to book publishing to social media, to define a profession.  He aptly showed how early adoption of technology can keep a public figure relevant across the decades.  He’s the only film critic with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  At his funeral, the mayor of Chicago joked that “Roger spent a lot of time sitting through bad movies, so we didn’t have to.”  He inspired his fans by bravely and publicly facing down cancer, eventually losing his ability to speak, though not his ability to communicate.  In the end, the villain won, but like the fallen heroes in epic films, the legacy continues.

On April 2, just days before his death, he posted an open letter on his blog claiming for himself a much deserved “leave of presence.”  To slow down from his prolific writing production (resulting in 306 movie reviews last year alone across 200 newspapers) to do what he could have only fantasized about in his lifetime as a film critic: “seeing only the movies I want to review.” 

So, in homage to a gifted and generous movie lover, here is a link to what Roger Ebert called the “Great Movies.”  These 300 films shaped public opinion, pushed the boundaries of cinema technology and art, and, Roger believed, were worthy stories, well told.  Perhaps some of these will spark your interest.  Perhaps you’ll add your own thumbs up to that of Roger Ebert.

And Roger, we’ll see you at the movies.

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