Monday, April 4, 2016

On the anniversary of the passing of Roger Ebert

Three years ago today Roger Ebert passed away.

I remember getting the news at the day job and being rocked to my core by it. Ebert was responsible for feeding my passion for film and he was, in some way what I hoped to achieve with Unseen Films.

What was really weird for me was the fact that the news broke an hour or two before I was going to be heading off to the Tribeca Screening Room to see a couple of playing at the Tribeca Film Festival. The king was dead, but the kingdom was going on, it was just going to fall to a new bunch of people to carry on the conversation.

What follows was written on the train ride between Mineola New York and Manhattan an hour or so after news broke that he died. It’s a roughly 45 minute ride and in order to distract myself or getting too emotional I wrote. Its clunky and bumpy but heart felt


I am at work and I'm on the phone with Randi. We're talking about some personal stuff, "I've emailed you some stuff... we'll talk later can't talk now..."

And then for an instant and email notification on my screen- simple message- Rogert Ebert has died.

And I say, not quite comprehending "Roger Ebert has Died"

"Oh my" says Randi.

I disconnect and I go elsewhere- which is what happens when someone dies. I continue having a conversation with Randi but I'll remember none of it.

I'm trying not to cry.

I can't cry in my office, people in my office will think its weird.

But I want to cry because like Spike Milligan and Douglas Adams and several other people I've never met, they shaped me into who I am almost as much, maybe more than the people I see everyday.

Ebert's reviews broke me away from the cineaste high falooting film writing and made it human and personable. He and Siskel made me love movies more.

And so I hang up and I go on line- I have to say something-I have to hear what other people are saying. I twitter a few things. A few people I follow are saying somethings.

I tweet something simple and go on. But I keep checking back and I keep going back and I realize I have to do something at Unseen.  The idea a black screen with just Roger Ebert Thank You. but it's too difficult- especially at work- so I post something simple and move on

And then it gets weird because now I realize that its all been left to us- to me -to everyone who writes on film- and its weird because in a few minutes I'm going to be going into the city to go to some press screenings and do what he loved to do.

The world has changed but still goes on

The man is gone but still the movies and his influence go on

Thank you Roger.

Thank you

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