Saturday, November 29, 2008

sans thumbs: Roger Ebert Explains It All for You

A friend recently commented that she missed Roger Ebert. Say what? Roger may no longer be giving oral criticism on the tube, but he remains as vital as ever on the pages - and the web site - of The Chicago Sun Times.

Case in point: His lively and important essay of November 26th, titled "Death to film critics! Hail to the CelebCult!," a must-read for all serious moviegoers.

Roger writes:

"The lengthening toll of former film critics acts as a poster child for the self-destruction of American newspapers, which once hoped to be more like the New York Times and now yearn to become more like the National Enquirer. We used to be the town crier. Now we are the neighborhood gossip..."

Frankly, I also miss seeing Robert on the television, although I'm less sentimental about his newly retired Thumbs Up!/Down! rating system. I've no idea how Roger felt deep down about the thumb rating system that he and the late Gene Siskel popularized but, between us, I always thought of it as the bane of modern movie criticism. Way too simplitic.

I'd much rather savor Rogers words. Check out that essay and you'll see that I mean.

(Artwork: Roger, seemingly without his pesky, ubiquitous thumbs)


John said...

Ebert’s article, which I actually linked on my own blog, is a sad look at how poorly the newspaper industry in treating serious film criticism. We have fallen a long way from the glory days of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Making an informed decision based on an intelligent film writer is becoming more and more difficult. Thank God for the web where many good writers, like yourself, can still produce well written thought out work.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I don't miss the thumb. It was too simplistic a way to review movies. But the rest of Ebert is great.