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… ]]> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 10:05:27 -0600 <![CDATA[ Roger Ebert dead at 70 after battle with cancer ]]> Lead story image

Roger Ebert, the legendary Chicago Sun-Times film critic who influenced generations of moviegoers is dead at 70 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Later in life, Ebert, who worked for the Sun-Times for 46 years, became as iconic for his online work in blogs and social media as he had for his movie reviews, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. ]]> Mon, 08 Apr 2013 18:15:52 -0600 <![CDATA[ Editorial: We were all better for knowing Roger Ebert ]]> Lead story image

Do you love what you do? Do you go to work every day and try to master your job and feel deeply that it matters? Do you believe that you can, through sheer excellence, make it matter even more? Roger Ebert did. He loved everything he ever did, and made it matter to all of us, perhaps because he chose wisely. Roger loved the movies and big ideas and great conversation and hard work. He loved the very idea of living a full and examined life, and he was an inspiration to millions of others. Movie fans adored Roger, of … ]]> Tue, 04 Jun 2013 02:33:48 -0600 <![CDATA[ ‘Beyond the Valley of the Dolls’ screenplay — Ebert’s ‘one big mistake’ ]]> Lead story image

Editor’s note: This column originally appeared on July 10, 1970 in the Chicago Daily News. There were 30 minutes to go before the private screening of his first movie, so screenwriter Roger Ebert nervously asked the bartender for a shot and a beer chaser. That was bold drinking for so young a man. Sure enough, he coughed on the shot. Then he stuck me with the bar bill. “Remember,” he said, “I’m saving you $3 by inviting you to my free screening.” “I have heard about your movie, and you aren’t saving me a nickel.” HE LAPSED INTO A GLUM … ]]> Wed, 08 May 2013 06:43:02 -0600 <![CDATA[ The Roger of a  thousand smiles ]]> Lead story image

A few things you probably didn’t know about Roger Ebert: The first time we covered the Oscars together, Roger looked at my shiny dress shoes, shook his head and pointed at the comfortable, black sneakers he was wearing with his tuxedo. “Nobody cares about OUR shoes,” he said. “We’re going to be working for the next 12 hours. You want to be comfortable.” We were offered the chance to play ourselves in the third “Austin Powers” movie. The script called for a chase scene to go right through the “Ebert & Roeper” set, at which point Roger and I would … ]]> Wed, 08 May 2013 06:52:58 -0600 <![CDATA[ Robert Mitchum to Roger Ebert: ‘I’ve always wanted to make a picture in Ohio. Maybe I have.’ ]]> Lead story image

McKEESPORT, PA — The sky hung low and dripping over the Sheraton Motor Inn, and Robert Mitchum hunched his shoulders against it and scooted around to the other side of the Mercury. “I bought some of that lime spray,” he told Tim Lawless, his friend. “Maybe she’ll go for some of that lime spray.” “Lime spray,” Tim said. “You coming or staying?” Tim shouted out the window to another member of the company. “Staying?” He started the car and guided it down a ramp and onto a highway, turning left, which was, as it turned out, a fateful decision. “This … ]]> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 23:31:05 -0600 <![CDATA[ Terrence Malick: Roger Ebert — ‘A loving man whose goodness will not be forgotten’ ]]>

In May 2011, Roger Ebert wrote an entry in his online journal titled “A prayer beneath ‘The Tree of Life’.” It was his meditation about the film he would, one year later, list among the 10 greatest movies of all time, from a director he held in great esteem. But Mr. Ebert’s journal entry that May night was not about lists, it was about life: “Terrence Malick’s new film is a form of prayer. It created within me a spiritual awareness, and made me more alert to the awe of existence. I believe it stands free from conventional theologies, although … ]]> Sun, 07 Apr 2013 19:30:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ Chicago nightlife with Ebert ]]> Lead story image

If you were fortunate enough to come up in Chicago media in the late 1970s, you saw the brightest lights of the big city. The wild ride of Jimmy Reed on a Friday night, the romance of John Prine on a Saturday evening. Word spread from characters who shot from the hip: Jay Robert Nash. Paul Galloway (late Sun-Times, Tribune feature writer). Roger Ebert. Roger held court at the most colorful version of O’Rourke’s at 319 W. North Avenue. He roared like the MGM lion, he had the span of an eagle. O’Rourke’s was a scene beyond Hoffman and Redford. … ]]> Wed, 08 May 2013 06:48:53 -0600 <![CDATA[ Film critics, bloggers remember Ebert ]]> Lead story image

Roger Ebert’s death Thursday prompted an outpouring of tributes. Here is a sampling of remembrances and reflections found online and in print about the longtime Sun-Times movie critic. “Roger Ebert had been the editor of the Daily Illini and had graduated a few years before I got to campus. But he still got the DI, as we called it, by mail every day in Chicago. Even though I didn’t really know him, Ebert began clipping out my columns from the paper and putting them on the desk of the editor at the Chicago Sun-Times, Jim Hoge. When I was a … ]]> Wed, 08 May 2013 06:49:12 -0600 <![CDATA[ Roger Ebert found a new, boundless voice on social media ]]>

I can’t take credit for turning Roger on to Twitter. I kept telling him about my own increasing affection for the service (after I’d dismissed it in an early review) and I was very pleased when he finally told me that he had decided, reluctantly, to try an experiment. He assured me that he would pull the plug on his Twitter account 30 days later. That was roughly 30,000 Tweets ago. But I’m sure that his other friends were talking up Twitter to him, so we all probably sort of wore him down. I was 100 percent confident that whenever … ]]> Wed, 08 May 2013 06:47:45 -0600 <![CDATA[ ‘La Dolce Vita’ among Ebert’s first film reviews at Daily Illini ]]> Lead story image

Editor’s Note: This column was first published on October 4, 1961, in The Daily Illini, and was one of Roger Ebert’s first published movie reviews. There is in “La Dolce Vita” a great deal to be puzzled about, and a great deal to be impressed by, and perhaps a great deal which we as Americans will never completely understand. Yet it is a fine motion picture. And we have the feeling that even those students who sat through its three hours with a measure of boredom came away convinced that something was there. It is this something, this undefined feeling … ]]> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 15:24:49 -0600 <![CDATA[ About that chair . . . ]]> Lead story image

The movie screening room on Lake Street was Roger Ebert’s kingdom, and his throne was the left aisle seat in the back row. If a newcomer accidentally sat in Ebert’s seat, he or she was gently asked to move. The same went for the seats in front of him. Often, Roger’s wife, Chaz, would sit one chair over on his right, and they’d share snacks from a bag in the seat between them. God forgive you if you pulled out a cellphone or tried to use a light to see your notebook — both rookie mistakes. But it was like … ]]> Wed, 08 May 2013 06:45:26 -0600