As film fans, we’re lucky to have as inspirational a figure as Roger Ebert contributing to the wider cinematic dialogue. Regardless of your feelings of him as a “tastemaker,” if you will, there’s no doubt that the way he has tackled the health adversity life has thrown at him and turned it into energy for such an impressive expansion of his efforts is as inspiring as any sports story. There’s a good reason the likes of Steve James, Steven Zaillian, and Martin Scorsese have seen fit to bring the man’s story to life as a documentary.
Unfortunately Ebert’s debilitating health issues –which robbed him of speech nearly a decade ago now– continue on, and now he’ll be battling a new form of cancer in his hip. He has refrained from elaborating on the details, but suffice to say he has more challenges ahead of him.
This troubling news comes with a happier development though, as Ebert has announced that he’ll indeed be scaling back his review efforts, but doing so by limiting his writing only to films he actually wants to review- a luxury any critic can appreciate, and one Ebert has certainly earned. Along with that comes more details on his new RogerEbert.com platform, which is now owned under his “Ebert Digital” brand, and will relaunch a week from now.
For now, I am throwing myself into Ebert Digital and the redesigned, highly interactive and searchable Rogerebert.com. You’ll learn more about its exciting new features on April 9 when the site is launched. In addition to housing an archive of more than 10,000 of my reviews dating back to 1967 we will also feature reviews written by other critics.
Along with the site is an impending Kickstarter campaign to fund another season of At The Movies as a web series, and other not-yet-announced endeavors from the critic.
My best wishes to Ebert and his crew- I look forward to many more years of his thoughts on film…