Postscript: Roger Ebert

Richard Brody at the New YorkerRoger Ebert was a journalist before he was a critic, and, even as a critic, he remained a terrific journalist. One of the crucial elements of reviewing movies is knowing where the story is—which is to say, having a sense of where things are leading—and he often picked up on the future of cinema from a single movie at hand. Another crucial element, of course, is the lapidary phrase—of capturing an experience and turning it into living history by means of language.”

Linda Holmes at NPR: “As a young teenager — then choosing plans from a rotating carousel of futures having nothing to do with cultural criticism — I owned a bunch of his big fat bricklike movie yearbooks, and I broke the spines until they were soft looking up the movies I liked or hated or didn't understand. Not to see if he got it right, but to see if I got it right. That's the way critics seem when you first become aware of them, I think: They deliver information about whether a thing is good, and the frailty they necessarily bring to that task escapes you at first, the same way you don't necessarily think to ask whether your history book is right when you're 12.”