April 14, 2013

LERNER: Diluting Critics, Destroying Artists

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A lot of well-deserved fuss has been made in the last two weeks or so about the death of Roger Ebert, the legendary film critic whose show with Gene Siskel set the bar for criticism for an entire generation.  Ebert was a true legend, a brilliant critic who spoke about films with near clairvoyance, able to aptly predict how they would weave into the social fabric before audiences had even bought their popcorn. Since he passed, I have been busy watching clips of him on YouTube reacting to some of my favorite films from his era. While I have had the luxury of time to distill the good from the bad in 1980s cinema, Ebert was forced to react on the spot. And to a large extent, I think his opinions, and those of Gene Siskel, played a role in cementing certain filmmakers into history — people like Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, and Martin Scorsese certainly benefited from the praise heaped upon their films during At The Movies and the contrast Siskel and Ebert provided between their films and the forgettable ones released to similar box office numbers.

Original Author: Adam Lerner