Roger Ebert remembered as acclaimed film critic
CHICAGO — Acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert was praised on Monday as a consummate Chicago newsman, a champion of storytellers and a visionary who understood the power of social media to spread the word about everything from good movies to his battle with the cancer that ended his life.
At a funeral Mass at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral, speakers, including Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a son of civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson and Ebert's widow took turns telling parts of Ebert's story that made him one of the most, if not the most, influential film critic in the world.
Ebert died Thursday after a long battle with cancer at the age of 70. In the course of more than 40 years, Ebert was a Pulitzer Prize winning film critic, who became a television star with fellow Chicago newspaper critic Gene Siskel, who together turned their thumbs — specifically the direction they pointed — into shorthand for good and bad movies that was recognized around the world.
“He didn't just dominate his profession, he defined it,” said Emanuel.
Jonathan Jackson paid tribute on behalf of his father who could not attend the service, then told the crowded church that Ebert had supported black filmmakers decades ago when this was something that just wasn't done.
“He respected what we had to say about ourselves,” said Jackson, who pointed to Ebert's glowing review of Spike Lee's “Do The Right Thing” in the late 1980s. “It was not his story but he understood the value of an important film was authenticity and not the fact that it depicted your interests.”
Ebert has been widely praised for his embrace of social media, particularly Twitter, which he used to keep readers up with his thoughts about movies, his wife, Chaz, and anything else that popped into his head after multiple surgeries left him unable to speak.
“He realized that connecting to people was the main reason we're all here and that's what his life was all about,” said Sonia Evans, his stepdaughter.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins slip past Sharks, 3-2, in shootout
- Hempfield infant fights rare disease
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- New Kensington resident looks to transform city
- Lower Burrell family opens home to old-fashioned Easter egg hunt
- Henry: Yough River Trail Council races set for Saturday
- Retiring Arnold, Lower Burrell mayors look back with contrasting views
- Sex-soaked culture faulted for fraternity house parties
- Arab nations unite to quell region’s armed insurgencies
- Researchers uncover details to help get GOP candidates elected