This will likely mean nothing to anyone except for me, but I need to organize my thoughts on the passing of Roger Ebert.
The influence that Ebert has asserted over the ways in which people watch movies in undeniable. An Ebert recommendation meant quality—it meant a recommendation from a thoughtful student of literature, from a critic who did not shill for the studios, from a movie-goer who understood the virtues of trash and the transcendent.
Roger Ebert, along with Gene Siskel, is the reason I love movies in the ways that I do. As a kid, I would watch At the Movies and hang on their banter, even though I would likely never see the films under inspection. However, watching this show taught me that movies were serious things, deserving reflection and trenchant criticism. Movies can inspire, and they should be talked about.
This is an end I saw coming for years now, but Ebert’s departure hurts. A mentor to millions has died.