Time Magazine’s film critic Richard Corliss salutes Roger Ebert on his birthday

 

We tend to take for granted any pleasure, however acute, that is offered to us regularly; the gift becomes routine. Only when it's removed do we realize how precious it was. And if, in some real-life Hollywood ending, the gift is restored, we can again savor the privilege, this time more acutely.  Roger Ebert, who's 65 this week, began writing on movies 40 years ago, mainly as a critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, but syndicated to some 200 newspapers. He's created a body of work — virtually all of it available on his handsome, helpful website — that is as broad, deep, reliable and rewarding as it is insanely prolific. I'll take a blind stab and say Roger has written more than 10,000 individual movie reviews, plus another 3,000 or so essays.  

Many of these have been collected into his 40-plus books on film. But on this five-foot shelf there are also an Ebert novel, Behind the Phantom's Mask (begun as a weekly newspaper serial); a travel book, Perfect London Walk, written with Daniel Curley; The Computer Insectiary: A Field Guide to Viruses, Bugs, Worms, Trojan Horses, and Other Stuff That Will Eat Your Programs and Rot Your Brain, co-authored with John Kratz; and at least five other books to which Roger has penned introductions. There's no writer's block for this perpetual scribe; he's never missed a deadline. I'll bet that if Roger had written this tribute, he would have finished it in time for his actual birthday, which was Monday.

(Source: Time)


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