April 04, 2007

The thumb could be coming back...

The greatest film reviewer since Pauline Kael....Roger Ebert seems to be getting better slowly but surely. He's been out of commission due to cancer for some time now. He's always been a favorite film critic of mine (heck, for writing BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS alone) and I've sorely missed checking his website every Friday for his take on the latest flicks hitting the cineplex.

Ebert: Despite setbacks, I am feeling better every day

From suntimes.com

April 3, 2007

As I look at the date, I realize I was named film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times 40 years ago Sunday. I had no idea I was embarking on a lifelong career, but I was, and I can't think of a better one.

Now here I am with another milestone. Nine months ago I was leaving Northwestern Memorial Hospital after surgery for salivary-gland cancer. I was planning to be back in action in a few weeks, but unfortunately, there were complications, and more medical procedures resulted. I was in bed so long that I experienced serious deconditioning that led to a stint at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

I began my rehabilitation there, and I am continuing it, along with an overhaul of my general health, at the Pritikin Center in Florida. Also, because of a tracheostomy, my speaking voice is on hold until my upcoming completion surgery. I am feeling better every day and my wife, Chaz, says we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

During this difficult period it was important for me to write some movie reviews for the Sun-Times, and I was happy to continue my Outguess Ebert Oscar predictions contest. It also was important for me to make contributions to WLS-Channel 7, where I am film critic. At "Ebert & Roeper," with my encouragement, we are using a revolving selection of critics and filmmakers to spar with my partner Richard Roeper, and I tune in to the show, just like you, to be entertained and informed. After the autumn publication of Awake in the Dark and Movie Yearbook 2007, I have yet another new book being published this month: Your Movie Sucks, reviews of movies I hated.

I am happy to say my ninth annual Overlooked Film Festival will be held April 25-29 as scheduled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I'll be there, but friends and colleagues will take over the onstage Q&A duties. I'll watch from the audience. I think of the festival as the first step on my return to action.

This has been a long and unexpected ordeal, made better by many kind and gifted doctors and nurses, led by the incomparable Dr. Harold Pelzer and Dr. Robert Havey, and above all by the selfless and loving care of my wife, Chaz.

I plan to gradually increase my duties in the months to come. I still love writing about the movies. Forty years is not enough.

1 comment:

Ty said...

Who are your other favorite critics?

Anyone that you particularly dislike?