I almost never read a review before seeing the film. I like to be surprised… I want to figure it out for myself… I don’t know. Once I see a film, I’m eager to read a review. I guess my favorite critics are the New Yorker guys, David Denby and Anthony Lane. Of those, I’m more sympathetic to Denby, but they can both be really tough. I find the New York Times guys too dense. Mick LaSalle in the SF Chronicle can be brilliant, but most often isn’t and completely misses the mark, as I see it. Sadly, his Roger Ebert obituary missed the mark.
My go-to guy has always, ALWAYS, been Roger Ebert. He wrote so I knew what he’s feeling, and what he felt was very often what I felt. And part of his charm was that he was a storyteller, knew how to spin a yarn. Knew how to talk straight to me. I subscribed to the Sun-Times Media Roger Ebert.com email edition. It showed up in my mailbox once or twice a week. The last one in my mailbox is Friday March 22. God I’ll miss him.
I wrote about the tribute to him on RectorSite when I met him in person for the first and only time at the 53rd San Francisco International Film in 2010. (Feel free to scroll down past tributes to Don Hertzfeldt, Walter Salles and Robert Duvall to reach Roger Ebert’s final slot.)