Thu 4 Apr 2013
You may be wondering why you’re reading about a film critic on an anime blog. Rather, you may be wondering why you’re reading about Roger Ebert at all. I was going to give my thoughts on Little Witch Academia today, but that can wait. Roger Ebert passed away today — a movie critic so successful his very name has become synonymous with criticism, a professional who became a big name in the movie industry despite never appearing in a film, the single biggest source of my writing inspiration.
I’ve been reading Roger Ebert since before I learned how to write an essay. It simply blew my young mind that this guy’s job was to write about what he thought about movies. The real poise and structure of his reviews were lost on me for many years. His distinctive style was a balance of sensual descriptions of how he felt about a scene with technical analysis of how a scene works. His praises translated his appreciation of the film into excitement and anticipation on your end, but he never came off as gushing. His critique bore the full schema of sarcasm and dry wit. He explored writing beyond the traditional essay, reviewing films in the format of letters or poems, and never shying away at an opportunity to squeeze a quick anecdote. Most importantly, he don’t give a fuck. He took ownership of his writing; they were his words, his ideas, his identity. He was proud of his work, and you could easily tell.