Thursday, April 4, 2013

RIP Roger Ebert

This is like a death in the family.

One of the things that I remember him for and will always cherish was his love letter to his wife. She was not a Hollywood skinny chickie poo but a lawyer, a sharp, strong, smart lady who stood by him throughout his illness:

"In 1992 he married, for the first time, at age 40, to attorney Chaz Hammel-Smith (later Chaz Hammelsmith), who was the great romance of his life and his rock in sickness, instrumental in helping Ebert continue his workload as his health declined.

“She fills my horizon, she is the great fact of my life, she is the love of my life, she saved me from the fate of living out my life alone,” he wrote.

It's rare enough that a high profile man marries a lady of robust body size and a different race but even more rare that he penned one of the most eloquent public love letters ever written. 

For that I respected him as a man as well as a critic.

"No good film is too long,” he once wrote, a sentiment he felt strongly enough about to have engraved on pens. “No bad movie is short enough.”

"He was a Renaissance man whose genius was based on film but by no means limited to it, a great soul who had extraordinary impact on his profession and the world around him."

“‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs,” he wrote, at the end of his memoirs. “No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”

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