• We will miss our friend Roger Ebert, who died yesterday at age seventy. In honor of this very special man and most beloved and influential of film critics, we would like to share with you the first four minutes of his commentary track for Yasujiro Ozu’s Floating Weeds, an entry in his ever-growing “Great Movies” list; watching and listening to this clip, we were really struck by the sense of being with him in a room and getting to see cinema through his eyes. In it, Ebert conveys his passion, intellect, and humility, his love for cinema in general and Ozu in particular. Just hearing his voice again moves us.

16 comments

  • By Stella
    April 05, 2013
    09:21 PM

    This was brilliant. Thanks so much for the reminder that Mr. Ebert did the commentary for "Floating Weeds." I'd forgotten! One of the finest DVD commentaries I've ever enjoyed was Roger Ebert's for the 1998 film "Dark City." He was instructive, lucid, excited, thrilled, awed, mystified, and everything one would want in a critic and a fellow film lover. I recommend it to you. It is going to be hard to think about movies for awhile, with his voice no longer with us in the dark.
    Reply
  • By dzejman
    April 05, 2013
    09:27 PM

    He will always be one of my greatest inspirations for the film lover in me. Rest in Peace. <3
    Reply
  • By nolan w.
    April 05, 2013
    09:38 PM

    i had been watching his video introduction to the decalogue just the night before and realized how much i underappreciated him. strange indeed and a sad loss.
    Reply
  • By Craig J. Clark
    April 05, 2013
    10:35 PM

    Just last night I watched his commentary on Citizen Kane, which is a model for how those things should be done. This one is also great. In fact, I can credit Roger Ebert with getting me interested in Ozu in the first place.
    Reply
  • By Robert M.
    April 06, 2013
    12:49 AM

    It's sad that he mentions Donald Richie who also recently died. I admired them both greatly. R.I.P
    Reply
  • By Erich
    April 06, 2013
    03:47 AM

    The entire film world owes a debt of gratitude to Roger Ebert. The greatest film critic of all time. Ebert will never be forgotten and his influence on movie lovers will live on forever. RIP RE
    Reply
  • By Gord
    April 06, 2013
    04:29 AM

    I loved Roger. He talked with you about film not 'from above' and he like most of us approached the emotional connections that we respond to about films. His Great Movies list, and later his great blog, was like having a very cool big brother teach you about some of the things that mattered most. I don't agree with James Lipton, Ebert was sometimes wrong in his assessments (Deadman for one), but he was a joy to read. I'm old enough to remember Siskel & Ebert on TV - joking with David Letterman, praising the renaissance of Bill Murray's career with Rushmore, insulting eachother - I think many will understand when I say I feel as if I lost a friend.
    Reply
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    • By Adam
      April 08, 2013
      10:52 AM

      I feel the same; it truly is as if I've lost a friend, but I didn't quite realize it until reading you phrase it so here. Reading his reviews and other writings on film over the years has become an inseparable part of my moviegoing life, and one of the enrichments of it. His wisdom and values are more direly needed in our film criticism now more than ever. Although there are some other critics out there that I respect, I'm a bit fearful that something important was lost with his passing that might not be recovered.
  • By Moviefan777
    April 06, 2013
    09:29 AM

    Roger Ebert is one of my personal heroes as he helped me have a passion of film with his excellent book series, The Great Movies.I will forever miss him forever. :(
    Reply
  • By Batzomon
    April 06, 2013
    10:05 AM

    Ozu and many other directors have proven Ebert's axiom about movies true: "It's not what a film is about, but how it's about." One of the greatest critics and writers of our time.
    Reply
  • By Kevin Nash
    April 06, 2013
    12:57 PM

    Roger helped me understand that seeing and talking about film must always come from instinct, straight out of the eyes and the heart, before it can become the subject of an intellectual conversation. He was the sweetest film critic that ever lived, and because of his gentility his reviews came to have great weight in the movie community. His death is a tremendous loss to the movies, and we will miss him so dearly. Goodbye Roger.
    Reply
  • By Frank
    April 06, 2013
    04:56 PM

    I have to agree with most everyone who has written here before me: Mr. Ebert was an inspiration for anyone with the slightest passion for cinema and rich and clear writing. Gosh he will be missed!
    Reply
  • By Sidney
    April 08, 2013
    01:21 PM

    He remains one of my heroes/mentors. He revolutionized the film criticism, and I loved his essay for "El Norte". I don't think that I will recover from this, and now there be a huge gap in film history. When I watch movies, I will always think of him.
    Reply
  • By Sleestak
    April 08, 2013
    07:11 PM

    I will miss this guy. I'm very fond of the film Caligula due to it's trashy lowbrow excess and actually own the three disc version (confession time) , but one of my favorite film reviews of all time was his review of it. He beat the s@#t out of it in a way that was so awesome. It was pure art. Ebert had the rare ability of never sounding pompous, but we always knew he lived Cinema. What a dude.
    Reply
  • By Robert Holloway
    April 10, 2013
    11:21 PM

    I have seen over 11,000 movies and I just lost my guide. Despite knowing for ages that it was coming, I am still shocked and saddened. I think that Roger's great gift was that he approached criticism as a fan versus an intellectual exercise. Above all Roger was a thoughtful and caring person. His blogs proved that. My thoughts are with his family and close friends. Rob
    Reply
  • By David McKellar
    June 09, 2013
    03:13 AM

    In 1997, I went to see a play with Sir Michael Gambon at the Aldwych Theater in London. Guess who was sitting in the seat in front of mine? Roger Ebert! I will always regret I didn't have the nerve to go up to him and tell him to his face what a fantastic film critic I thought he was. RIP.
    Reply

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