Had a nice, brief email exchange with Roger Ebert. Very nice, classy guy. Have to admire, whether you agree with him or not, how he's always willing to champion an unknown film, critic, documentary, cause, etc., just because he believes in it.
Ebert is a walker- he walks the walk, whether you agree with his talk or not. I respect that because I practice it, as well. Too often, the talkers dominate. Most readers and commenters on blogs (Ebert's, political blogs, celebrity blogs, arts, social networks) could take a lesson.
I filled in a bit of the background to him, in answer to a query he posted in the comments about not understanding cyberstalking (of me, or anyone else). In short, I'm no Herlof's Marte. Never have been, am not, never will be. If you cross the line, I'm not afraid to toss you and yours back over it.
As to a few other points re: the depressingly predictable thread that follows the piece: many folks seem to not 'get' that the pieces I do on films, while called 'reviews' (for the sake of search engines), are more formally essays, and, since I concentrate on older films, I care not of spoilers, and usually review not only the film and DVD presentation, but also the misconceptions many have about certain films. This includes the critical opinions of the day. I also am not fixated on Roger Ebert- a dozen or so mentions, of the most famous critic of the day, out of hundreds of essays I've written, is hardly much (especially given that I come down in the middle in regards to Ebert's career). One need only look at the times I mention (read- mock, skewer) Bosley Crowther, the laughably bad film critic of the New York Times, from the mid-20th Century (the Ebert of his day, in terms of power and influence).
But, for those interested in the needed 'cleanup' of the film criticism (be it 'pop' or 'serious' film theory crapola) that's been laying fallow for decades, I'd suggest interested readers read, among others, my defense of It's A Wonderful Life, my take on Au Hasard Balthazar, my praise of La Jetee over the crap of Stan Brakhage, my piece on My Kid Could Paint That, and my debunking of some of the crap and critical cribbing written about Last Year In Marienbad and Blowup. And, for fun, read my take on L'Eclisse. I do not try to tell people what to think, instead show them how to think- a craft lost in this day and age.
As for Ebert, here's hoping his ills lessen and he can stick around for quite a few more years, on the lighter side of the soil.